Checked Off the List

One of the things on my “to do” list this summer was putting a coat of deck paint on the deck. When we had the deck installed, we opted for a Lowe’s brand of composite decking. It was cheaper than Trex. I chose a light gray and love the way it looked. It was fine for a year and a half. Then I began to see blackish speckles. I thought they were ash from the fireplace smoke but it got worse. I had to use deck cleaner every six weeks to keep the deck looking good. So much for maintenance free decking from Lowe’s, and when I went online I found lots of other people with the same complaint.

I was whining to a friend who told me they had had the same problem and painted their deck with a product from Home Depot. She said it had lasted six years.


There is a Home Depot in Salisbury, MD and one in Annapolis. Both are an hour away. I chose to go to Annapolis because I can also stop in at Trader Joe’s. That was five years ago.

This summer I noticed some staining that wouldn’t clean off and some chipping on the benches so it was time to paint again. Every five years I can live with. Cleaning the deck every six weeks. Nope!

I had to wait for a spell of dry weather and spent one morning washing the deck with deck cleaner. The next morning I made sure there weren’t any twigs or leaves stuck in between the planks. The following morning I put on my painting jeans and shirt and painting socks (because I didn’t want to risk getting any dirt on the deck from my shoes – this is not my first painting rodeo) and went to work. There was some cutting in and some bending to get under the benches, but the rest was done with a roller on a long handle. I was finished in two hours. One more thing ticked off the list that never quits.


This picture was taken this morning so the sun isn’t on the deck yet. You can already see some leaves – a portent of what’s coming from all the wonderful old silver maples on our property. We put log carriers on the deck in the lower right hand corner of this photo and stack wood for our daily winter fires. Usually the first fire is in mid-October so we’ll start hauling wood soon.


The hyacinth bean seeds given to me by my friend who died last spring have gone wild. This lush greenery is from two plants! I think about Marylou every time I walk through the arches.

I continue to harvest tomatoes but have been putting them in plastic bags in the freezer. When cooler fall weather arrives, I’ll make sauce and can them. Next year I will not plant so many. The garden beds will soon be cleaned out and winter kale planted. I might even put in some lettuce seeds and see if the season stretches enough to get some salads before hard frosts. I’m looking forward to fall.



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