Skip to content

Addition and Subtraction

June 21, 2011

So ya’ll know I’ve been working on the new front porch.

I know you’re tired of hearing about it.

I know it’s taking forever to get the dern thing done.

But I am making progress…in small steps.

And I guess that’s what every big project is about…small steps.

Someone way wiser than me once said that a journey of a million miles begins with a single step.

I’ve taken a few more than that first one, but I’ve still got a few to go…

At the beginning of last week, my Front Porch To Do List looked something like this…

  • install remainder of screws in deck boards
  • pour concrete pad for steps
  • repair cracks in posts with wood filler
  • sand deck boards
  • sand posts
  • prime rim joists
  • prime posts under porch
  • prime posts above porch
  • paint rim joists
  • paint posts under porch
  • paint posts above porch
  • wash deck
  • wash siding
  • stain deck
  • remove old caulk
  • caulk where needed
  • design post trim
  • install post trim
  • prime post trim
  • paint post trim

After a few hours of work last week (between trips to the pool and the movies and the library with the kids) the list now looks like this…

  • install remainder of screws in deck boards
  • pour concrete pad for steps
  • repair cracks in posts with wood filler
  • sand deck boards
  • sand posts
  • prime rim joists
  • prime posts under porch
  • prime posts above porch
  • paint rim joists
  • paint posts under porch
  • paint posts above porch
  • wash deck
  • wash siding
  • stain deck
  • remove old caulk
  • caulk where needed
  • design post trim
  • install post trim
  • prime post trim
  • paint post trim

As with any to do list, things get added, things get subtracted. Right now I’m adding faster than I can subtract, but one day before Christmas in the near future I will mark the final item off the final list (I’m wishin’, and hopin’, and prayin’, and dreamin’).

Off all the things I’ve done so far, washing the deck and siding was the easiest.

I started with a gallon of this stuff…

…and my trusty and very well-rinsed sprayer.

The deck wash didn’t have to be diluted, so I just emptied the whole gallon into the sprayer and used it to soak the siding and the boards (yes folks, this stuff is safe for vinyl so you can kill two to-do’s with one step…boo yah!).

The whole process is idiot me proof. Just soak the surface, let it sit for about ten minutes and rinse. No scrubbing required.

A note of caution here…if you use a pressure washer, make sure you adjust the nozzle to fan spray and keep the tip well away from the wood. The stream from a pressure washer can damage the surface.

Also a “whew” word here…the manufacturer suggests you wet any surrounding plants before applying the deck cleaner and that you rinse them well after cleaning. I forgot to do the first step so I made sure I rinsed them exceptionally well after I’d rinsed the porch. No harm done.

Now you may be wondering why I had to wash a brand new deck.

I wondered the same thing.

I knew the boards had a bit of sanding dust on them but nothing a good vacuuming with the shop vac wouldn’t take care of.

According to This Old House, new boards have what is known as “mill glaze”. Basically this is just a sheen that’s left on new lumber after the planing process, and on the day I washed the wasp spray off the siding, I noticed that the water that landed on the porch beaded up.

The mill glaze has to be removed if you want stain to penetrate the wood fibers.

So I washed the deck.

I’ll let it dry for a couple of days before I try to stain it.

If my mad painting skills transfer to staining, it should be an adventure.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: