Don’t bother testing the paint colours because you know that its going to take 3 weeks for the paint to arrive for those retailers which are actually even shipping at this point in time and so just choose 2 colours that look kind of nice and neutral on the website and play it safe. 

Cuprinol Garden Shades Fresh Rosemary and Natural Stone

Choose ‘Fresh Rosemary’ a soft sage green and ‘Natural Stone’, a soft beige because they remind you a bit of the colours you used in the kitchen.

pale green kitchen with parquet flooring and open shelving

Besides, everyone likes neutrals right? What could possibly go wrong?

door painted sage minty green

Paint a couple of vertical surfaces to test out the paint. Paint an old door and a raised planter and decide you like the sage-y minty-green colour and so decide, why not paint your old deck? It’s looking a bit worse for wear after a long winter and the sun is shining. Decide this is a great project while you’re stuck at home and going slightly stir-crazy.

Plain deck laid on lawn before

Don’t bother getting any proper equipment in (see above re long lead times and not being able to get anything shipped) and so just figure a few paintbrushes will do. Decide at the spur of the moment to do stripes, that will be cute and fun.

How not to paint a deck

Realise that each tiny groove of the decking is a complete nightmare to paint. Spend 2 hours on your knees hunched over trying as the paint just seeps into the old wood so every 3 seconds, you need to fill the brush again. Realise after 2 hours you are not even a tenth of the way finished. The sun has come out in full force too and you’re not just hunched over the entire time but you’re also sweating from places you didn’t know could sweat.

Feel incredible guilt that the animals are all locked inside on a beautiful day because you don’t want them walking all over wet paint. They are crying at you from windows, tag-teaming each other to take it in turns to either meow forlornly or wimper. Realise this is not helping you go any faster.

Spend the next 4 hours hunched over on your hands and knees trying to paint the stripes perfectly until you are nearly in tears and your other half has to take over for the last little bit of the first coat because physically, your body is broken and there’s just no way you can finish and be able to ever stand up straight without pain again.

first coat of painting done on the deck

Decide the next day to just get the 2nd coat done even if it kills you because you think it just might. Whilst doing the second coat, realise that the sage-y green paint is looking very turquoise, a fact you ignored yesterday as it was just the first coat and maybe it’ll look better once the second coat goes on. Carry on because this bastard deck is not going to beat you.

Realise the second coat is going on much faster than the first and so at least there are small mercies. Also, realise the beige stone colour you chose is looking decidedly more pink. Ignore this and carry on.

Finally, finish the second coat and stand back to admire the finished deck. Try to ignore the fact the colours look completely wrong and that what you’ve ended up with is a turquoise and pink striped deck when you actually really wanted a sage green and stone beige striped deck.

Finished painted deck - how not to do it

Try to stick some stuff on the now-dried deck to make it work. Realise it really isn’t working.

Frantically see if you can get more paint. Realise you can’t. And even if you could, you are not sure your broken body could actually do the work required to repaint it all over again.

Pour a stiff drink, ask your other half to rub Voltarol all over your back and decide to write this post to warn anyone else not to paint your deck while the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Try to convince yourself that turquoise and pink are perfectly fine colours to paint a deck and not at all like you’ve just asked the wardrobe person from Miami Vice over to your home to decorate.

Hope your experience will at least go some way in making someone out there smile at your stupidity, realise that even experienced DIYers sometimes screw up and maybe save them the grief of going through the same thing! ;)

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