While we were painting and repainting the front door this weekend, we also had a major project going on with the deck!! After all of the stripping we’ve done to the deck floor, we decided to sand the railings. This was mostly because we did not want to use stripper anywhere near the newly painted house. I must say that I wish we had used the stripper on the railings before the house was painted because the sanding took forever!
Probably the biggest piece of knowledge I have gained from this project (besides the fact that solid stain is of the devil) is that semi-transparent stain looks NOTHING on actual wood like it does in sample pictures. You can see above where we tested 3 colors, all of which looked several shades lighter in the stain brochures and stain swatches at Lowes. We did not want to go too dark on the deck because it is hot enough back there already. That being said, we wanted to hide a lot of the tree debris that inevitably makes its way on the deck floor. I loved the look of the raw wood when it was wet, and I think the color we chose looks a good bit like that. I was also shocked at how much stain soaked into the wood! The stain was supposed to cover 450 to 600 square feet a gallon. Our deck, without stairs, is about 300 square feet, and we used almost 2 full gallons of stain in one coat. This may be due to the age and dryness of the deck, as it was built about 13 years ago.
The day after we stained, we began the first coat of white paint on the railings. My amazingly helpful parents and I started painting at 9, and by 5:30, we had about 2/3 of the first coat on, and my Mom was hoping we’d run out of paint. We have a lot of work left to do, but I already think it looks much better than the peeling, pale, pewter pile of patheticness that it was previously covered with. It also seems to have the puppy stamp of approval!