There are basically 4 types of deck finish types/ opacities:
• Clear (or natural) finish-water repellents: Clear highlights the true colors of the wood and allows you to see all of the wood grain. A clear finish (water repellant) allows the wood grain to weather a natural gray or whatever tone comes natural. The finish usually does not sanding or stripping to be renewed. Clear protectants need to be re-applied every year—sometimes, if protected, they can be stretched to 2 years*.
• Tinted Deck Stains: Tinted stains gives minimal change in color to the natural wood color and shows most of the grain. Some extra UV protection is provided by the color. The finish usually does not but sometimes does require limited sanding or stripping to be renewed. Re-apply every 2-3 years*.
• Semitransparent Deck Stains: This type of stain has heavier doses of pigmentation added to them but the wood grain still shows through. Semi-transparent finishes also provide a modicum of protection from ultraviolet light. The depth of hue will make all of the boards seem more uniform. Maintenance of semitransparent stains sometimes requires sanding or stripping to restore an even coverage. Re-apply every 3-4 years—those with little pigment (like natural) last 2 years*.
• Solid Deck Stains: Recommended for older decks to hide imperfections, slightly damaged areas, wear and tear. Wood grain will not show through with solid deck stains. Solid color stains have the most UV protection and can tend to form a skin that can peel over time. Re-apply every 4-5 years*.
• Wood treatments: These preservatives are in a different class but can be applicable to outside structures. Application of 5 % liquid copper naphate to all wood cuts and borings is recommended by the AWPA Standards. Various heavy duty and sometimes controlled treatment for wood are used such as pentachlorophenol in heavy oil, creosote treatment, Borate treatments, Glycol treatments, CCA, ACZA, and their brethren pressure treatments.
*This is an average life span for each type of stain. Life span will vary by brand
~~For framing and structural posts always use a treated wood or treatment rated for its use (ground contact, critical structural use, etc.)
~~ For fastening always use a fastener rated for use and compatible with treated wood or treatment
That’s looking good! I like the pattern you are using for the stones
@Erobling Were the posts living trees or shrubs from your home? I like the curve of the wood. The flat surface needs to allow drainage and air movement to keep the plants healthy. I like the protection from the fencing which makes a good backdrop to view the structure of the bonsai.
Lots of work!!
I really like the new layout @blewis1975, definitely something I want to look into doing in my garden in terms of both building some new benches and designing a permanent bonsai area
Great topic. I have been collecting stone for my garden. Hopefully I’ll have enough to make a quality background for my trees.
It was a lot of hard work, but completely worth it. I’ve spent every evening after work (when it’s not raining) out there in my garden just enjoying the fruits of my labor.
If you have a concrete business near where you live and a trailer, it’s fairly cheap to haul the gravel yourself. Concrete companies make a lot of their money by bringing the gravel to you in those big trucks
Beautiful use of natural material!! My concern would be the heat the stone maintains in the summer sun. A problem I have had trying to display my trees on granite slabs in the summer. Perhaps I only look for the worst case because of the death of my favorite tree kids.
It’s the little details that make a big difference. My cousin had the smart idea to paint the electric meter to blend in with the bricks. Here’s today after I finished painting the meter. I had to leave the glass cover unpainted so the numbers can be read, but it turned out great! You don’t even notice it’s there anymore I also painted the dryer vent cover, and it disappeared, too.
Granite definitely holds heat.
Living in a condo has its limitations in Northern Virginia when it comes to balancing direct sunlight and partial shade. I have had a very hard time keeping moss alive. One of my biggest struggles.
I like your benches, and you’ve definitely used the space well As far as your moss goes, I would mist it a time or two a day, and it should grow a little better.
maybe a small shade cloth would benefit the moss and allow enough sun for healthy growth and development.
I really like the bamboo wall. Where did you buy this?
Thanks! I really made my trees look a lot better. I got the bamboo off Amazon, but then I found some for about the same price (and actually a little better quality) at Home Depot in the garden center. I bet Lowe’s and other home improvement stores have it, too. Good luck!
Thanks for sharing - lots of inspiring photos here.
These types of projects can be quite the undertaking. I did a backyard makeover of my own last year. Luckily, I had some youngsters helping-out so we managed to get it all done in one fairly long Saturday.
Check it out:
Wow Mark what a transformation!! Thanks for sharing and taking pics of your project. I am terrible about the picture part. I am waiting for the garden stream, I have some ideas and materials together but am waiting for the “tips and tricks” portion. I really liked your irrigation set up, I think I may steal that. Shoot me a message if you like, with any 20/20 hindsight type info. Again thanks for sharing. Really fantastic looking trees and display space!!