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What the Deck

Anybody who was reading my blog last year in May and June (was there anybody? I dare not hope) knows I love to have a container garden on my deck. I grow flowers and herbs, and generally go overboard and have to search my house for things that can be used for more containers. I’ve been noticing, though, that my deck has been looking pretty shabby. I’m trying to do something about it.

My first move, as usual in these cases, was to consult my father. He knows many things. He suggested I stain the deck after first scrubbing it. I should scrub it with a powdered cleanser made for such a purpose, possibly containing tri-sodium phosphate, if I could find any.

Dad said I would have to let the deck dry thoroughly between scrubbing and staining. I could scrub one weekend and stain the next. I thought I might better purchase the stuff I needed to scrub it with right away. The sooner it started sitting around my house till I got sick of looking at it, the sooner I would get to scrubbing.

After working till 11:00 Saturday morning I stopped by Aubuchon Hardware in Herkimer on my way home. Aubuchon is our go-to place for many things garden, pet and home. They are so helpful there. I was pretty sure somebody would advise me. I thought it would be OK to go straight there in what I think of as all my blue collar glory. That means my steel-toed work shoes and BDU pants from the army.

They were doing a booming business when I arrived. Well, mid-day Saturday is prime shopping time. I should have remembered. I made my way to the paint section and started looking for myself.

I finally located something called TSP-PF, phosphate free heavy duty cleaner. I supposed phosphate free is what they replaced tri-sodium phosphate with when they figured out it was bad for some reason. You know my father’s generation. They didn’t know anything was ever bad for you. That’s why they all smoked and/or ate bacon for breakfast every day. Who says they weren’t the good old days? But I digress.

The stuff said right on the box it was good to clean decks with prior to staining. I perused the box carefully, to be sure I had everything I needed. Then I pondered buckets. I chose one to mix in, handily marked with quarts, ounces and liters; and a larger one to pour the completed mix in.

After unsuccessfully looking for a scrubber and staring indecisively at gloves, I found a lady free to help me. She found me the right scrubber and recommended some heavy duty, reusable gloves. When she rung me out, she said to come again.

“Oh, I will, when I go to stain the deck,” I assured her. Actually, I’ll probably also be back to purchase dirt for my container garden. Like I said, the go-to place.

I got hit by an inexplicable burst of ambition when I got home and mixed up the cleaner (you add water and bleach; I already had the bleach). I put on the gloves, carried everything out to the deck and got to work.

What a pain in the butt! And I could have used a pair of knee pads. However, I persevered (a skill I learned from running) and got the deck scrubbed. Now it is out drying in the sun. I like the steps of projects that require only patience on my part.

Aubuchon Hardware is located at 105 N. Caroline St., Herkimer, NY. Phone number is 315-866-4931.

3 responses »

  1. Flash of Brilliance

    I hope your finished product looks really good. Are you going to post some pictures?


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