We all make bad life choices. Seriously. I’ve grown my bangs out one too many times in my life and should really know better. I am SO much better with bangs.

I have also been known to make bad colour choices (in both hair and in home). Once I woke up from a dream and decided I wanted to paint my bathroom the colour of the sky. Unfortunately I went about three shades too bright and ended up with Smurf, not sky. Around the same time I also spent about two years waltzing around town with my hair dyed bottle black because I thought it was flattering. Trust me, it wasn’t.

Since then I’ve been trying to make better choices. I’ve finally settled on bangs for the win.

Sadly, I continue to make some unfortunate colour choice around my home and end up paying big in time, energy and money. I need to be honest and admit I am sometimes powerless over the need to paint. AWFUL, awful colours. And then end up paying the price to make it better.

Classic example:

When I first moved into my home my back porch was stained a lovely light cedar colour. The old owners must have JUST done it, but cause it looked fantastic:

Fast forward two harsh winters and the original stain did not fare well. It was faded in some spots, flaking and worn off in others. the wood had also started to split and the whole thing looked pretty rough. Concurrently, during that summer my dad generously helped me rebuild a platform deck in the middle of the yard. When it came time to stain the deck, we decided to stain the porch as well.

Mistake #1 –Not having any colour or paint sense back then I impulsively went for a “Redwood” colour in an opaque stain for the porch steps and railings. The wood seemed red-ish to me and I was pretty sure opaque meant ‘see-through’. My reasoning, I believed, was solid. (As solid as the stain turned out to be):



UH…..WHOOPS!  It was like Ronald McDonald had a party and barfed orange all over my steps. So, so wrong. I lived with this colour for a summer, but it almost made my eyes bleed.

The following spring I started to fix my mistakes:


But it’s REALLY hard to refinish somewhat crappy wood that has been painted a clownish colour of orange, so I decided to go with a nice white paint on the railings and risers and leave the treads the original cedar colour (except in a semi-transparent stain – not ideal, but a quick fix). In the end, it was starting to get to where I wanted it to be:



PHEW! I could live with this – although it wasn’t exactly right, yet.

Now, this summer – after another harsh winter the poor treads are in SERIOUSLY bad shape. Compounded by a gorgeous new pergola- my steps look completely, embarrassingly shabby so it’s time to do something about it:


Picture perfect before.

Go home, steps. You’re drunk.


So, I’ve embarked on a project to refresh my steps and finally get my porch to a place where it is as picture perfect as my pergola.


steps 1


Last Sunday I scraped and sanded the stair treads. It was a slow and painful process to finally do it right. But I did it without harming myself or anyone around me. Frankly, I just about went insane with how tedious it was to get all the flaky, awful chipping paint off of SIX measly steps. It took me hours. And hours and hours. But I did it. Here the are in their nearly nude glory:


six steps

Nice, bare naked steps are ready for ‘just’about anyyhing.


It’s true that I almost cried when I finished the steps and then counted the TWENTY-TWO remaining floor boards up on the porch to prep.

It. never. ends.

I’ll be back at it this week and weekend and let you know how it all goes down.

I’ll keep you posted.