DIY Deck Facelift

My in-laws let us borrow their power washer this summer, so after using it for some small projects, we decided to take on our drab deck.  The deck was fine.  The wood had turned gray over years (like most wood decks do) and I honestly never thought it would turn out looking brand new!

I apologize for not having many before pictures.  I really wasn’t planning on writing a blog post about this, but after seeing the finished product it just didn’t feel right keeping this easy, but time consuming, deck facelift from my readers.  Here is a picture of the dramatic difference power washing made to our deck.

Deck FaceLift - LiveDineParty

First we power washed the deck.  If you don’t have a power washer or know someone you can borrow one from, you can usually rent them as well.  This took quite a bit of time to get it looking right.  My husband and I took turns.  Doing the railings is the worst part!  But, take your time and do it right.  It is worth the time!  Not all power washers are the same so make sure you read the instructions.  If it isn’t done probably you could ruin your deck.  A few tips, use a lower pressure tip and don’t hold the power washer too close to the wood because this could cause splintering.  I tried it in a small, inconspicuous area first to get a feel for the power.

You will have to watch the weather forecast for the next steps.  We decided to use a clear water sealer on the deck because we like the look of the natural wood, but you could stain or paint it if you prefer  Once the deck has been completely cleaned with the power washer, it will need to dry for at least 48 hours before applying the water sealer.  The water sealer will also need to dry for 48 hours after it is applied so make sure there is no rain in the forecast.  We ended up waiting a few weeks after power washing just because of our schedules and the forecast.

We used Thompson’s Clear WaterSeal, which you can buy at any local hardware store.  Follow the instructions on the container.  We used two bonus size containers for a 16×16 deck.  I’m not sure when the last time our deck was sealed so it absorbed it pretty quickly.  We applied it using a combination of a brush and sprayer.  The sprayer definitely saved a lot of time!

Deck FaceLift - LiveDineParty

As you can see, the Brooklyn Summer Ale (my new favorite summer beer) snuck into the picture, but it was also a necessary tool for this job.

The clear water seal really brought out the grains in the wood.  You can see the difference between where we started applying it in the below picture.

Deck FaceLift - LiveDineParty

And here is the finished product!  I can’t wait to enjoy it for the rest of the summer.  And next summer we will get some patio furniture for it 🙂

Deck FaceLift - LiveDineParty  Deck FaceLift - LiveDineParty Deck FaceLift - LiveDineParty

UPDATE:  Here are pictures of the water beading after some rain.  Looks like the Thompson’s WaterSeal is working the way it should!

Deck FaceLift - LiveDineParty Deck FaceLift - LiveDineParty


Entryway Table – Before

What did I get myself into???  I recently made my first Craigslist furniture purchase.  It definitely needs some love but I’m excited about getting started on refinishing it.  My husband and I really love the look of antique or repurposed furniture and this will be our first attempt at refinishing something.  They also don’t make furniture the way they used to.  So if it comes out right, this will be a quality wood table for a very reasonable price.

Anyone have any tips they have learned from experience that they can share?  Every time I walk by it I get a little more nervous about starting this project.

Here are some before pictures.  It is a traditional gate leg table.  The leaves fold up to make a larger table, but we will be keeping them folded down for our entryway.  It is the perfect size table for this spot.

Gate Leg Table - LiveDineParty Gate Leg Table - LiveDineParty

Gate Leg Table - LiveDineParty

Don’t hold your breath, it could be a while before I can post some pictures of the finished product!

But, here is my inspiration.



Register Cover Facelift

Our central A/C has been installed along with our new gas furnace and as part of the project, we decided to have our ducts cleaned once we saw how dirty they were.  This is one of those things that you don’t really think about doing.  It is also surprisingly expensive and when you can’t really enjoy looking at the benefits on a daily basis it is certainly not the first thing I wanted to spend money on.  But, trust me, if you actually have the opportunity to see the inside of your ducts you will want to get them cleaned!

They scrubbed our register covers as part of the duct cleaning so this was as good as time as any to give them a little facelift.  Ever since we moved in, it has been bugging me how dirty and even a  little rusty they were.  Along with almost everything else in the house, they were also mismatched throughout the house.  Again, my Type A personality can only take that for so long before I have to do something about it :).

I contemplated replacing them, but ours are really good quality and the ones you can buy at a Home Depot or Lowes aren’t as heavy and as good of quality.  We had to replace one since it was broken and the difference in quality is very noticeable.  And, even though they aren’t overly expensive, when you have over 20 registers to replace covers for, it can get expensive quickly.  So, I decided to spray paint them, which is a more budget friendly update (about $10 for 3 cans of spray paint).  This took such little time and the majority of the time was mostly me waiting (impatiently) for them to dry.

And the result was a dramatic.

I used Rust-Oleum Dark Taupe spray paint in the satin finish.  The color looks great against our hardwood floors.  You will want to do this outside if possible because the smell can get to you.  You also probably don’t want that smell in your house.

Here are some before and after pictures:


Register Cover Facelift - LiveDineParty

Register Cover Facelift - LiveDineParty

  Register Cover Facelift - LiveDineParty

Register Cover Facelift - LiveDineParty


Register Cover Facelift - LiveDineParty Register Cover Facelift - LiveDineParty

Step 1:  Remove the registers and label where they go in the house.  This is important because not all registers will fit perfectly back in all of the holes so this will help you remember where they go once the project is done.

Step 2:  Clean the register covers.

Step 3:  Sand any rust areas to get a smooth surface.

Step 4:  Place the registers on some cardboard and spray paint the bottom side of the registers first.  I found it better to do a couple of lighter coats to avoid getting drips.  Also, remember to get into all of the little nooks.  Let it dry over night.  If possible, bring them inside to dry so that outside dirt doesn’t blow around and get stuck to them.  Repeat with an additional coat if necessary.

Register Cover Facelift - LiveDineParty

Step 5:  After the bottom side is completely dry, flip the registers over and spray paint the top.  Let it dry over night.  Repeat with an additional coat if necessary.

Step 6:  Place the registers back in their respective spots.

Step 7:  Enjoy the clean, matching register covers!