Friday, July 14, 2017

Balcony Upgrade - Painted Decking with Guano Defense System + Door Mat

Once we had two kinds of comfortable and convenient sitting areas on the balcony, it was time to disassemble them! But just to repaint the decking. Like soooooo many exterior pieces of the property, the last owners painted (slopped on) the balcony decking with cheap barn red paint. The kind you can buy for next to nothing at any hardware store, pre-mixed. You know, it's held up very well on the vertical surfaces of the chicken coop, picnic table, etc. But it wasn't meant for horizontal surfaces, especially those that are walked on. Anyway, it looked almost as bad as the deck. Ugh.

And you'll note the guano that accumulates on and damages the surface below the gas tank cum bird house also left behind. I'm pretty sure it would not occur to me to install such, but both E and I kind of dig it. Mostly we like that birds nest in it every year and since it's pretty much the color of the siding and we live in the woods, it doesn't bother us much aesthetically, either. Anyway, in order to keep the newly painted decking in decent shape, I added a birdie litter pan underneath.

The magnets I was going to use originally, weren't as strong as I wanted them to be, so I used some other, smaller ones that I had on hand for another (unfinished) project. I know where I can replace them, so this seemed like a good-enough way to just get this done.

I inlaid some magnets into the surface, cutting the holes before painting, then screwing in the magnets after. I picked up steel pizza pan* at a department store for just $5.99! It will be kept from blowing around by the magnets... I hope. Next, I added a layer of kraft paper, then topped it with a couple of lesser magnets to hold it all down. It will be there until the swallows move out and them be put back in the spring.

I suppose we're trading a dirty deck for a tripping hazard, but hopefully we & our guests can be counted on to pay attention.

While we're looking down to admire the new surface and avoid tripping, we may as well acknowledge the new door mat. So here it is. Oooo! Ahhhhh!

Yeah, I know the print doesn't quite match the texture design, but I didn't notice until I got it home. It's the kind of thing that would generally bother me, but this time it doesn't. It must be because I am enjoying my time on the updated balcony too much!

After I'd swept and hosed it off, I let it dry really well. My plan was to do one of each of the four layers over 4 mornings before it got too hot. This was delayed one day by thunder, lightning, and rain. The first two layers are AquaLock primer and the second two layers are Floor & Patio paint, both by Benjamin Moore. It took a whole gallon of primer to get good coverage and about 1 1/3 quarts of paint. The color is 2111-50 Stone Harbor which is warmer than it looks in the photos. It's one of those greiges that looks grey in some light, beige-ish in others. I used the Low Sheen version.


*I started with this oil drain pan from that hardware store ($9.99), but was keeping my eyes peeled and mind open for something shallower - less visually and physically intrusive. A few days after I bought it, I got the idea to use a pizza pan! It's a little bit narrower than I originally thought my minimum width should be, but only by 1/2" or so.

What was I thinking to even consider this?


  1. Brilliant! And your deck looks beautiful. I need to give my deck some love so I can enjoy sitting out there to read or perhaps have a wee glass of wine or sumpin.

  2. Thanks! We have spent so much time on our main floor deck and it's kind of amazing we didn't realize/remember how pleasant it is up on the balcony! More of a breeze, less direct sun, still a great view... it's like having a new summertime room to enjoy.

  3. Your deck looks so good. I love how paint can make such a HUGE difference in how your house looks. It makes it look so fresh.


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