July 8, 2013

Deck Restore Review

Last year our deck wasn't lookin' so hot. We knew we needed to do something but weren't sure which direction to go. We thought about pulling all of the boards off and replacing with composite decking but that would be a very expensive project  with a deck of this size. 

So we looked into other options. Of course there was the option of sanding and restaining. In order to do that we would first need to screw down all of the boards because they had only been nailed down and a lot of them were popping up. And since we live in Chicago where the weather can be very harsh staining would be something we'd have to redo every other year to keep it looking fresh and nice.

Then we heard about Deck Restore available at Home Depot. It looked good, it sounded good and the price was doable. A little on the expensive side because of the size of our deck but promised to last 8 years!

We got started last spring and it was an undertaking to say the least. Pounding in every nail, then drilling hundreds of holes and adding hundreds of screws. 

Finally we were ready to replace a few boards, sand, power wash and apply the Restore. 

You start by brushing on the solid stain in between each board. 

Then use the honeycomb roller they sell and a long pole and apply it thick onto every board of the deck. 

It was slow going and a little back breaking but we wanted to make sure it looked perfect. I'm trying to remember correctly, but I think it took Scott about 4 hours to put the first coat on.

I did the second coat myself a couple of days later and while it was faster I was still being very careful and trying to keep it looking very neat so it took me a few hours. 

We went with the color "Beach" which is a very light tan. I was trying to match the siding on our garage. 
The surface is a little bumpy to walk on with bare feet and it still gets super hot in the sun, but it is less slippery and has no splinters so we're very pleased with it. And it looks beautiful too!

For the railings we bought the solid stain in the matching color. I rolled it on with a regular paint roller and used a brush where I had to. This was not a fun job. I only finished one coat before deciding the rest could wait 'til later in the year. And actually I didn't even finish that first coat all of the way!!

So later in the year turned out to mean a whole year ;) I was dreading getting back to this job but as I put the second coat on it was looking so nice that it kept me motivated to keep going. This stain will need to be reapplied more often than the Restore on the deck boards, but I'm hoping one coat every other year is all it will need. And that would be totally worth it.

I used a roller and then my paint gun to paint the lattice underneath the deck white. I love how the bright white makes the tan deck pop. The Restore survived it's first winter with no problems at all. We power washed it (with a gentler tip) and it looks good as new.

It was two years in the making but was worth the wait and the work. We've been enjoying lots of quality time with each other and with friends on the deck and in the pool. And we're hoping that by the time the boards need a new coat Casey will be 14 years old and able to do it for some spending cash ;)

PS- I was not paid by anyone for my thoughts on this product. Neither Home Depot nor Deck REstore have any idea who I am :)

July 4, 2013

Quick Fun Little Girl's Dress

I love to sew. There is something so exciting about picking out your own fabric and making something completely from scratch. So the other day when I felt like I just needed to sew something I went to my Pinterest board for inspiration. 

I knew there were a million other things I should  be doing so I looked for the quickest, easiest looking project I had pinned. Which of course ended up coming from one of my favorite sewing blogs, Make it & Love it. 

Here's the fabric I found for a dress for my Lainey Bug

Super cute, isn't it? I found a new fabric store in my area that has more choices than my usual places, Joanne's and Hobby Lobby. But there were no sales or coupons so I don't know how soon I'll be going back :(

In just a couple of hours I whipped up a super cute dress for Lainey that she loves. 

Sorry about the shadows...I'm still learning how to take pictures when it's too bright outside. I'll learn though ;)

So here's the part I'm struggling with. Buying a yard of the white and 1/2 a yard of the pink fabric ended up costing me about $15. I could easily buy a dress from Old Navy for that much money or less probably and could even possibly get a dress on sale from the Gap for that much. So is it really worth it to be sewing my own clothes if it doesn't even save any money?? Or is there some magic way to find and buy amazingly cute fabric for a steal??

Regardless I still really enjoy sewing and Lainey had lots of fun helping and overseeing so it was worth it :)

Here's a picture of the dress that Ashley from Make-it and Love-it made for her daughter. You can click on the link below the picture to be taken to the tutorial!!