You know when you’re just going to “check” something and then that turns into a big project? Welllll that’s what happened to me last week. A little “I’m just going to check and see if I can clean off the algae from the wood” gave us a whole new updated back deck! Yay!
So. This is what it looked like before. Old nasty deck, landscaping was nothing but weeds and a Juniper shrub in the corner of the deck I really didn’t like.
Our back deck has been this nasty since we moved in almost a year ago, and we haven’t really cared too much about it. But 33 days into this quarantine I guess I was desperate for something to do, so I soaked a heavy duty sponge and went outside and started scrubbing.
And man was it satisfying seeing that clean wood. 🤩
I started googling power washers and was almost ready to order one when my dad advised me to instead clean it by hand. The deck is SO old, and in such bad shape and rotten on some spots he was worried the power wash would do more harm than good for it.
And to be honest I didn’t mind that much, I was ready for some manual labor 😎
I went put on my mask and gloves and went to Home Depot to get what we needed for the project. We decided to get a wood cleaner, and we used this one from Behr. We sprayed the whole deck with water and then applied the solution to it with a large deck brush, and then we started scrubbing (used this but I’d probably get this with shorter bristles)! It was HARD work but really didn’t take too long since we were two people. One scrubbed, one sprayed the dirt off with the garden hose. All in all the cleaning probably took just a little over an hour.
This is what it looked like the morning after! SO. MUCH. BETTER.
We let it dry for two more days of full sun before I applied the sealer. I got this one from Behr, I honestly had no idea what color I wanted but that one seemed better than the options they had. I was afraid the clear one would make it look too yellow, and that the other Cedar Naturaltone would be to reddish. So I got the semi-transparent in Chocolate.
I started applying it on the stairs and I almost freaked out because it was DARRRRKKKK. Much darker than I wanted. But after a while, when it dried, it really wasn’t that bad..
And after applying to the whole deck… I actually really liked it! I thought it still looked a bit dark, but figured I’d wait until it dried completely before I made my final judgement.
But still, it was WAY better than it was before, so I was pleased. Next thing I wanted to do something about what was going on on the side of the deck…
This is what it’s looked like since we moved in. Just a sad view 😂
So while Ivy helped me count worms (she loves them), I dug up all weeds and roots I could possibly find..
Aaaaand planted three white peony shrubs instead!
My grandparents had huuuuge bushes of pink peonies when they lived on the countryside when I grew up (I grew up on a sheep farm!) and I’ve always loved these flowers since. I was so excited when I found them at Home Depot!
Next thing I planted some herbs and strawberries in pots on our porch.
We also moved our limelight hydrangeas that I planted last summer from our front yard to the back. Needed something to fill out the space between the plant bed (that I initially wanted to remove, but we decided to keep it) and they didn’t really thrive in the front where it’s shade most day.
Austin dug up a small juniper plant here in the corner and put the last (biggest) limelight shrub there instead. SO much better. Can’t wait for it to bloom! I read that limelight flowers turn more white the more sun they get, which might explain why they were so green colored in the shade in the front yard.
Finally, I really wanted to try grow tomatoes again and Home Depot actually had lots of really good and big tomato plants! My mom and I planted tomatoes in the plant bed last spring after we moved in, and they didn’t make it. The plant bed is in part shade so I’m going to keep this pot in the ☀️ sunnnnn ☀️ and hope for the best.
Such a fun week project and we love our backyard SO much more now! Now to replace those windows… we have a consultation with a company tomorrow and hopefully we can replace them asap! I love the look of them from the inside, but they are ollllddddd 👵🏼
Anyway, I hope this was helpful! The total cost for the deck was $50 which I thought was pretty awesome. So worth it!