Thanks for sponsoring this post, HomeRight!
The deck definitely looked unfinished (‘cuz it was). We had to let the pressure-treated wood weather (or something?) for a few months before we could stain it but now it has a new semi-transparent stain and is lookin’ So-Hawt-Right-Now.
We had one TINY bump in the road – which I’ll tell you about in a sec – but otherwise, staining the deck was a quick-and-dirty instant-gratification project, which is how every single DIY project should be, according to me.
First we cleaned the grodiness off the deck. HomeRight sent us their fancy little Deck Washer Flow-Through Broom, which hooks up to your hose and sprays water while you scrub. TELL ME THAT’S NOT SMART. You can’t tell me. Because it is.
We scrubbed with a deck cleaning solution til all the junk that had accumulated was gone and the wood was as sparklingly fresh as the day it was born. Er, built. Then you’re supposed to let the wood dry out for 3-5 days, which was actually 24 hours for us because were impatient, and worried that birds would be trying to poop right on our deck (literally, aiming for our fresh clean wood) and we’d have to start all over again.
When it came to choosing the right color stain, y’all, I had no idea what I was doing. How do you choose a stain color?! I know nothing about this. Should it be red? Brown? Gray? Beats me!
The back of our house is a light, light gray with white trim and a red door.
I think brown might’ve been nice and warm, but decided to go with a cooler darker version of our siding color. I have no idea if this is correct or what you’re supposed to do. I just decided that we’ll be the only ones who see it so how bad can it be, right? (Just wait.)
We grabbed a bunch of stain color chips from the home improvement store. I sorted through them for colors I liked then googled that color to see if I could find a picture of it used on someone else’s project. I really liked this color, which is Cabot Dark Slate.
Looks like a nice cool gray, right? We grabbed a can of it in a semi-transparent stain and got to work.
Our tools of choice were the HomeRight StainStick (above) and the HomeRight Deck Pro with Gap Wheel, which is not pictured above but looks like this and is made to stain between the boards where you’d otherwise miss.
We decided to divide and conquer. Andy was on the StainStick, so he dipped this little extender thing into the can of stain and the StainStick soaked up the stain, then dispensed it as he brushed.
Isn’t that SO smart? We LOVED this thing.
Meanwhile, I worked with the Deck Gap Pro, rolling that little wheel thing in the gaps between the boards.
I must admit: I was raised by a carpenter who instilled in me the belief that the “right” way to do things is to use good old-fashioned brushes and rollers, so I was skeptical before I started using the HomeRight tools. Not anymore. Andy and I kept saying over and over as we stained: “HOW would you even do this project without these tools? How would you get in the cracks between the boards? This project would be SO much harder.” Honestly: I will never stain a deck any other way.
Working simultaneously, we had the whole thing finished in a couple hours. But just after we’d gotten started, Weston wandered over to the deck and said, “What are you doing, mom? Painting?”
Me: “Just staining the deck.”
Weston: “What color? Purple?”
Me: “No, bud, it’s gray.”
Cue record-scratch sound effect! Andy and I looked around and both realized at the exact same moment, OMG, it looks SO purple right now!
Me: “No, Weston, this is GRAY. IT IS GRAY!” (I said, frantically, trying to convince myself and willing to sacrifice my child’s understanding of color to do so.)
We were already too far gone to change the stain color, so we finished up and hoped it would look different after it dried. The next morning we came downstairs and Weston went to the back door, looked outside at the deck and said, “Mom, I LOVE our purple deck!”
The deck didn’t change color and it still does look purplish. I’ve just chosen to ignore that and see gray instead. I invite you to do the same!
You may need to adjust your monitor.
I don’t know what happened with the color. Maybe our can was mixed wrong because it doesn’t resemble the chip to me. But it is what it is, and that is GRAY. IT IS GRAY.
Make sure you swing by HomeRight’s website for any staining or painting projects you have coming up!
Have you guys tried any cool newfangled tools that actually did what they promised? Ever had a stain color disaster?
UPDATE: HomeRight is giving away all the tools I used in this post! You guys are going to LOVE these! Enter via the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post was sponsored by HomeRight, but all opinions are my own, as always!