The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Back Deck Makeover mantle

Back Deck Makeover on a Budget

The Beauty of a Deck

I live in Alabama.  So for most of the year, I am able to sit on my deck and enjoy the beauty of my yard.  The sun is brutally hot and terrifyingly strong at times.  We don’t even walk on the deck in the daytime during July and August because the sun is so stifling hot that you will burn the bottom of your feet.  But for the rest of the year, the deck can be a breezy and beautiful place to wake up to or to unwind on.  Especially in the evenings, there is usually a slight breeze as the day cools down.  With the birds chirping and the crepe myrtles in full bloom, our deck is a peaceful place to relax!  My back deck was in dire need of a makeover on a budget!

It has been a while since I have really spruced up the deck.  Every year I buy beautiful annuals that seem to thrive through the most of the summer.  I arrange them in planters around the deck so that the beautiful colors are visible from my kitchen windows.  In the spring, I refill the planters and scatter them around the deck for some color.   Lately that has been the extent of my deck decorating.  

My Tired Neglected Deck

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL deck update

We used to dine on the deck once a month or so.  We had a large dining table out there but we haven’t used it in about 4 years.

My poor deck has been so neglected.   There were so many old items just sitting around.  Like galvanized tubs for projects that never get completed.  And wonderful shabby lanterns longing to hold candles.  It was time for this deck to shine again.

First Things First

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I started by pressure washing the deck with my Ryobi pressure washer.  After the deck dried, I applied some Thompson’s Water Seal in a beautiful cedar color.  The wonderful folks at Thompson’s Water Seal sent me quite a bit of product a few years back after attending The Haven Conference.  I brushed the product onto the deck liberally.  We have been in our house for 15 years.  The last time that we sealed our deck was probably during year 2 or 3 so it was long overdue for some TLC.  One of my favorite companies, HomeRight, has the perfect tool for painting or sealing a deck.  They have a Stain Stick Applicator with a Gap Wheel.  The gap wheel slides between the slats in the floor of the deck to ensure full coverage.  You don’t have to pounce and drip into the openings between boards with this great tool!  My decision to stain the deck was a spur of the moment project so I just grabbed the bucket of deck stain and a brush.  Next time I will use Homeright’s Stain Stick.

We had a few miss matched pieces of metal deck furniture including a bistro set, a few extra chairs, a metal chaise lounge and a side chair.   I removed the large dining table and scattered the chairs and lounge around the deck creating several seating areas.

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Deck makeover on a budget zinnias from seeds

Adding a Focal Point to my Back Deck Makeover on a Budget

Our deck was built along the back wall of our house.  My youngest son’s bedroom window looks out on the deck.  He has his computer right by the window so he always has the curtains closed.  He loves the dark.  So, since this window isn’t really functional, and since it breaks up the only large wall on the deck, I decided to cover it.  I used some antique sheet metal that was given to me by my sweet blogger friend Gina Luker at The Shabby Creek Cottage.  You can read about the history of this metal HERE.  After allowing the floors to dry, I grabbed an old mantle that I had at my store The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment.  I had been holding this beauty for the right project.  With the sheet metal behind it, the mantle is certainly the focal point of my deck!  

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Deck makeover on a budget mantle

I use alot of potted flowers out in front of my store, The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment.  So I brought a few home!  At the end of the season, I gather the seeds from the zinnias and other perennials, and some annuals.  These are the first seeds I plant in the spring.  Great tip for having beautiful flowers at no cost!  

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Deck makeover on a budget zinnias

Zinnias make great cut flowers and beautiful bouquets as well!  These are from my garden.

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Deck makeover on a budget fresh cut zinnias

I had a sweet little bistro set sitting in the driveway so I cleaned it up and brought it up onto the deck.  I splurged an bought 2 seat ushions from Old Time Pottery…they were only $6.99 each.  Old Time Pottery had sturdy fabric remnants at wonderful prices.  I grabbed a few colorful yards of fabric for a steal and sewed some covers for existing cushions to give them a new look.  I was tired of seeing the same chevrons and ikats on pillows so I chose something different.  I was drawn to some purples, pinks and greens…the colors of my zinnias!

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Deck makeover on a budget chaise lounge

This lounge chair came from my parents’ house in Philadelphia.  I remember sitting on the front porch in this chaise with my books from Penn scattered around.  My favorite place to study was in this chaise on that porch in Philly!  We brought it to Alabama 15 years ago and threw an old cushion on it.  With the brighter fabric covering the cushions, this is now a favorite place for daughter (IV) to soak up some sun.  Along with the chartreuse green fabric that now covers our black metal chair’s cushion, this makes a nice seating area to enjoy up the sun or dry off after a jump in the pool.

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Deck makeover on a budget green chair

I found some silver lanterns at Home Depot on clearance for $12.  I added a few older lanterns that I had picked up at yard sales or bought from dealers in my store.

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Back Deck Makeover colors

These cute little shoes filled with succulents are a hit at my store.  Every year I revamp them and add more.  I buy the shoes at the thrift store for $1.99 per pair.  Read about that process HERE.

I figure I can switch out the fabric from year to year and get a totally different look on the deck.  For now though, I’m sticking with the colorful zinnias and their complimentary colors.  I think it works!  

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Back Deck Makeover sun hat

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Back Deck Makeover mantle

I had already edited and posted the following pic when I noticed my little buddy beneath the flowers.  Say hello to Mia!  She’s a mes

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL Back Deck Makeover portulucas


Summer Outdoor Living Blog Hop

This post is part of a wonderful little blog hop, Summer Outdoor Living.  My blogger friends and I are sharing a great variety of tips and makeovers and upcycles for you to enjoy! Perhaps you will find some great ideas, fantastic tips, incredible color schemes, or just simply some eye candy to enjoy with your morning coffe

e.  Welcome and enjoy the hop…I know you will be thrilled with the talent in this group!  Happy Summer Outdoor Living!


Anika | Anika’s DIY Life

Barbara | French Ethereal

Jeannee | Shepherds and Chardonnay

Kellie | Gratefully Vintage

Kim | Exquisitely Unremarkable

Leanna | Faeries and Fauna

Lisa | The Purple Hydrangea

Nancy | Cobani Bleu

Patricia | Old Things New

Sam | Raggedy Bits

Sherry | Savvy Apron

Susanne | Pearl Street Designs

Suzanne | Shop at Blu

Toni | Small Home Soul

Jordan | Jordan’s Easy Entertaining

Debbie | Chatham Hill on the Lake

Kristy | Steeplchase Manor


16 thoughts on “Back Deck Makeover on a Budget

  1. Your deck looks amazing! Mia looks like she has a flower hat on! Sweet girl! You know I love all the color and zinnias are my fav! Don’t know why I don’t have more in my yard!!!

  2. The transformation of your back porch is amazing! I get the “living in Alabama” because we have to pull out electric fans to sit outside in July and August. I know you are enjoying your new outdoor space.

    1. Thanks Sherry! Now if I could keep Mother Nature from fading my fabric! HAHA.

  3. I love the colors you used to redo your cushions!! So bright and cheery. That mantle is definitely the star of the show and I bet your son appreciates the added darkness in his room, lol!

  4. Suzanne, I saw a first. Never have seen shoes as planters before. I guess because they are succulents they can handle little watering. I know what you mean about a hot deck and I am in the midwest. 104 today. You just added huge living space to your life especially living in the South. The colors are fun, the flowers beautiful and I am always a fan of the interesting architectural pieces that people add to spaces and your fireplace surround and mantle is quite spectacular. Imagine having another mantal to decorate!

    1. Thanks Debbie! Yes, those succulents are super popular at my store. Can one every really have too many mantles??? Haha

  5. Oh my gosh, I love all the colors and patterns you used on your deck. I love zinnias and need to go get some to plant right now. The fabric you picked is so fun and unexpected, and not what everyone else is using these days 🙂 It’s such an inviting space that I hope you get back to your dinners outdoors because it’s so relaxing. Your sweet pup is just adorable.

    I’ve been to Alabama (Prattville) to visit my sister-in-law in the Summer so I know the heat you are talking about. I would not go outside on those days 🙂

    1. Thanks Toni! Prattville is only about 40 minutes from me! Now to get my fanny out on that deck since the temps are starting to cool!

  6. Suzanne, I love your eclectic collection ! The dragonfly and the bottle tree are fantastic! I have 2 of the white Owl vases myself! Your plants are so beautiful and I really like your lounger cover pattern! Your deck is so fun and colorful it must be a great place to re energize !

    1. Thanks Liz! I seriously had posted the pic before I noticed her…I need to slow down with my editing!

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