Monday, June 06, 2016

painted deck project

Ok friends! I've been hard at work on a big painting project again! Our deck was in need of some serious attention. It wraps around half of our house and while the sides and front are in great shape, the back was really worn. We probably have about one, maybe two more winters (if we are lucky) before we have to do some major work repairing and rebuilding the back portion. We decided that this spring we would get it cleaned up and repainted. In typical Alisa Burke fashion, I suggested painting a big colorful pattern on the surface. Andy loved the idea and after checking the weather and seeing that we would be having a big streak of sun, we decided to dive into repainting.

I feel like before I begin sharing the process I just have to provide a disclaimer or at least share my philosophy on home projects:

I am not into the latest and greatest home decor trends and I NEVER want to feel like my home is "too precious" to take risks and try something unique, creative or even weird. While I love home decor shows, magazine and blogs- I also think it is easy to fall into trendy, safe and practical thinking when it comes to your house. I am not safe nor am I practical and I tackle most DIY projects like an artist. I love color, pattern and I believe that paint is one of the most affordable and easy ways to transform just about anything in your home into art. My husband Andy is super supportive of my approach but he always asks that we try to find a long term, well thought out way of making my ideas happen. 


Ok here we go! So the back portion of our deck was really worn. There was lots of moss on the surface, lots of warped and weathered spots that are at the beginning stage of rot. This is all pretty typical in Oregon. We get so much rain in the winter that the outside of our homes can suffer. Since we have another year, maybe two (if we are lucky) to live with our deck before replacing most of it, we knew we would be painting (not staining) it.


I think that staining (and sealing) a deck is typically the way that most people go because a stain allows you to hold on to that natural look and feel of wood. You also don't have to deal with weathering and peeling. Paint will cover up the wood BUT you have a lot options when it comes to color. When it comes to paint, I think "the normal" and practical thing to do is to not use crazy colors on your deck but as I mentioned above I am not normal and I love color!

Here are the reasons we selected paint instead of stain:
  • Paint will fill gaps and cracks.
  • Paint will resist mold, rot and sun damage.
  • We own our home and I know that we will be living here for a long time so a crazy project like this doesn't affect us like it would if we were renting or planning on selling soon.
  • Our deck will eventually need to be replaced and painting it this year is simply taking the necessary steps to buy some time, save for a deck renovation and get a little more time out of it. 
  • We liked the idea and look of colorful paint weathering and even peeling.
For our deck we used both Valespar deck paint and exterior paint. There are all kinds of really great heavy duty deck paint and exterior paint out there that is made to seal wood and stand up to the elements. The best part is that you can get just about any color mixed with that paint.

The first step was getting things cleaned up. Andy cleaned and scrubbed the entire surface. Moss is a big problem around these parts so this process took a while. Once it was cleaned up, we let it dry out then he sanded down things down. Since we would be using paint we didn't need to sand it all down- just the trouble spots. 

Now it was time to paint! So here is the crazy thing about me...I don't like to plan or sketch out my designs. I know this is insane but a big part of my painting process is all about the moment and letting things evolve and change. I knew the color scheme I would be using, I also knew I wanted a suzani inspired design on a LARGE scale. I started by using a large brush and began outlining my design. Again, this is all off the top of my head. Something I know (and something that makes me commit to the process) is that if I mess up or if I am not happy with the design, I can paint over it and start again. This is the BEAUTY of paint!

Once my outline was dry, then I began filling in areas of color. Once again, this is off the top of my head. 

The process of adding color, is all about using my gut so I spent a lot of time standing and looking at my design from different angles. My biggest goal is to achieve balance and harmony with my colors. 

As those big areas of color began to dry, I added more color to the top and then started laying down details. We really wanted to make sure that the deck had about 2-3 layers of paint on the entire surface so each of my designs all have layers of colors to ensure that the wood is nice and saturated with paint.

I worked back and forth with painting different areas with layers of color and details. Thankfully we had nice weather so the paint was drying as I worked and I could move around easily.

Lucy even joined in on the painting!

This process took me about 3 days working in chunks of about 3 hours at a time. So a total of around 9 hours. Working on a floor is much different than working on a wall and it can take a fast toll on your back and knees. My body can take about three hours straight of painting then I step away and come back the next day.

The last step was to touch up the remaining side of the deck with a solid dark brown.

NOTE: We did not seal the paint only because the paint we used was made to withstand weather and the elements. But keep in mind no matter how heavy duty the paint or even if it's made for a deck, eventually it will age, weather and peel...there is just no way around it. 

The end result is CRAZY COOL! What I love so much about working large is that you don't need lots of tiny details for something to feel dynamic. My design is pretty simple and FAR FROM perfect. But the scale, the color and the contrast all comes together to feel really dynamic! 

Then came the really fun part and that was doing a little bit of decorating! Up until now, we really haven't used our deck. We have a huge backyard that we love to hang out in. But we do a lot of grilling so we really wanted a fresh, colorful updated space to use while Andy cooks outside on the BBQ. 

We moved some of our outdoor furniture to the deck, purchased some plants to add even more color and the next thing I knew, we had completely and TOTALLY transformed this space! Now we've been enjoying our meals out here, using it as a place to hang out and draw or read. It has been so much fun to have a new space to use now that the weather is nice.


Looking for a little more inspiration when it comes to using paint and creativity in those home decor projects?


painted floor runner   painted countertops    statement wall   kids statement wall  flower mural   guest room mural   doodled dishwasher

62 comments:

Emily Stowe said...

Lucy is such a lucky kid to get to live in such a magical home! You are making such amazing memories as a family!

Emily Stowe said...

Lucy is such a lucky kid to get to live in such a magical home! You are making such amazing memories as a family!

marie said...

Absolutely delightful! Thanks for sharing the process and the result!! I hope you and your family enjoy every moment you spend on your fabulous deck.

studioGypsy said...

so gorgeous dreamy magical... i absolutely love this.. and you know, it clicked in my head.. all the journal drawing training, translates to larger spaces much easier.. thankyou for sharing your magic with us!! xxoo ������

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

OH MAN, this is so cool!!! Your deck needed attention. It got affection!!! So much heart and love in your projects Alisa. Thanks for sharing.

Sue Marrazzo said...

PRETTY COOL!

daffodilwild said...

Fabulous! Inspiring as ever!

Ariadne said...

One more awesome project! I love all that colour on the deck!AriadnefromGreece!

Francisca Nunes said...

You are allaways surprising us!! Amazing Alisa. Love your creativity!!!

Kelly-Anne Leyman said...

beautiful!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Fantástic, amazing, love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mrs. Teri McMurtagh said...

Love it!!

jabbott said...

Looks wonderful x

Susan said...

Fantastic!!!!

Anonymous said...

Truly beautiful - so alive and vibrant. I love that you accept it will not stay pristine but will weather and eventually something else will be there. Your lack of 'preciousness' and your integrity is what makes you stand out as an artist. You see opportunity to create more beauty where other people see lack. I love your attitude to your art as much as the art.

These are gorgeous pictures, that have given me a 'lift' today. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Sara

Connie Coleman said...

Really LOVELY!! What a great way to start the week! Getting the creative juices flowing.

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

Just spectacular. I love watching your process, it's so inspiring to just go for it. xox

Jan Priddy, Oregon said...

This is a wonderful project that only you could have pulled off with such incredible style!

Kelly Lynn said...

I love it!! I would totally buy a house because it was painted that way!! Lol! Beautiful!

Marilyn Podoll said...

Just beautiful.

Stephanie said...

stunning! great inspiration

Denny C said...

You are my hero! That is absolutely stunning and inspiring!! Thank you for sharing your talents and your process!

santa said...

Fantastic. So amazing.

Colleayn said...

This is amazing! It is so beautiful. I wish I could do something like that or buy a rug like that with so much color. Thanks for sharing this!

curlygirlpress said...

So flippin' cool!!!

Krista said...

I love it so much!!

CiNdYe said...

So VERY awesome!! You've inspired me to do something similar to our chicken coop which is currently just whitewashed.

Deb Billiet said...

"Happy" is the first word that came to mind when I saw the pictures, what a beautiful day brightener!

Wendy Dewar Hughes said...

What a fun idea. I may have to consider something similar.

Julia H. S. said...

WOW! What else can one say? Absolutely beautiful.

cococita said...

Adorable!

Brig said...

You never cease to amaze me. It looks stunning. It brings me back memories of painting my outdoor table with a big sunflower about ten years back. It brought me so much pleasure. I was working as a graphic designer in an office at the time so it was something to look forward to in the evening (in Summer) to come home and do after my bike ride home. It gave something extra to my day. I've been thinking of tackling my daughters room as the next project. She wants fairies, cup cakes, butterflies, etc, etc.

Sharon Hansen said...

Love it! I imagine it can help brighten up even overcast days. Love how you make your space your own.

zooperson said...

Fabulous! Great idea!

Yana Ch. said...

Amazing floor and house)

Liz said...

The deck looks SO great! I wish I had a deck now, haha! Your garden looks pretty nice, too!

Teresa Hamilton said...

Incredible!! It's so so crazily amazing!! Oh~~~ You have a really really beautiful and inspiring house. So many great arts
gmail email login

Chrysoula Psarrou said...

Soo crazy beautiful!!!! Bravo!

clara said...

WoW!!!!
You're crazy cool!!! ;-)

astr!d said...

L-O-V-E

Natalie Santini said...

SERIOUSLY! SO awesome-it looks like a Caribbean space. I'm amazed and inspired!

Stargirl said...

I love all your art but this one almost leaves me speechless. Not enough adjectives to describe it. Absolutely love it.

Lilah said...

You are awesome! House of dream every child. Photos are full of colorful happiness. You made my day for sure!

angeljoy hippychick said...

You and I have the same philosophy about decorating. I have more recently come to that conclusion and am beginning to take risks here and there. I have always hesitated because I worried about how my "crazy painting" or other experiments would affect the resale value of the house. But like you said, IT'S JUST PAINT!
So I'm learning to let myself have freedom and Let. Go.
You have been such an inspiration to me for many years now and I so appreciate you sharing your creativity with us!

Anni said...

I enjoy reading your blog admiring things you do but I must say that this is the best and most inspiring project ever! Absolutely wonderful!

My indoors staircase will live a dangerous life this summer ...

Arianna said...

Alisa I love you, please marry me :-) :-) ahahahahah
I adore this project (and all the others too). It maybe takes some courage to do it, but the result is simply stunning

Frugal Mom said...

Stunning!

Haley said...

I love this!!! It's always fun to watch you take risks with your house and enjoy the end result.

Tanya said...

Absolutely awesome!

KenaniahSings said...

What a brilliant idea! I love the way you think outside the box. And you are giving your daughter an enormous gift, teaching her to embrace her creativity.

Sami Drake said...

Could something like this be done on cement steps?

AJ said...

This is stunning!

Anonymous said...

Oh to have that kind of talent! This is soo wonderful.

Elisabetta Brustio said...

FANTASTICO!!!!!!

Tikiwooki said...

May I inquire the paint you used? This is on my DIY list for our next house :)

BarbieK said...

This IS amazing!!!!! I would hire you in a split second!!!!!

angie said...

What colors of paint did you start with?

angie said...

What colors did you start with? I love this!

Unknown said...

Fantastic! How many colors did you start out with & did you mix paint along the way for more choice of color?

Magia Pura said...

Amazinggggggggg- amazinggggggg...love it!!! i am going to paint like this a wall in my house!!! congrats!!!

Anonymous said...

Crazy beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!! Made me happy to see it!

Anonymous said...

I love it! It makes me smile....

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