I Built My Own Damn Deck

build-your-own-deckBack when I was single and ready to mingle, my girlfriends and I would fantasize about meeting someone special. Someone special who could build us a deck. Well, I did marry someone special but his deck building skills are negligible. And that’s being polite. He’s got his own talents, so no judgment.

When we realized deck building was not in our future, and neither was paying someone a million dollars to build a deck, I decided cement staining and pea pebbling would do the trick. I was half right.

The fact is, a coat of paint can save many a crap situation and as I got my daughter to paint our backyard fences, it became clear that should have been done years ago. But she was just a toddler years ago, so you know, you take what you can get.


Our fences were gross, yo. But now they’re pretty! So our cement staining/painting would have gone the same way, I thought. Let’s transform this cement into a fantasy backyard!

This is how it ended up.

diy-backyard-deck-paintOh my, do I ever hate this.

You see, I was looking for more of a “hipster orange” color instead of a “Kraft Mac & Cheese” thing. So after a weekend of hard core painting, sealing and back pain, I didn’t like it. (But this is how you do it—buy paint that’s meant for cement, if the paint store isn’t well-versed make sure there is latex in that paint. Clean your cement, let it dry if you used a big ol’ hose. Get plenty of tarp to cover every single thing around as drips do happen and could kill the rest of your purty yard –


plastic baseball bat weight optional

Tape the corners up with that blue tape that I forget what it’s called, and using a roller, paint that cement! Allow it to fully dry for 3-5 hours and decide if you want another coat. If so, do it! If not, add sealant to protect your outdoors from the elements. It will go on white, but dries clear. You’re done!)

I decided to try and live with the orange poop color for awhile. My husband was very encouraging, even lighting fireworks in hopes of fueling some enthusiasm.

IMG_1183But once I hate, I hate. It was like the splinter in your finger that’s too deep for tweezers so you just have to let it work itself out. Sure, I could have bought more paint and painted over it, but at that point I was second guessing my ability to even pick colors, so I decided to go to IKEA and pick up some of their “insta-deck” pieces. ALERT: Summer is over at IKEA, so don’t expect any outdoor furnishings or accoutrements. Luckily, the third employee I asked admitted there were some left in the storage stacks and I scooped up almost everything they had.

These floor tiles are super easy to use, you guys. You just click them together like so—

diy-deck-paint-cementAnd voila! By god, you’ve got yourself a deck.

I actually was afraid these would look cheap and weird, and while it is very difficult to cut off the plastic leftover pieces (I mean, so difficult that I may not ever finish doing it) I actually love the way it looks as a faux-deck. One problem did pop up, however, and given a month of travel that followed we still have not solved this awkward corner situation—

deck-diy-paint-cementThe hubs is thinking “giant saw” to cut them in the right places. I’m thinking what are we going to do with a giant saw after we get it? Also, what does he mean by “giant saw”? Is it a table saw, and would we have to buy the table? Is it just a bigger version of the one I use to prune trees? Is it one of those wacky huge ones where he is pushing on one end and I’m on the other? I really don’t know.

But this is the rest, and I have to say I really dig it.


Look, my bougainvillea is starting to come back alive!


Now, onward to the cement walls! What the holy heck do I do with that ugliness???? Stay tuned for more disasters.

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