Running Away From Home & A Dragon Finial

Stain decisions…Ugg. I’m running away from home. Today.

How I dislike making these type decisions, but it’s time and it has to be done. I visited a Sherwin Williams store today near my home to choose a stain color. Shockingly, they didn’t have a single stain-chart brochure that I could take back home. They told me they were all out and so were all their other stores. Not one Super Deck sample stain chart brochure in the entire district other than their story copy, which of course you can’t take home.

Since the cleaning and staining will be getting underway next week (won’t find out the exact day until Monday) I need to pick the stain color this week. That’s kinda hard to do when you can’t even bring a chart home to compare the colors against your deck. Hmmph!

I resorted to buying three of their sample sizes at the cost of $7 each, picking what looked good on the store’s stain brochure. The two on the right are definite, Nos, but the one on the far left is a possibility. It’s called Pine Cone Brown. This is an expensive way to try and pick a stain. πŸ™

Three Sherwin Williams Super Deck Stains


Since I couldn’t bring a paint chart brochure home (can you tell I’m bitter about that?!) I was Googling to see some of the possible Super Deck colors online. Ironically, I came across this photo on Pinterest that was labeled Sherwin Williams,Β Pine Cone Brown. I think it’s the same stain, so I guess this is how that color would look on my deck. Even the handrail is painted the way I’m having mine done.

I don’t know who to credit this photo to because it didn’t go anywhere when I clicked on it at Pinterest. I would love to have seen some additional photos and the rest of the deck.

What do you think? I think I like it, although I may want to go with a slightly darker brown. I know why these folks painted their railing brown…look at all those trees. They probably have the same problem I do with keeping the railing looking clean.


A Dragon Finial for a Castle Lamp

The finial I had ordered for the Belleek Pottery castle lamp came yesterday afternoon. If you follow Between Naps On The Porch on Instagram HERE, you may have already seen some of these photos. Here’s how the lamp looks at night here in the office.

Belleck Pottery Castle Lamp with New Shade, Neck and Finial


A closer view just as it was getting dark…

Belleek Pottery Castle Lamp


Here’s a little close up of the finial. I’ve also ordered another dragon finial in polished brass. Not sure I will like it as well, but thought I’d try it for comparison.

Dragon Finial for Castle Lamp


A view of the lamp during the daytime…it hard to take a great photo when facing the camera into sunny windows and a lit lamp.

Lamp Makeover, New Shade, Neck & Finial


Here’s a better one taken at an angle and with the lamp turned off. It’s much more accurate and best reflects the true colors of the lamp, shade, etc….

Belleck Castle Lamp with a Dragon Finial


I’m off to a low-country boil this evening and will have some fun photos of Marie’s Halloween decor to share real soon! In the meantime, you’ll find a previous tour here: Victorian Home Decorated for Halloween and HERE.

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  1. The stain in Pine Cone Brown would be my choice. It looks nice on that deck in the photo.
    Your lamp turned out beautiful. The shade is gorgeous. I love the dragon finial. I like the one you have on the lamp now. I changed a lot of my polished brass finials years ago and went with antique brass color and some in pewter and I’ve been happy with the look.
    Enjoy your evening. Sounds fun!!

    • Thanks for letting me know which stain you like best, Anne.
      Regarding the finial, I like the antique brass, too. I think I’ll probably stay with it, just love how fierce he looks. lol

  2. You have made such wonderful changes to the lamp! It looks beautiful.

  3. Winnie Clark says

    I absolutely love the shade on that lamp!

  4. While I like what you selected, I do like the darker one that you showed us on the other deck better. I thought the darker one wasn’t as washed out.

    As far as your lamp, it is now absolutely perfect. You took a beautiful lamp and made it gorgeous. I love the new shade and the dragon is wonderful.

    I can’t wait to see pictures of Marie’s home. She really has a knack for decorating.

    • Thanks, Denise! Yeah, I think I may try a darker sample that I saw on the chart…forgotten the name of it now…it may have been Expresso Brown. Anyway, they said it was really popular. I think I’ll buy a sample tomorrow and try it next.
      Yes! Marie’s home is all decked out for Halloween, took some pics tonight and will share those very soon!

  5. Shirley Jean Creighton says

    I would try another place altogether. Even Home Depot or Lowes. One of my favorite paint stores was taken over by SW. Hate that.

    • Don’t you hate it when that happens! I use a lot of Benjamin Moore paints, too…but I have to say, I do love Sherwin Williams Duration for exterior. My home was painted in that back in 2008 and it still looks great. I think I may have it painted again next year since it will have been 10 years, but I’m thrilled with how well the Duration has held up. It’s amazing!

  6. Lorraine Balfe says

    What on this earth is a ‘low country boil???’ Sounds painful!!!! Anyway just to say that you’re Lovely Jubbly Irish Belleek lamp looks bloody gorge! You’ve improved the whole design! Ha! You should work for them!!! It looks really Beaut! And im not surprised you were peeved about having to pay for stain samples…..not good customer service at all which I’m surprised about.
    When I lived in LA in the early ’90s I was always very impressed with this aspect of living in the U.S.: excellent customer service. Anyhow the stain youve plumbed for looks a very good choice. Keep up the good work Susan!
    Lorraine, Liverpool, UK

    • lol That’s funny…it does sound a bit like something you wouldn’t want to ever catch or get. lol
      You can read more about them here:
      The one I attended tonight served shrimp, corn on the cob, sausage and potatoes. Dessert was Coca-cola Cupcakes…and they were good! lol
      Thanks, Lorraine! I don’t know what I’m going to do with all this left over stain. Hope I can find some place to donate it.

  7. Sherry Stuifbergen says

    Tell what a “low country boil” is. Love the lamp with the new finial. It is such an improvement.

  8. I like the Pine Cone Brown stain for your deck, the deck in the photo looks nice. Love the lamp, looks so much better. Have fun tonight!

  9. elvera garrison says


  10. Pine Cone Brown has my vote, too, Susan — I think it will blend really well with your house, and it’s a nice warm color.
    Thanks for all your beautiful posts of faraway places! This armchair traveler really enjoys them all.
    Looking forward to Halloween at Marie’s! The”girls” on the lawn remind me of that scene in Practical Magic, when they all joined hands in a circle…

  11. The paint store should be able to put stain samples on paint sticks for you to see. I would return the samples and tell them you do not appreciate them selling you samples when they are at fault for not having anything to take home. As well as they know they can make you samples on paint sticks. Are you wanting a stain with pink undertones? All three have that.. I have done many many paint samples for design work and am used to the paint stores. If they do not return your money it would be better to go to another store. Speak to a manager first. Love the dragon! Did you order one that is more gold? Show us that too!

    • I think they would have to mix up the stain first to do that and the sample sizes are the smallest they will mix. I’m not sure really, just looking for a brown that looks good. Thanks, Jillian! I did order another in the shiny/gold brass. When it comes, I’ll share how it looks. I’ve actually ordered two more now.

  12. Finials are the BOMB in the world of lamp shades.

    That’s what I think, anyway.

    • They are! In all my searching for a dragon finial, I saw sooo many cute ones that I wanted to buy. Makes me want to go around and look at all my lamps to see which need a cuter finial. lol

  13. Sue in Texas says

    The lamp couldn’t get any more perfect! I would “stroll” by the room seceral times a day to admire it. So beautiful!

  14. Elizabeth Roderick says

    I like the pine Cone Brown in the picture. I don’t know about stains, if they fade, etc. If they do, going a shade darker might be a good idea. The dragon is the cherry on top of the castle. It is complete now!

  15. Susan, we have an enormous wooden deck (60′ x 15′). My husband is a zealot about upkeep because replacing it now would be major $$$. We had terrible luck with both Sherwin Williams and Behr. Neither held up any time at all in Clemson, SC weather…major peeling, chipping, fading. Several years ago we tried Flood semi-transparent stain and have had excellent luck with it. It cost a small fortune to have all the SW solid stain stripped off before we could restrain. We got excellent customer service from Flood too.

    The lamp and finial are perfection and sitting it on the books really sets it off. Being a Charleston girl I am chuckling about all the Lowcountry boil comments! The makings of another post…

    • I remember reading really good things about Flood product years ago when I was first staining my deck. I can’t remember now why I didn’t use them. I will look at them again, Roxanne. I noticed Flood also makes a solid stain, too. I was leaning toward a solid stain this time, thinking it would perhaps last longer.
      Yes, you would know all about Lowcountry boils! πŸ™‚

  16. Oh, those containers were definitely a familiar sight when I saw that first photo. I have TWELVE of those from trying to choose paint for kitchen, hall and bath this spring, and I had paint swatches, lol! And, I forgot to take the samples to the yard sale to try to unload, so I guess I’ll take them to ReStore. (I was able to get mine for cheaper, though, with the contractor’s discount. He told me they wouldn’t give it to him, though, go figure).
    I love that lamp, and that is that. Have fun at Marie’s. It makes me tired just thinking of all the work she puts into decorating. πŸ™‚

  17. Susan, I immediately liked the color choice on the left and nixed the other two. I was happy to see that you had the same feeling about these colors. I think your deck is going to look great, and the dragon finial is a perfect touch to your beautiful lamp.

  18. perfect finial…like finishing off the lamp with a piece of jewelry! Perfect! And I really like the Pine Cone Brown too. I would ask for a discount on the paint that you have to buy since they had no color charts. Would make me mad too!

  19. I actually prefer the samples that I can bring home and feel it’s well worth the few dollars to be able to see it on the actual project. I see a hint of pink/red in the Pine Cone stain. I would go darker – no red tones – if it were me, so that when it fades, you will not see pink. A charcoal gray would also be nice on your deck and railing and in that instance, you have to make sure there’s a tiny hint of brown in it or it will fade a bluish color in the sun. The charcoal to blue is from my bad experience but I’ve also seen brown turn reddish pink with age.

    • Yeah, I don’t really want any pinkish, red tones, so may need to go a different direction or darker. I don’t want to go in the gray direction because the screened porch that’s right off the decks is a warm brown…so trying to stick with the browns. Thanks for that suggestion, though.

  20. The lamp is perfection now. Love it!!!

  21. The lamp is perfection now!!!

  22. I like the pine cone brown for your deck rail, Susan. Love the contrast it provides.
    Your new lamp is now PERFECT! My husband is taking me to Ireland and Scotland in two years, and I’m thinking we must tour the Belleek Factory. I may come back with a castle lamp of my own!

    • Thanks, Nancy! Oh, you would love it! I noticed that the prices in the gift shop inside Belleek are much better than the ones online. I was shocked when I saw how much the Honey pot I bought was online.

  23. That finial–LOVE it!! Great choice. Pine Cone Brown seems like a good stain color, not too light/dark. We have dark floors and I hate that. Never again. But what bad customer service at SW; guess they are so popular now, they don’t have to try anymore. And if they know that there are no brochures at any other stores, doesn’t that tell you that they’ve been out for a loooong time. Does the SW website have a comment section?

    • Are your dark floors inside? I’ve heard a lot of people who have dark hardwood flooring say that…that they show a lot. With the red clay here in GA, the lighter, warm browns are a blessing…hide a lot! Sometimes I don’t realize my floors need vacuuming until I run around barefoot.
      Oh yeah, I think they’ve been out a while because when I complained, he immediately said that all the stores in the entire district were out. I guess they had customers asking and maybe driving to other locations to find one. I’m glad he saved me the trouble of doing that.

  24. Jean Sprimont says

    The finial and lamp neck are brilliant! Tried to find the finial and got a message that it is no longer available. It is a jewel, perfect for your castle, and oh my what an improvement the neck and shade are!

    As for your deck color….oh dear! Although you are far younger than I, our taste/selections are nearly identical (view this as slightly self-praising on my part as I so respect you). That being said, although the left of the three stains is preferred, I would vote for a darker yet stain. Shame on the store/company for failing to have paper or wood samples! Time to seek another source. Know you are a loyalist to your sources, but customer service/needs simply must be applauded, embraced and awarded. I vote for a darker stain color and hope you can find a reliable, quality brand. If anyone can do it, you can!

    • Jean Sprimont says

      And what does “your comment isw awaiting moderation” mean?

    • Jean, I think that seller sold out of them but there were some others on Amazon. They were a bit more expensive. Also, check on eBay, I think there are some on there, too.
      I know, so frustrating not having anything to bring home. I was going to them because that’s who the two companies I got quotes from recommended…and that’s the product the company I was going with uses.
      Oh, and you were asking about comment awaiting moderation. That just means that when a comment is left, it’s in moderation until I can read it and post it. That’s what most bloggers have to do these days to keep spam from posting. Just like with email, blogs unfortunately get a lot of spam comments, so bloggers normally have comments held until they can verify it’s not spam. I check comments all throughout the day so a comment isn’t normally held for very long before it posts.

  25. Nancy Griffiths says

    Your lamp looks perfect now!!

  26. Bonnie Schulte says

    Your lamp is beautiful, but you already had me, as soon as I saw the frog prince bookend next to it. He looks so perfect sitting next to the castle, seeing he is a prince (I assume because of his crown). They really do look wonderful together. LOVE everything!!!!!

    • lol Isn’t he a cutie, Bonnie! I found that set of bookends in Pier 1 a few years back and they stole my heart! Yes, that’s exactly it! I think he’s just waiting for his kiss so he can turn back into a Prince. πŸ™‚

  27. You definitely had the eye for transforming your lamp into the beauty it should have been right from the beginning(considering I’m sure that you paid a small fortune for it). The finial is lovely. I usually am drawn to antique brass, but I can see how you might consider the polished brass finial to coordinate with the brass neck you had put on the lamp. I guess it will be a “try it and see”. Thanks for sharing your “lamp journey”!

  28. We finally gave up on our porch this year and replaced it with fake wood which looks wonderful. Like with stain, the color isn’t a perfect match for the wood shingles on the house, but it’s close enough. We will really be happy next year when we return to Maine and don’t have to do porch maintenance.

    • Linda, I’ve been so tempted to do that. What brand did you go with? I know the composite wood can be expensive, but I hate having to worry about this every couple of years. Cleaning I can deal with but this whole restaining again stuff gets old!

  29. Jane Franks says

    I like the Pine Cone Brown deck stain, Susan. It looks pretty close to your sample. (Coming from an artist’s wife, familiar with color matching!! lol) I bet it’s the same one! I LOVE the dragon finial. Perfect for this lamp. I like it best when lit. It sort of glows! Like a fire-breathing dragon! Perfect!! I am wondering if the dragon is really as dark as the photo when the lamp is off, or if it is just the lighting in the room. If it IS that dark, it sort of looks a bit “off” with the brass lamp neck, so I’m wondering if the gold one would look better. Be sure to show us when you get it!! I really like the Irish Castle books the lamp is sitting on, too. It gives height, and the book titles bring further attention to the castle shape of the lamp. A really smashing combination! Well done!! Have fun at the low-country boil, and be sure to tell us about it! I’ve never been to one!! Thanks! Jane xo

    • Thanks! It kinda depends on how the light in the rooms hits it. He’s sorta bronzed but has sections that are lighter, too. I’ve ordered a dragon that’s shiny brass and a Griffin (someone suggested that) that is a shiny brass. I’ll see how those guys look. I love this guy though so if I change him out, I’ll have to find another lamp in the house for him to guard. Ha!
      Thanks, I wanted to put something under it since it’s sitting on a white desk covered with glass…so needed something to ground it.

      • Jane Franks says

        I think the dragon you have on this lamp is probably the one I’d like best from your description. The bronze look makes it look more ancient like the castle!

  30. Love your dragon idea. One thought…it seems a bit chinoiserie for an Irish castle…a more Anglo dragon or griffon might be more congruous. Check these out if you’re interested. Just a thought…

    • Thanks for those links. I know this dragon has a bit chinoiserie/Chinese looking, but I couldn’t find another one I liked as much. I had seen the dragon you linked to, but don’t like him that much…but I do like the Griffin idea. I just read on Wikipedia that they “are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions” so if I add him to the top, he could be guarding the castle. πŸ™‚
      I may have to purchase him and see how he looks up there. Thanks, Ann!

    • Yikes, the Griffin is 4 inches tall, afraid he may be a bit too big. He’s cute though!

  31. My experience with the Lowe’s paint department was just as maddening! I brought in a piece of my shaker shingle and was hoping they could paint-match it for me…I was met with a look like I had just asked them to calculate pi! Not at all helpful.

  32. I agree with what Jane Franks said above about the lamp finial…..seems a bit dark for the lamp and a polished brass one would look nice with the detail on the neck of the lamp and fit the lighter look? I’d stay with the Pine Cone brown….it looks beautiful next to all the green trees in the background…very rich. Something darker would look a little heavy to me. You should mail a picture of the markedly improved lamp to the Belleek people noting the lamp neck and smaller shade (the one you chose was lovely)….you’d have them drooling! Good job Susan.

  33. PS: You might think about the look of your furniture on the brown color, maybe pull a chair up there…..just a thought.

  34. LOVE the dragon! Have fun with the staining and wood work! I have a bench to do…one day!

  35. Your wonderful lamp on top of the Irish books looks great! I very much like the whimsical idea of the dragon. It looks fine when the light is on because it is more seamless with the brass fittings. I do agree with those who find it a bit heavy when the light is off, though. It’s the first thing that drew my eye. I think a finial should compliment instead of dominate a lamp. But taste is so individual and you’re the lucky girl who gets to live with it every day.

    • Yeah, I think I’ll try it with some shiny brass dragons and see how that looks. I love this little guy though, may have to use him on another lamp. Thanks, Yolie!

  36. Susan I think I like the Pine Cone Brown the best as well; however if it is a ‘solid’ stain you can probably tweak its formula to a shade darker. Good luck! -Brenda-
    P.S.: Looking forward to the unveiling of Marie’s Halloween decorations.

    • Thanks Brenda, that’s a great idea! The company I’m using will be contacting me on Monday so hopefully by then I’ll have a choice made.
      I need to work on that this weekend, will post her Halloween decor on Monday. πŸ™‚

  37. For some reason I just wanted to revisit this post and look at that lamp again.
    You know, Susan, you have such good taste. You are truly worthy of your thousands of followers.

    • Thanks, Yolie, appreciate that so much! I’m just thankful for all the dearhearts who stop by each day to read, like you! Without you guys, there would be no blog. So thank you for being here and making blogging something I look forward to and love doing so much! XX

  38. I like the Pine Cone Brown also……

    The dragon is wonderful and just adds the perfect touch to the already beautiful lamp and shade……..what a joy to look at that in your work room!!!

  39. Linda S. in NE says

    I really thought the deck pic in today’s post was your actual deck. The trees all around it fooled me. You are getting lots of votes for the Pinecone stain, but to me, it looks a little too much “Hershey’s milk chocolate”. I see lots of pink in it, just like one of your other readers mentioned. A real shame about the lack of service/assistance you received from Sherwin-Williams. I guess they didn’t know they were dealing with one of the blogging queens. (Meant in the kindest way!) If they realized how much influence you have with your readers, I bet they would be singing a different song. I admit, I am getting kind of brazen in my old age, but I would make sure that store manager, as well as the district manager knew why I was taking my business elsewhere.

    • Thanks, Linda! I think I’m going to go with a darker stain, too…but need to get a sample to test it first to make sure. I do still plan to use the SW Super Deck product since that’s the product that was strongly recommended by both companies from whom I got quotes. I have to say, I’ve been really impressed with their Duration paint and how well it’s lasted on the areas of my home that have siding. It’s going on 9-10 years now and still looks great! Thanks for your kind words! Appreciate them so much!

  40. That dragon is soooo cute. He is sticking his tongue out!

  41. Honestly, Susan, I can’t believe how you made a Belleek piece of merchandise even more beautiful than the original! You should be one of their designers! I mean it. If I were you, I’d send a picture to the factory showing how you upgraded your purchase and show them your talent and designer’s eye. Every choice you made resulted in a finished product that should make you smile every time you go into your office. I love the shade and finial and even the idea of stacking your books to heighten the look. Bravo!!

  42. Oops, did I just miss the link to the dragon finial? Would you mind reposting it for these old eyes?

    • I noticed it is showing out of stock with the seller from whom I purchased it on Amazon, but there is another one on there from a different seller here:
      Unfortunately, it’s priced a good bit higher, so you may want to just keep an eye out to see if one pops up later for a better price.

      There’s also one on eBay HERE.

  43. Bobbi Duncan says

    I vote for the pine cone brown. Know you’ll be happy not having railings that show dirt. The dragon ( I prefer the antique finish) is the perfect touch for your adorable castle lamp….love it!

  44. Susan, congrats on your vision for that lamp. I had no idea tor changes would make such a difference, but it has. I don’t normally comment, but I’m compelled to voice my .02 worth on your deck stain.

    Don’t like that color at all. It looks quite dated, like a leftover 70s color. The milk chocolate doesn’t look classy to me, and contradicts your classy, gorgeous porch. I’m sad you are changing the white on the top rail though I understand why.
    So either go darker, or find a way to stick with white that cleans easily. It doesn’t have to be a stain you know.

    • Thanks, Robin for letting me know what you think would work best. I think I will probably go a bit darker. I wish maintenance wasn’t sure an issue. If you could see the railings right now…they are awful!

  45. Love the finial! It just works perfectly. I do like the Pine cone brown color for decking too. We need to do ours too and I’m thinking a different color. I’ll have time to decide since we won’t do it til the spring. Thanks for all your hints and ideas, Susan!

  46. I like the pine cone brown…I think your deck will look really sharp with a colored railing. And that dragon finial makes the lamp! BTW…that sumo thing never even popped up when I was reading your post…just so you know! Enjoy your day! πŸ˜‰

  47. Jane Briscoe says

    I love your lamp and dragon finial. I toured castles this summer as well however I visited one in Ireland, one in Wales, and one in Scotland. And it is very difficult to keep them straight in my mind. So when you said you were ordering a dragon finial, my first thought was, well that is perfect. And then I realized the dragon was the symbol of Wales not Ireland!

    • Jane, were they pretty similar? I’m curious if they had any big differences. I was watching HGTV about a week or so ago while working in the kitchen and there was a couple who were actually Castle Hunting. They had a realtor showing them around to various castles and they had plans to buy one and fix it up. Some were in terrible condition, nothing left but the outer walls…literally! They chose the one in the worse condition. Talk about a project! You would have to be very brave to do that. I wish they would do a follow up show showing what they do with it.
      Oh, too funny about the dragon. I didn’t do it for any symbolism, just did it because I associate dragons with the medieval period and castles. Just something for fun. πŸ™‚

  48. Absolutely LOVE the lamp “makeover”! Perfection! πŸ™‚

  49. I would go with the Pine Cone Brown also. As for the lamp and finial, I have this exact lamp and could not imagine changing thing on it. For me to have it 100% from Ireland is the whole joy of it. The finial is more of a Chinese look and not Irish. Sorry to be a downer but I am a purest at heart for things.

    • Ann, you have to do what makes you happy, and I have to do the same. I completely respect your desire to be a purist and not change anything. I am definitely not a purist when it comes to making a change to something that I feel improves it. Apparently, the folks at Belleck Pottery are not purist either since they left a lovely comment when I shared three photos of the lamp in a post on Istagram. They “liked” it and left a comment saying: “Love the dragon addition!”
      You can read their comment here:

      The shade that was on my Belleek lamp did not do the beautiful castle justice. I’m sure Belleek uses very basic shades to help keep the cost down, leaving it to the customer to upgrade the shade if they wish. My shade was too large and partially hid the beautiful castle. Plus, you could see all the ribs through it when it was turned on. That’s typical of inexpensive shades.

      Regarding the finial, I know it has a bit of a Chinoiserie flare, but it was the only dragon finial that I found that I really liked. I’ve ordered a couple of other dragon finials to try, will see how they look.

  50. I did a dark brown stain from SW for our deck and front porch. We used Lodge Brown – slightly darker than the Pine Cone brown. It turned out really well and was a nice contrast to the Alabaster railings and greige house. Back Porch: Front Porch:

    • Jenn, that looks great! I may end up going with Lodge Brown, great color! Thanks for those links, helps so much to see the stain actually on a deck/porch!

  51. I had our fence stained mahogany by Olympia last year and I really like it. Since Sherwin Williams let you down by having no brochures to take home why not try Lowe’s or Home Depot? Olympia has been around for a long time so they must be doing something right. If not, I vote for the Pine Cone brown. Good luck!

    • Thanks, Katherine! SW is who the company I’m using normally uses so that’s why I was working with them. They do have a product that is supposed to be really good…their 9600 line which is a hybrid. Supposed to really hold up well…hope they are right! Thanks again!

  52. Peggy Nodine says

    Yes, Susan, your lamp is stunning. I love the new shade and the finial. Sooo cute and appropriate. Sorry you had trouble with the stain charts, but I think you almost have to try the stain on your wood to really see the best results, and I agree with most of the others the one you chose is very nice and will look beautiful on your deck.
    Can’t wait for Marie’s halloween decorations, always fun to see.
    And I know what a low country boil is, we do those at the lake when the weather gets a little cooler, like it is now. Down south we love us some low country boil, everyone should look up a recipe from Southern Living or Paula Deen and try it sometime, haven’t lived until you do. Thanks for your
    website. I love to read it and always enjoy the comments. Peggy

  53. I am with Peggy Nodine about your lamp. You have such taste.

  54. Cyndi Raines says

    What a beauty! All of your changes are awesome! I like your dragon, but it would be even more special if you do happen to find an Irish one, but until then, he will guard it well! Lol. I like the pine cone brown very much, but that lodge color was very nice also. I think adding the darker stain will really make it pop, as it will totally outline the beauty of your deck. Our deck has white railings and spindles, with the deck floor a deep green and the corner posts green. When I go out into our woods and look back at the house, the green stain just enhances the deck, and the brown will do the same for yours. I can’t wait to see it!

    • Thanks, Cyndi! I hope you’re right. It has taken me a while to warm up to the idea of painting the railings a darker color, but I think I will like it in the end. Your’s sounds beautiful!

  55. Cyndi Raines says

    P.S. The steps are green as well.

  56. Personally, I like the darker brown in the picture. I would think it wouldn’t show staining from the leaves as much as the other two, But the picture of the deck that you show is very nice. It is all a matter of your preference. Love the lampshade too.

  57. I wish this would let you edit comments. I meant to say, but the darker brown would absorb heat from the sun and make it hot. Is your deck completely shaded?

    • It is pretty shaded now. When I first moved here, the deck wasn’t very shaded, but the trees have grown so much, it doesn’t get much sun now except for a very short period during the day. Good point!

  58. Linda C in Seattle says

    Good Morning Susan,

    After the decks are stained can you give your readers an update
    on the solar post caps? Are they still working for you?
    We are thinking of replacing ours.

    • Those worked great for about a year, then some started not working. The ones that were not working first were the ones near the bird feeders that hang off the decks. I think the birds were landing on them and getting them dirty. Also, the squirrels and the raccoons that try to get to the feeders. After another year, I had to get rid of them, they were all looking really bad. I’m not sure if it was from having so many trees in the back yard or what, but the copper looked terrible and only a few were working. So I’ve gone to just plain wooden tops now. I loved them while they were pretty and worked. If you don’t have a lot of trees in your backyard and don’t need that many, you may enjoy them. I have 17 posts so too many to keep having to replace them.

  59. The finial is soo perfect! I know you couldn’t find anything else, but anything else wouldn’t have been so perfect! I do like the stain but I would tint it a bit darker.

  60. Susan…..I am so upset……I haven’t gotten any of your blogs since the middle of September. I don’the know what has happened. I looked to see if maybe they were going into spam but didn’t see any. I absolutely love your blogs & to miss out receiving them….Bah

    On another note I love your lamp, the new shade & neck. I was not aware they could be changed. The finial looks perfect. Take care & have a great weekend.
    The dark brown stain looks the best. ☺

    • Jeanie, I just checked and you are subscribed still, and the posts have been going out to your hotmail email address. Maybe your ISP provider is blocking them. Or maybe you have a virus protection program on your computer that’s blocking them McAfee will do that sometimes and store the email in their spam folder inside McAfee. You can try adding this email to your address book or approved contacts and maybe that will fix it: admin@[email protected]. Hope that works! Always appreciate your sweet comments! XX

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