This Deck Could Kill You

Go ahead.  Get super duper excited.  This is gonna be the funnest week ever because I have an epic makeover to share with you and your brain is going to explode in a million heart emojis and you will become just a giant smiley face with heart eyes and no arms and legs.  Seriously.  It’s that good.

SOooo….here’s what happened.  Rust-Oleum contacted us to do a deck makeover and here was my thought process…..Rust-Oleum?!  They are amazing.  Wait….I’m not worthy.  Well, they asked so I won’t tell them that.  Holy Crap YES….wait….we just finished our deck and we don’t need to redo it.  Wait!  Maybe we could do this as a giveaway.  Maybe we could do this deck makeover for a reader!  HOLY HOT TOMOLES…YES!  And then I got really excited and giddy.

Then after a lot of back and forth, Rust-Oleum wanted to film the entire thing and make it into a commercial.  It’s really cute and I can’t wait to show you.  But I realized that filming means that you need the right space.  I have a few friends that were originally readers (like they actually came up to me in public places and confessed their love for my blog…which is crazy brave and super thrilling and flattering to me!) and the girl below is one of them.

Her name is Karen and she came up to me in a Target and said she was a reader and immediately we struck up a conversation.  Now…a couple years later, we are fast friends.  The first time I had seen her house I needed to borrow her washing machine and let me tell you….her house is super tidy.  That’s the first description that comes to mind.  Her baskets of cleaning products in her laundry room are labeled.  Her floors are always clean and her ducks are always in a row.

That is why it is so funny to me that her deck was a hot mess.  I mean….for reals….the rest of her house is super cute and feels like straight Pin-worthy and then her deck could kill you.  And that is actually the first thing she ever said to me about her deck….she said (and I quote as indicated by the air quotes that I am doing right now)…..”Be careful, it could kill you.”

The thing is….it’s not really that bad.  It’s not unsafe.  It wasn’t structurally unsound.  It was just weathered and worn and dirty.

The boards were poorly neglected (she later told me that she didn’t know you could pressure wash wood until I did it for our deck makeover!) and they did have some warping and cracks.  When wood gets to that point, it is only a matter of time till it will completely ROT and then you need to replace them.

We went over there to see if it was a good fit for this project and we snapped a bunch of photos.  The product we were going to use on this project was Rust-Oleum’s Restore 10X deck coating so we had to make sure that this was the right product for the job.  Thank goodness that the deck was the perfect candidate in the prime condition for this product.

The rest of the deck area was neglected too…I mean, why keep the landscaping nice around a deck you never use, right?!

So I pitched to Karen….what if we redid your deck?  It’s not a rebuild….just a makeover.  She was game and texted her husband to see if he would be cool with the idea.  He was totally game too.

The number one priority was obvious the decking itself.  I mean…nobody would want to walk around on this….and it was especially important to make sure it was foot-friendly because this family has a one year old.  Karen told me that she never let her daughter out here because it was too gross and she probably would end up with a giant splinter in her foot!

Basically all the surfaces (decking, railings, steps, etc.) would need to be cleaned and protected.

We also needed to address the stair railing.  We did feel like the construction here was lacking and that it needed a little tweaking to make it sturdy and look less like an afterthought.

The furniture wasn’t in terrible shape….okyesitwas…but honestly it was more the cushions than the actual furniture.  It was like when you are house hunting and you walk into an okay house but it’s terribly cluttered with ugly stuff….it makes the entire space feel like it needs to be ripped out!

But Karen said that we had free reign….whatever we wanted to do with it was fine with her!

They had a table and chairs that needed a new coat of paint and new cushions but sometimes that can add up to the same amount as replacing them!  If you look past them though, you can see that they had a decent amount of outdoor space with a little shade from nearby trees.

There were other elements of the space that were a little lacking too.  And no, we didn’t make this thing crooked to make it look worse…it was actually just crooked.

We also talked to the couple about removing this concrete pad and putting in landscaping.  It would really help soften things up!

Since this deck is only about three feet off the ground, the space under the deck is unusable.  We talked to the homeowners about creating a barrier so that when their daughter got a little bigger, she wasn’t going to be able to explore that area :) I know that would be the first place my kids would run to!

The styling and landscaping budget for the makeover was $1000….which sounds like a lot but a dining set alone can eat that up!  We came up with an original moodboard to help us see it as a cohesive plan.  It wasn’t firm…just a jumping off point.  It started with the idea that we would do a slate colored deck with gray wash on the railings.  Then the white lattice would finish off the structure colors.  We found a cute white outdoor dining set that had modern lines at Home Depot and we brought in darker accents.  I also wanted to splash in some color with inexpensive but hardwearing plastic adirondack chairs and cute cushions.  I liked the idea of red as the accent color because it can be so vibrant and inviting.  We had a few plans to do homemade accent pillows and a DIY planter sleeve for some potted plants.  Overall, the most costly items would be the lattice, the furniture and the landscaping but I was sure I would be able to make it work.

Okay…so that is the space we can’t wait to show you!  Don’t you love the plan?  It morphed into a different look along the way but it was so much easier to have a jumping off point.  Plus, the deck itself got a full head to toe makeover and we didn’t rip it out or tear it down!  It was totally a cosmetic transformation and those are the funnest kind because ANYONE can do it!

Stay tuned for tomorrow…it’s the ‘durings’ where I share the behind-the-scenes look at the work we did to make this deck gorgeous!

Barganier Masonry T2 Tumblr Feed via
Barganier Masonry via


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