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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

Note:  This post contains affiliate links.

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.

Continue reading Back Deck Makeover on a Budget


Using Overlays to Transform Furniture

Today I am trying a new product called O’verlays.  O’verlays specializes in lightweight, decorative fretwork panels (overlays) that come in several patterns and sizes.  They are paintable and easily attach to furniture, mirrors, walls and glass.  The kits can be used to customize your favorite or old furniture.  In addition, they are sized to fit many of IKEA’s most popular pieces.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I signed up to receive this product.  I guess I expected stencils or a rub-on like design.  Wow! Was I ever surprised! Here are the products that I received:

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays

I selected Ruby (2 panels) and a Pipa kit (4 pieces).  They are much more substantial than I had expected.  They actually resemble a trellis or actual piece of wall art!  Oh the possibilities!

My original thought was to reinvigorate a small waterfall chest.  I envisioned the designs on the drawers.  But when the product arrived, my vision switched to wonderful mirrors behind the designs.  Or how about dressing up a plain jane dresser?

I  decided to go with a super simple piece of furniture.  I searched through my store, The Blue Building Antiques and Consignment, for the plainest and most boring item in the store.  Here is what I found:

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays before

This super boring legal filing cabinet would be great for added storage in any room.  All she needs is a little bling, some TLC…and some overlays!

I decided to go bold and use a bright coral to really make this baby special.  Since the filing cabinet is made of metal I selected Rustoleum as my paint of choice.  Two quick coats of spray paint and I was ready for the overlays.  I opted to leave the overlays white to ensure a nice contrast with the bright coral.

 I was anxious to use my overlays but was not sure about a pattern.  So I played around with a few.  Practice makes perfect, right??!

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 1The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 2  The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 3
The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 7The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 5The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 6

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 8 The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 6 The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 9





The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays 8

Which is your favorite?  Mine is below.  

What is wonderful about O’verlays is that they cut easily with a sharp blade.  I used a standard razor knife and a straight ruler as a guide.  After scoring the piece I needed to trim, it snapped cleanly apart.  I used a piece of fine sandpaper to sand the edges.  I was able to piece the overlay into a custom fit for my file cabinet.

The Blue Building Antiques, Alabaster AL O'verlays tools

Next step is to install the overlays.  Per manufacturer’s instructions, the best adhesive to use is either Liquid Nails or Loctite.  I chose Loctite since I had some on hand.  I mixed the epoxy per instructions and used a toothpick to apply a small amount.  I carefully placed the overlays in place and waited 10 minutes for it to dry.

I decided that she needed to be framed in white to make the piece more appealing.  Here she is:

I had a lot of fun staging this beauty.  I’m really loving this color!


These overlays were so very easy to use…from cutting them to fit to applying them.  The most difficult part was selecting one design from their vast array of choices!  I can’t wait to use the other overlays that they sent to me!  Stay tuned for that project.



I received these products from O’verlays as a participant in The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest for April.  O’verlays sent me these fabulous products for free to use in this contest.  Contest winners will receive a prize package compliments of O’verlays.  

The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest is a monthly contest in which 20-30 bloggers each transforms a piece of furniture using products provided by that month’s sponsor.  The sponsor provides a prize package for the winner.  

This month’s theme is “Cut n Paste with O’verlays”!  Our host is Scottie from Saved by Scottie.  Hop on over to her blog to see the fabulous piece she created using O’verlays.

If you are a blogger and are interested in participating in this contest, contact  I can’t tell you how much fun this monthly contest is…from trying new products and networking with sponsors to forging friendships with blogger buddies.