Currently, while living through an April that refuses to bring anything remotely similar to spring-like weather, I’m reduced to daydreaming of gorgeous days spent out on my deck and in my backyard two years ago as I gave our deck a facelift that was long overdue…

The previous fall, contractors had remodeled our deck with new decking and railings, and our furniture needed to look equally spiffy. After all six of our sling-back chairs from our previous patio set had dry-rotted and split – sometimes leaving guests u-shaped with their butts on the floor, we desperately needed to replace our deck furniture. At Costco, we found this really nice stone-top set which complements our outdoor living space beautifully.


With a shiny new deck and new furniture on our lower deck, I decided to tackle refurbishing our 31-year-old wrought iron furniture we use the most which is situated just off the kitchen on the upper deck. It had never been refinished, and after a few phone calls I discovered the furniture wasn’t worth the expense of sand blasting and refinishing. The best rate I got would have cost $79 per chair and even more for the table, and I knew I could replace the entire set for well less than that price. The furniture refinisher told me that if the furniture had been thick wrought iron typical of furniture made 50 years ago, it would have been worth it, but this furniture was warehouse quality and not worth the effort.

Rather than replacing what seemed like perfectly good furniture that had rusted in places, I settled on hand sanding and spray painting all eight pieces of furniture – a dinner table, four barrel back chairs, two rocking chairs, and a small side table.

Frank, the paint manager at our local Home Depot, is a wealth of knowledge and always willing to help select just the right paint for any project. With his guidance, I purchased Rustoleum Ultra Cover Paint + Primer (affiliate link); however, one thing Frank didn’t mention that I should purchase was a comfort grip spray trigger (affiliate link). After a couple of weeks of repeatedly spraying multiple coats of paint, my left pointer finger became numb and it took about six weeks for all of the feeling to come back. 😀

I completed the upper deck makeover with Bed Bath & Beyond bright floral cushions. The red, white, and blue patriotic bunting hanging on the outside of the railing is part of our Memorial Day and Independence Day decorations.


Two planters that I purchased at Costco about ten years ago had also rusted. After sanding the rust off, I applied several coats of Rustoleum Stone spray paint in travertine (affiliate link). After painting my planters, I realized that the paint I had chosen was for indoor use only (I should have sought advice from Frank). Later, with his guidance, I purchased a clear topcoat (affiliate link) and applied it liberally to both planters, and so far they have held up well.


While perusing a community yard sale site on Facebook, I found these two chairs (and the two a couple of pictures down). The lady selling them was asking $20 for all four chairs and I was lucky enough to grab them up before anyone else commented. I dressed up the chairs with peach (and red) cushions I found at Target. The little accent tables between the two sets of chairs are from our previous patio set – the one with the splitting chairs. We tossed the chairs, sold the dinner table, and kept the two side tables.


A major part of my spring project was painting the inside of our privacy wall white to match the new railings (it’s off white on the outside to match the house trim). Luckily, the railings will never need to be painted, but we opted to not replace the privacy wall with man-made material. Painting all of those slats was no joke, but thankfully, Bill lent a hand in painting the pergola. Prior to the deck refacing we hired our handy man to chop up our hot tub and haul it off. The two best days of owning a hot tub is the day you have it installed and use it for the first time, and the day you get rid of it. In the hot tub’s place, we hung a swing and it’s used far more than the hot tub was ever used.


The final touch to my deck project was having two flags made for our privacy wall. I got the idea from one of my clients whose daughter made an old fashioned style USA flag for their front porch a few years earlier. She’d painted their flag on an old pallet; so first, I’d have to find two pallets…

Right around the time I started my pallet search, the very same client who gave me the idea to paint flags on pallets, texted right after her workout. She told me that a neighbor just up the street had a pallet set out with his trash, so I immediately marched up to his door and asked if I could have it. Since our garbage collection company doesn’t take big items like pallets that haven’t been broken down, he was happy for me to take it off his hands. One pallet down, one to go…

A week or two later, I came in from a run and saw this pallet floating in the creek near our house. With a little help from a different neighbor, we pulled the water-logged pallet out of the creek and carried it home.

Never before and never since have I seen two pallets within walking distance of my home just waiting to be loved. Bill had to rebuild both pallets so the boards fit right next to each other rather than being spaced so far apart and as a result, he needed a few more boards. I turned to my buddy Frank at Home Depot and he told me where to find their broken pallets that I could use for parts.


I hired my client’s daughter to paint both the USA and VT flags. She’s done a lot of other smaller projects for us other the years and is quite the talented young lady. Currently, she is finishing up her freshman year as an art major at VCU.


While I was in the painting mood, I repainted our corn hole set that friends had given to us when they downsized. Bill printed out stencils on heavy paper and purchased burnt orange and Chicago maroon paint. After a heavy sanding, I painted both boards and after they dried I painted on the VT logo. It took several days and many coats, but the final results were worth all of the hard work.


I purchased new corn-filled bags (affiliate link) and voila, we had a brand new game!


Here’s to a warmer weather so we can enjoy our deck before we all start complaining about how hot and humid it’s gotten! Cheers!


  • Questions:
  • How are you at DIY projects?
  • Do you enjoy painting?
  • What was the last big project you did?