Deck Restore

What do you get when you combine wood, crud and one week of Bower Power?

One heckova deck transformation!  That’s what!  That IS what!  THAT is what.  (trying difference word emphasis to signify the gravity of this transformation…the point is….we made over a deck and you get to see it.  commence celebration.)

Seriously though….we love doing makeovers and this is one of our all-time favorites.  It was crazy hot and we squeezed so much into a short amount of time and we worked all the way past my due date but it was SOOOOOOOO worth it.  It’s like when you make the effort to load up the kids in the minivan and get to Sonic during happy hour and all seven slushes are under $5.  It’s that good.  I gotta admit though…this is going to be one beefy post and there is more to come.  Since there is so much information about this deck, I had to break it up!  This post is all about the actual process of how we took a really grungy and worn deck and married it to the right product to get a space that looks brand spankin’ new.  It literally was a match made in heaven :)

To see before photos of this space….CLICK HERE.

So the actual process began during filming (we were creating a short commercial for Rust-Oleum who sponsored this entire makeover) and we didn’t have much to do before the cameras came out.  In fact, we were scrambling around doing the shopping and the only thing we did to the deck itself was screw down a few boards with decking screws one day when it rained and the boards were still damp.  Here in GA, when the deck boards are wet, they tend to lay down properly and then when we have a dry hot spell, they warp like crazy.  It’s good to put a little thing of painters tape where they bend so that next time you have a rain shower, you can go out and fasten those bad boys down.

So then the filming began.  I will tell you all the behind the scenes stuff about filming later.  This post is just the deck step-by-step process.

The first thing we did was pressure wash the deck.  Rust-Oleum has a cleaning solution that we poured right into the pressure washer.

Oh and the funny thing is….in the commercial, Jeremy says that he does all the work.  #hahahayeahright  The truth is we had an entire group of people tackle this bad boy including the homeowners, some friends and family, the director and even a Rust-Oleum pro!  This was truly a group effort and we are so thankful to everyone who came out to help!

Okay so back to it.  Jeremy is not a huge fan of pressure washing….not like me…I want to pressure wash all the things!  So that first day I pressured washed up till it was time to get the kids and then I handed the task off to the homeowners, Karen & Brian. The next day I came back and did more touchups before Jeremy blew off all the puddles and started working on the stair railing. (a full blow-by blow of that later)

You want your surface nice and dry for the primer application and taking a blower to any standing water is a good idea.

While Jeremy did the railing, I sanded any areas that were really high or full of shards.  I only sanded for like three minutes so every little splinter isn’t addressed….it’s just the giant stuff.  If you have cracks more than ¼ of an inch, Rust-Oleum has a filler that you can put in them but we didn’t have any that large.

Also….giant belly.

Then came time for priming.  We used the Rust-Oleum Restore Deck Start wood primer.  This product was made just for this process and developed by the scientists who make other paint primers.  This is what makes the Restore product stick!  It’s super important to apply is according to the directions (it can’t be too cold or cure too long, etc.)


You can apply it with a brush or a regular roller.  It’s really simple and the surface will look milky white before drying.  We all said that it was like school glue going on….thin and easy to spread but dried clear.

This is what it looks like primed compared to not primed.  The railing on the left is not primed and the one on the right is primed and it is dry.  It slightly darkens the color of the wood.

This is Brian…the homeowner and he got in on the priming action.  Also…he swears those aren’t women’s sunglasses :)

This is what I call the Prime Time Team.  We were the ones that did the railings and the steps….that took FOREVER.

Also…notice the ever fashionable support belt I am wearing.  I do not miss that thing :)

And here are some of those after priming shots….sneak peek of the stair railing too!

Also….39 weeks pregnant and working outside in the Georgia heat in the middle of June?  It gives you awesome sized ankles.  I asked Jeremy if he thought it was possible to get stretch marks on your ankles because DUDE.

After the primer was dry, it was time to put the Restore product on.  First of all…you should know that the 4x means four times thicker than normal paint.  That’s right.  This stuff is THICK.  The Rust-Oleum people are really adamant that you shouldn’t use the 10x product on vertical surfaces and they recommend the 4x for all railings, balusters and risers.  We had it colored to Gray Wash to make it light and bright.  Also, light surfaces don’t get as hot and here in the south, that is super important!

We got all the railings done and then it was time to move to the floor.

For the deck floor, we used the Restore 10x Advanced in slate and as you guessed…this stuff is TEN TIMES thicker than normal paint.  It’s like smearing on icing…it’s that thick!  For this particular deck, we had some MAJOR cracks that disappeared with the 10x.  It was crazy.

You need to apply the product with a honeycomb roller….it’s made for getting this stuff on the correct thickness.  Also, this stuff takes time to apply.  You have to load up the roller and then push it down into the deck till a bead appears on the front side of the roller….then super slowly and super firmly push the roller along.  Also, you want to ‘cut’ your seams.  We used a drywall knife to push the 10x down into the cracks.  This helps by creating a spot for rain to go down!

That is how it all looked on the second day of filming.

And after we called it a night….

You can see that all the railings and supports are the nice light color and the decking and steps are the slate…which is really more blue than gray.

Then came time for a little demolition.


Exciting news.  Jeremy taught me how to smash concrete.  Seriously.  I let loose 34 years of pent up aggression on this concrete pad and it was AMAZING.  He smashed it first and then showed me how and I loved every second.  Don’t go to a therapist….smash concrete.  (just kidding, you really need your therapist!)

We also had the cutest little helpers haul away the rocks.  Of course, they didn’t last very long.  Bubbles win over manual labor every time :)

So during this project, we unfortunately had to go to Chattanooga for Jeremy’s grandma’s funeral.  We had known for a while that she was fading and finally the alzheimer’s won and she went to be with Jesus.  So we rushed to get everything done a day early which meant that we called in reinforcements and worked till the wee hours of the night.  The entire deck needed a second coat.  The second coat we wanted to back brush so that it would have a brushed texture vs. a stippled texture.

We also had to tackle the landscaping and the lattice.  Thankfully we have a good friend named Shawn that we could call and he came over with his truck full of tools and he did the lattice for us.  The homeowners parents live down the street and they also helped with the kids and the landscaping.  I also had to call my dad to come in to watch my kids so that I could help do final touches too.  Overall, that was a long LONG night but usually crunch time is when Jeremy and I make the most progress and make quick decisions.

I know you want to see this thing with all the landscaping and the furniture but you will have to wait!  Here she is with the two coats and ready to be staged….

What a transformation, right?!  Do you even remember the befores?

Here is what it looked like before next to the after….

Even with the crazy shadows it was TONS better and safe for all those little toes!  Plus, the product did exactly what we were promised…it locked down all the little shards and filled cracks and holes.  Oh and did I mention that this should last a lot longer than traditional stain?  Yeah.  So with exterior wood stain, you have to reapply every other year or so.  This?  It should last anywhere from 5-10 years!  I KNOW.  And since it comes in 60 different colors, the sky really is the limit :)

So that’s how we did the deck and rails….just wait till you see the AFTERS!  They look so good!  I love this space so much and I know that it’s gonna be such a good fit for their family as their daughter grows!  I mean….it’s a giant backyard and now they actually have a place to chill and enjoy it!

Stay tuned for tomorrow!

Barganier Masonry T2 Tumblr Feed via
Barganier Masonry via

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