Weekend Makeover

from Garden, Deck & Landscape
Give your deck a new look with less time and money than you think. With a touch of paint even your old outdoor patio furniture can fit in.

Have you been delaying a needed deck renovation because you’re put off by all the work and expense? Don’t be intimidated.

A major project might not be necessary. A few hundred dollars, a long weekend, and some elbow grease can give your old deck new life. To demonstrate, we worked with a homeowner whose deck was crying out for help. It needed some stain, minor repairs, and a little redecorating. In just three days, the makover was complete and the deck became a welcoming retreat.

Day One
First, some minor construction and repair was required. The spindles used as railing by a previous owner looked out of place, so we installed a new railing consisting of a simple homemade lattice to match the railing on the rest of the deck.

We then removed old screws and nails that had accumulated in posts over the years and filled the holes. Protruding nailheads were driven back into the decking with a nail punch. The homeowner then cleaned the deck with a power washer to prepare for staining.

Power washer rental $65
Wood for the lattice $40

Day Two
After drying from the wash for 24 hours, the deck was ready for stain. Blue and green stains create a simple four-square pattern, providing a clear, decorative focal point, while a lighter blue stain covers the surrounding deck. Both blues are repeated in the railing to color-coordinate the entire deck structure.

Three gallons of stain $60
Roller, brushes, etc. $15

Day Three
With the stain dry, it was time to decorate. The owner purchased garage-sale chairs, but splurged on a new galvanized-metal outdoor bookshelf. Several containers — some new, others already on hand — were filled with plants to add color to the area. Ornamental post caps provide a finishing touch.

Table $15
Chairs $50
Bookshelf $169
Post caps $30 Containers/plants $120

Total Cost: $564

Makeover Tips

Go from drab to dashing with color. Utilize colorful stain, colorful plants and containers, and colorful furniture.

Remember the little things.
They can have a big impact on how often you use a deck. Whether you enjoy music, food and drink, or games, make your favorite things available on your deck.

Adorn a deck easily and effectively with containers.
Don’t hold back — use them in several corners or along railings to fill dead space and add color.

Head off trouble.
Determine what problems may keep you from using your deck more often, then correct them. Usually, a simple, inexpensive solution is possible. Lack of shade? Get a patio umbrella. No privacy? Erect a simple screen or lattice.

Go the extra mile with designer touches.
Two or more stain colors open an array of design possibilities. Small decorative elements such as post caps, wood trim, and lighting add flair. Items such as vases and outdoor pillows provide a sense of indoor comfort.

Think comfortable and attractive.
When choosing outdoor furniture, avoid the $9 plastic Adirondack and spend a little more to get something that really pleases you.

Eliminate the guess work and see what your house will look like before you redecorate.
•DIY Ideas: How To Garden
•Outdoor Living
•Designing for Outdoor Living
•Planning a Comely Courtyard
•Plant Encyclopedia
•Outdoor Fabrics and Rooms
•Outdoor Rooms

Design anything from a patio-side container garden to a beautiful yard on your computer screen.

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