Saturday, July 08, 2017


I finally finished the airing porch.  It is not exactly what I wanted, but it is finished.  And that is a mighty relief to me.

This was how it looked after three rounds of sanding, using 40, 60, and 80 grit.  I finally realized that the darkness that is bothering me is staining from the mold/mildew (what is the difference??)  I took off a fair amount of wood and was rather uncomfortable with any further sanding.

But the staining still bothered me.

After the final sanding, I did another quick power washing so as to remove all the sawdust.  Normally, with wood, I use a sealer.  When you we the wood to clean it, you get a good idea of what it will look like.  And I just couldn't bear seeing that homeowner failure day in and day out, so I decided to either paint or stain the wood instead of seal it.

Painting would have been the coverage I liked, but once you paint, you are pretty much committed to repeated painting.  Staining affords me the opportunity to use a different stain, go back to a sealer, or try painting.  I read and read and read and read and talked and talked and talked and talked to guys at Mendard's and finally settled on Cabot's Australian Timber Oil.  The guys at Menard's all thought that was the way to go and Cabot's stains had good reviews ... though not so much the Timber Oil.

I very, very, very carefully and repeatedly checked the weather and found myself a two-day window to work.  However, two boards into the staining process, this storm started heading my way and my app said that it was going to rain in 47 minutes.  I was devastated.


However, I sort of wigged out and decided to "pray away the rain."  Not really, but I did lie down on the airing porch decking and will the clouds to miss me.  Surprisingly, they did.  As did the clouds from three other storms that popped up as I watched and (later) worked.  I could see the rain falling, but it did not fall on my porch!

I miss the shine of a sealer.  And the color is NO WHERE NEAR the sample board on display.  It was supposed to be a warm honey with a hint of amber.

But it turned out so very red!

This is after a rain and I was rather relieved to see that I really did need only 24 hours of drying time (given it rained about a half hour past that mark).  The darkness does hide/cover/obscure the mold stains rather well.  Again, it is not what I would have chosen, but I am pleased with the end result.  Amos is, too!

He's missed savoring the relative safety of the airing porch.  Fresh air, strategic location to keep watch over me, and no grass.  I realized that I stopped going out there because I felt so guilty about ruining the beautiful new decking that Firewood Man had put down for me.  It was a painful lesson about how to care for open air wood.  Going forward, I plan to gently power wash the porch twice a year and re-stain it in 2-3 years when needed.  I plan to power wash all three twice a year, after the pollen is finished in the spring and right before winter begins.

Amos and I have been taking in quite a few sunsets this week!

The airing porch furniture was also a bit neglected.  In some places, the wood shows that neglect, but I can live with that guilt much easier than with the decking.  I re-sealed them and, after 72 hours of drying (an extra day just to be sure), I set it back outside.

And enjoyed another sunset.
With my beloved Fluffernutter.
Savoring the completed labor.

Sadly, I discovered that I did not wash off the steps well enough after using the cleaner up on the airing porch.  The bottom three (or four) steps have white marks on them from the cleaner.  I am hoping that I can just power wash it off, but I have resigned myself to having to sand them, too.

The back porch still needs re-sealing, but it still has a third of the rack of firewood on it and I just do not think I can move it.  Or, rather, I just do not think I should move it.  So, my plan is to burn it down using the fire pit before the temperature turns too cool for sealing the wood.  I've got a few months before that will be a problem!  I figured that I can take care of the steps then.

For now, I am taking a break from all things Wood Restoration and Care!

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