But I don’t know what else to call it. Is there a less painfully bougie phrase for making your lower deck not look like it does in this picture?
At one time, I think previous owners had a hot tub there, but I’m hard pressed to think of a worse idea for my particular family than a jacuzzi directly underneath the boys’ bedroom windows.
Now, though the hot tub is mercifully absent, there’s just sad decking. And part of the cement foundation showing. And a cheery little black cable drooping down that no one is quite sure what purpose it serves.
I wanted Ken to build me a planter/bench/combo thing, complete with storage under the seat for kid toys, but he just looked at me and said, “Whatever, woman. I’m going to a fantasy football draft party, and I do what I like! I can’t be tied down to your deckscaping demands.”
Well, it didn’t go down exactly like that, but all I heard was, “Blah blah blah, can’t whip you up a major piece of deck furniture this weekend.”
Luckily, garage sales love me even when my husband doesn’t, and this weekend, for the price of $8, I got this solid wood bench, and three large glazed pots.
The pots were $1 each (come on. ONE DOLLAR per large, beautiful blue glazed pot? It’s like winning the lottery), and the bench was $5, wearily sold to me by a woman who’d had great schemes about finishing it for her mudroom, but never got past a hasty primer job.
Um. Sold. Ken looked the bench over, and I caught him muttering to himself because I guess it’s actually pretty old, and made of solid wood, and it makes him twitch when people paint pieces like that. But hey! I didn’t do it. I just found it like that.
At first I thought I’d put the thing in the new office/schoolroom, but as we got home from another Saturday of garage sale treasure hunting, I passed by the sad and empty deck.
A vision was born.
I’d seen Pinterest buzzing with pins about making your own version of that Annie Sloan chalk paint, and considering the real stuff is almost $40 a quart, I figured DIY was right up my alley for something like this.
I grabbed a can of paint from the garage (Benjamin Moore “Florida Seashell” left over from the bedroom), Ken got me some $10 grout (which I guess bumps my total up to $18 Deckscaping, but I’m not going to change the title), and we started mixing like the mad scientists we are.
We used 2 tablespoons of grout per cup of paint, with water added in to give you the consistency you wanted, and we went from this to this:
Then Ken gave me a single sheet of sandpaper, kissed me goodbye, and left for his fantasy football draft party.
After a couple of hours, I texted him about the possibility of me using one of his beloved power tools, his Festool power sander. Ostensibly, I texted him because I was tired of sanding by hand, and wanted to speed the job up. Secretly, I expected him to text me back a panicked message along the lines of “My what? Woman, keep your hands off my beloved power tools, I’m jumping in the car right now to come home and do the job for you, just stay away from my Festool.”
Instead, he texted back something along the lines of, “Sure,” and even followed it up with a phone call explaining what I needed to do to get the job done.
Nicely played, Mr. Donaldson. You won that round.
A short time later, The $5 bench was properly distressed, the $3 pots were planted with mums (which I’m also not figuring into the total cost because the final tally no longer looks super impressive), and I now have a spot like this on my deck:
Garage sale deckscaping, baby. It’s how it’s done.