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Filed in PROJECTS & DIY — March 25, 2022

Last week was another big one for the One Room Challenge sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens on our exterior refresh project. You can check last week’s update here, design plan and project list here. It’s going to be a jam packed few weeks as we’re over half way and some of our larger projects took more time than we anticipated.

Last week we focused on the deck. Our deck is about 16×14 feet and we also had stairs, railing, and the underneath to do. It definitely took more time than I had hoped, but I’m loving the outcome and so happy with it so far.

After a lot of research and talking to some friends that have used this, I decided on Sherwin Williams SuperDeck Exterior Waterborne Solid Color Deck Stain. With this product you can choose any paint color to tint the stain to. I specifically chose the solid deck stain because it gives a solid finish mimicking a paint. However, it has the durability and weather resistance of exterior stain.

Having older boards that had some cracking and weathering I preferred the look of a solid finish. It made the deck feel smoother. I love this finish. This particular brand and type has cooling properties and is advertised to make your deck feel 20 degrees cooler. I wasn’t sure if it would really do much, but I’m so glad after several 90-degree days we can totally tell a huge difference in temperature on the deck. It isn’t hot to walk on bare foot and actually felt cooler.

I found a few products that helped so much staining the deck. With this stain you can use regular painting supplies because it acts as a paint as well. However, we found this stain applicator pad worked so well for the flat surfaces, and the double-end sponge applicator for in-between the wood slats on the deck floor, as well as the spindles on the railing. I got both from Menards but Lowes has a version and you can find similar at Home Depot as well. I also used a flat chip brush and sponge brush to get a smooth finish on the top of the railing and to edge in. Also, highly recommend painting the screws if yours are exposed.

I ultimately decided on this stain and had it tinted in the color Sherwin Williams Realist Beige because of Julie Blanner’s blog. She is a great resource for more info on stains, paint and tips on refinishing a deck. Also, my friend, Lindsay from Woods and Ivory did her deck in the same color and product.

They both looked so beautiful and I loved the tone of this color. I didn’t want a bright white as our deck is in full sun and I wanted a bit of warmth. With this color in the sun it looks like the perfect white! Through our slider in the kitchen I love that the deck looks like an extension of our home now, and this color is the perfect neutral for our wood outdoor dining table and sofa. Again, creating a cohesive balance between our green siding, white brick, black exterior accents, and wood elements. I love how this came together out here.

I hope this helps if you’re looking into refinishing a deck yourself! It’s definitely possible. It was the most physical job I’ve done for our home and took quite a few days but was so worth it!

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I created Grace Oaks Designs based on a need for attainable design. I kept coming back to my signature style time after time and realized, this is it! We bridge the gap creating attainable design for the modern family. Home tells our stories. It's the cornerstone of where we're going and where we've been. Where beautiful style meets comfort and functionality. For an elevated everyday. It's our safe haven. Which is why I'm so passionate about creating refined casual interiors. Elevated yet livable. Because I want you to love coming home. 

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Grace Oaks Designs is an interiors and lifestyle brand located in Central IL. We offer inspiration and design services to help you elevate your everyday.