Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the Thirteenth

Look, I'm not superstitious, but today has been BAD.

This is a picture-less blog, because we just can't bear to show you what our lovely new deck at the Boat Harbour shack looks like now.

The idea was to seal it. You know, add years to its life, bring out the natural features of the wood.... We consulted widely and bought a lot of (very expensive) materials to clean and seal the thing. The first process is to use an oxalic acid based bleach to clean the surface and "open the wood's pores" (it said that in the instructions). But this had to be removed before the paint went on, and the instructions clearly said to use a high pressure water cleaner. So I duly hired one from a place in Burnie that dealt in large orange machines that would have made Angus very excited.

On the deck we coupled up the hoses, turned the machine on and started cleaning. It was certainly powerful, and sure nuff, you could see the dark stuff being blasted away. It was only later when we had put on the first coat of sealer, which goes onto the wet wood, that we realised that the power cleaner had actually stripped the wood surface off! Where this had happened the sealer, which had more pigment in than we really wanted, has been absorbed much more, so now we have a piebald deck, and the original smooth surface is distinctly furry in places. Jean says we should call it a suede finish and pretend that we meant it, but there's no disguising the fact that we've made a mess of it.

Put it down to experience, I suppose. And we will be able to recover the surface eventually with the help of a sander; but right now we are having a serious fit of the "if onlys". And it was hard work too!


  1. Boo hoo!!!!!!!!!
    How frustrating - it's always worse when you follow instructions so carefully and then it goes wrong... but I'm sure it'll wear beautifully...
    School have just been told ofsted are returning next Tuesday/Wednesday. I'm SO glad I'm not there but am busy helping out. Walk resumes Tuesday hooray :-)

  2. Oh you poor things, I can only imagine the frustration! I hate that feeling of regret. I left our kaffir lime out on the deck in a horrible storm the other night and damage all its new growth and I should have known better!

    I'm sure the look will calm down as it weathers. Have a coffee for me :)

  3. Don't worry Papa,
    I'm sure it looks much worse to you than it will ever look to anyone else who sees it.
    I'm sure with time it will weather sun, wind and rain and look softer.
    And frankly, no one standing on that deck is ever looking down at their feet, they are too busy enjoying the amazing view!

  4. Thanks, guys.

    Time is a great healer: us and the deck.