Six years ago, I made what was certainly my biggest home-related blunder.
I dared to fall in love with the notion of a two-toned deck: dark stain paired with crisp white paint. I was enamoured with how it looked (so classic!) and stupidly rushed into a long-term relationship that has caused nothing but pain and frustration.
The honeymoon period was short, and by springtime all I could see were the flaws. Months of shovelling snow off the front steps had scrapped the stain and chipped the paint. It was agonizing because it had taken many, many days of sweat equity to get it off the ground, and now it all had to be worked on again.
You see, not only had I chosen a very dark stain (Sico’s Autumn Brown) — I’d accidentally chosen a very thick, non-sheer formula that was basically paint. The can said “semi-transparent,” but it should have said “Thick, unyielding substance that is not even a little bit transparent and will chip like paint.”
We made it even worse by slapping more coats on each summer to hide the chipped-off areas, mostly because we shuddered at the work that would be involved in sanding it all off.
Four years ago, I wrote this about our two-toned deck: “When it looks good, it looks very, very good. When it looks bad, it looks horrid.” I moaned that “the hassle of maintaining it has taken years off my life.”