So now we come to the second lesson learned from this deck stripping experience:
FORGET THE CHEMICAL STRIPPERS, RENT A POWER SANDER
Novel, right? But, had we done this to begin with we would have saved hours of time, hundreds of dollars and I wouldn't still have chemical burn scars on my arm. You live and learn.
Anyway, on to the sander. We rented the most aggressive sander that Home Depot had. It was essentially just a huge belt sander. We used 80 grit sandpaper (and went through five of them). In preparation, we screwed all of our deck screws a bit deeper so as not to rip the sandpaper and/or take the finish off the top of the screws (I do not know if masks are necessary, but I was already having asthma issues and didn't think inhaling deck stain would help this).
|Whew, this girl needs a tan.|
We took turns (because this does get a bit rough on the shoulders). While Eric sanded the top, I would work on the sides with a hand held belt sander. After getting off all of the old stain, we switched to a 150 grit sandpaper and smoothed everything out.
Four hours later, the deck looked perfect!
At this point, we would have loved to have started staining again, but the weather was threatening. Plus, we have some more staining research to do before application. We are not going to make this same mistake twice.
So instead we headed out to the garden to get a bit of work done- weeding is a constant process. It is looking good though.
Things are starting to grow!!!
Eric also got his bean tepees up. I actually have no idea what the bean tepees are about, but he seems to have a vision. I personally am envisioning Jack and the Beanstalk with the size of these tepees. I think he just wanted to use a sledge hammer on top of a ladder (while drinking a beer which is sitting in the foreground). Always testing the safety limits...
This is a little mini greenhouse for our okra. We haven't had much success growing it in the past and we are hoping the the additional heat created by the greenhouse will help us out. We secretly southern Colorado folk are craving some fried okra.
My parents arrive this Thursday to help us landscape portions of the yard! We are in a race to clean up the yard more prior to their arrival and clean up the house. It should be really interesting to learn about planting beds and flowers and I promise to recap all that we find out!