A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by my friend and design partner Jenn Hannotte to let her have a peek at my upstairs deck project as I wrapped it up so she could blog about it all fancy-style over at Covet Garden. You can read the whole story about why I did this the way I did over there (WHATEVER, I wrote the copy so it's going here too, in italics to acknowledge that I stole it back), but here are some additional photos to tie the whole little package together (I sent a pic of Cole's new lion cut with the original story, but it didn't get used, so the line about his makeover makes ZERO SENSE...see, I'm not crazy! I just have a cat with cool hairs and you should gaze upon him).

Anyway, here we go...DIY!

I am planning a major renovation in the next year or two which will involve the removal of the upstairs deck before rebuilding the addition it sits on top of, so this makeover is a really quick and dirty, cost-effective way to extend the life of the existing deck (but is not meant to be a longterm solution).

See how "Before" refers to both the deck AND my cat's boring, everycat haircut?

The deck boards (which a previous owner had cheaply constructed out of thinner planks meant for fences) had rotted through, and I couldn't risk a guest or one of our pets hurting themselves out there. I started thinking of ways to reinforce the floor in a cohesive way rather than replacing the planks (the guard rail sits on top of these, so it would have been a lot of work and a can of worms I'd rather leave unopened). Because I only need the deck to last a couple of years, I decided to lay pressure-treated plywood sheets on top of the offending planks, using them as a subfloor. Out of sight, out of mind. And while I liked the look of my old outdoor rug, it had sped up the rotting process by holding rainwater, so I decided to fake one with stain.

The deck is 12' x 8', so I got away with using three sheets of 3/4" thick plywood that only required a bit of trimming with a circular saw. After applying PL adhesive with a caulking gun to the underside of the sheets to eliminate any movement over time, we fixed them in place with 2" deck screws.

Next, I used stainable exterior wood filler to fill any screw holes in the area that would be stained. I applied it with a putty knife and sanded it once dry. Holes outside the "rug zone" were left unfilled, because the plywood around the perimeter was going to be left in its natural state, and this looked less offensive to me.

Then I did some rug stripe math and marked lines about 10" from around the deck perimeter. Because the genius that originally built the deck didn't build it straight, I had to cheat the look a bit to avoid highlighting the fact that it's a rhombus. After a bit of thought to this, and after bringing my Dyson outside to make sure no sawdust specks would ruin my finish, I carefully measured and taped off the lines for the first stripes of my rug using Frogtape, the greatest invention for painters since the angled brush. Seriously, this stuff doesn't let any leaks get under your lines, and it's well worth the extra few dollars.

I'd calculated the area I needed to cover in advance and purchased an appropriate amount of stain from the hardware store. Behr makes a solid colour wood stain that's available in sample jars for only $4.99 each. I love the way this stuff goes on, and the fact that you can see the texture of the knots and imperfections in the wood while still getting great coverage.

I had two jars mixed in a navy blue called Atlantic before they told me they were out of white base for my contrasting stripes. So half of my faux rug is opaque stain, and the rest is in flat white all-in-one exterior paint, also acquired in sample size. This was not ideal, and more product was required for the right coverage, but I was on a timeline.

The white went on first, and then I removed the Frogtape and used a foam brush and a very steady hand to apply the blue stain to fill in the blanks (I didn't want to re-tape in case it lifted the fresh paint, but you could probably get away with this if you use stain first).

Sorry, I don't know why I did this...I hate feet.


Totally bought these lights at West Elm a whole entire year ago and then got really into Netflix, so...

Another foot...guhhhhh!

We feed Booger (the stray) underneath this bench I built back in the day.
His camping equipment is from Dollarama at the Galleria Mall.

You may also recall the time I built this coffin bench, but now it has cushions for your bum! #NEW!

Admiration or shame? I think a little of both is healthy.

Crooked toes 4 lyfe.
It's been such a relief to spend the start of the summer outside without the fear of rotting wood, gravity and resulting death! On a negative note, I will admit that the solid deck surface does tend to harbour raccoon poo (because my stray cat food is total coon bait), but a broom and the fact that it rains every day ever lately are taking care of that. SUMMATIME!

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