backyard blitz: the deck, part 3

So to recap, in the deck: part 1, we prepped and painted all the surrounding and ceiling beams in the outside decking area. In the deck: part 2, we prepped the deck itself for painting, by stripping the wood down and sanding it! And now, after a full day and night of letting the deck dry fully and have a bit of a rest, we attacked it with paint. To recap, we left the deck looking like this:

deck prepped for painting

But the next day, I woke up and found this!

priming the deck

S had woken up early, and whacked a coat of primer on the entire deck before he went to work! WHAT A CHAMP!! This enabled us to speed up the whole process hugely - with 1 coat of 4 down before I'd even started my day!

Now, most decking paints are self-priming, including the one we used (Wattyl Decking Paint), so technically we didn't need to prime it. However, the deck had been oiled previously, and wood absorbs oil. Apparently, the oil could come back up to the surface of the wood, and warp/bubble/spoil our paint job. Whilst I was slightly skeptical, we decided to go with priming anyway to put a layer of seal between the paint and the oil.

We bought a can of Dulux 1 Step Sealer/Primer/Undercoat, and this seemed to give a really nice base for painting on. S said it was pretty hard to get on as the ridges in the deck were a bit annoying, and the stripped timer again, drank the paint thirstily.

Here's a close-up of the primed deck. Very uneven, but that's ok, primer coats usually are.

closeup of primer paint on deck

As I drank my morning coffee, standing in the doorway leading to the deck, I gazed upon the primed deck and my heart swelled with love and pride at my strong man who woke up at 6am to prime it before going to work. Wow. What a guy. And then people, the caffeine shot through my veins and crazy lady started thinking TOO much. "Ah, maybe it would be nice if HE came home and got surprised at the first coat already being painted!"

True idiocy.

So like a little moron, I happily gathered my painting things and opened the new tin of paint. I was filled with SUCH good intentions that I didn't fully think about how "painting entire deck by myself" and "stupid spine injury" didn't really go hand in hand.

I started at the corners, and with my little roller and on hands and knees (the big roller is too heavy for me), off I went. I don't have any photos of ME painting because it is kind of physically impossible to do. You'll just have to imagine me huffing and puffing, and HANDS AND KNEES, doing it square foot by square foot. About halfway through, I realised the folly of ME trying to do the whole damn thing myself. You know, fatigue and pain, my 2 most annoying friends, had visited.

halfway through 1st coat of deck painting

I called a couple of friends for distraction and support, and through some good ol' girly gossip, managed to get about 2/3 way through. I couldn't stop because I didn't want an uneven finish. And you know, my pride and ego (if S can do it, so can I goddamit). Still, even 2/3 of way through and no more girlfriends to call to talk me through it, those planks were mocking me even as I painted them. *shakes fist*. It wasn't the combination of the heat, pain, and tiredness, IT WAS THE PLANKS.

painting the deck

Suddenly another girlfriend called me. AND gave me some very annoying news. And this news people? THIS brought on the anger, which brought on the adrenaline, which brought on the second wind, and rollered my little heart out. in another 30 minutes, I HAD FINISHED THE DECK!!! Well, the first coat anyway.

(cue applause and angel choir music)

after the first coat of paint

S was PRETTY amazed when he got home, though between you and me, he could've been all OH MY GOD I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID THAT YOURSELF LET ME BUY YOU SOME DIAMONDS. But oh well. I think I'll live. *sniff*

The only problem, that we could only see once it dried, is the cracks in the deck. We just COULD NOT get the paint into them.

cracks in deck paint job

So instead of GLEEFULLY slapping on coat number 2 that afternoon, we had to instead crawl about on our hands and knees for over an hour, doing this with little paintbrushes:

painting in between the deck planks

Yup, to every single line between every single decking plank, on a 30 square metre deck, inching along with itty bitty paintbrushes. We were.... yeah. Had to keep each other entertained whilst we did it. Let's just say it was pretty arduous, but we were determined to do a good job of it.

MUCH better after doing it though, results were immediate:

coat number 1, painting the deck

Finally, we started on coat number 2. And when I saw how quickly S got through it with his giant roller, I nearly cried.

rollering 2nd coat of paint on deck

I scurried around doing the edges with a paintbrush and making sure all the lines were filled in as he did this (found a few that we'd missed earlier).

after the 2nd coat of paint on the deck

After the 2nd coat, even when it wasn't totally dry, we could see that it was still going to be a bit patchy. SO we decided to do a 3rd coat. (I called the Wattyl helpline number on the can and they were incredibly helpful, and said this wouldn't hurt it.)

On the first 2 coats, we tried to strive for good coverage, but on the 3rd coat, we went with as smooth and even strokes as we could. S layered the paint on, and I played "inspector", pointing out sections he had to smooth out more or add more paint to (the glare from the sun made it difficult for him to see).

nice even strokes - paint coat number 3 on deck

And it totally worked! Ladies and gentlemen, check THIS out:

painted deck - grey


So that's how we went from this deck:

before: painting the deck

to this one:


With about a week of work, lots of visits to Bunnings (where I drove them crazy with stupid questions), plenty of paint, and 2 people who were dedicated to the project! We've been exhausted, but it's been so gratifying to see it come together, especially since we're totally new to this! (AND completely addicted...)

This isn't all folks - we've been doing other Backyard Blitz and inside the house projects as well, and will be blogging them very soon!

Materials used:

27cm Roller + long broom handle that screwed onto it

Small roller for edges

Few paintbrushes

Wattle Decking Paint in Woodland Grey for the deck, Creamy Natural for the beams

Dulux 1 step primer

You can read about how we prepped the deck for painting here.