27 June 2008

It's Done, Yay!

We hadn't been looking forward to the task of staining our new deck, but it was necessary and, given this spell of warm, dry weather, what better time? Let's get it over with, already.

Monday and Tuesday we (mostly Jerry) cleaned and prepped. Amazing what a mess those pink chestnut blossoms make when they fall in wet weather and aren't promptly shoveled off.

Wednesday we spent several hours doing the hard parts -- the vertical surfaces, including the fascia boards all around the perimeter, as well as the privacy screen and lid cradle with their fiddly latticework. My most-fun part was the several square inches of screen behind and below one of the built-in benches (the rightmost one in these photos). To reach it, I had to lie sideways on the deck, head under the bench, brush in my left hand (I am not left-handed), its arc of movement severely constrained in every direction. It might have helped, but only slightly, to be double-jointed.

Thursday I began a four-day art workshop (about which more later) and left Jer to do the easy part -- the horizontal deck surface, plus some incidental work around one of the benches. Someone in the family had suggested that we stain between the boards with a brush before rollering on the surface coat, but somebody else was certain that this was an unnecessary step. Had someone not been at an art workshop today, she would have hunkered down and done this task, since she is better on her knees than he is. However, somebody else forged ahead with the rollering and realized at the end of the day that the between-surfaces had not, in fact, gotten good coverage. So that was today's task for somebody.

Anyway, it's done. Here are the Before, During and After shots. With any luck we won't have to repeat this exercise -- at least not the total, all-visible-surfaces treatment -- for a while.

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