Plant Stand Makeover, Forever-Dirty Deck Railings and a Mopnado Update

Welcome to the 452nd Metamorphosis Monday!

I’ve made a decision about which company I’ll be using for cleaning and staining the decks. They will also be pressure washing the exterior of the house and staining the door that was recently replaced inside. (Read more about that HERE.)

Unfortunately, the door may hold up the deck cleaning since the replacement door was cut too short and will have to be replaced again. I’ll  be working on that issue more this week, I’m eager to get the deck project completed.

I’ve been doing a bit of rearranging on the decks, and in the process I noticed this plant stand that’s been out on the deck for many years is looking pretty rough.

Before of rusted plant stand before painting


It lives just behind the little bistro table on one of the decks. (View this tablescape here: Romantic Table for Two.)

It usually holds three pots of geraniums during the summer months. This photo was taken in 2010, so the plant stand has been here on the deck for at least seven years.


I hadn’t realized how rusty it had become. It wasn’t expensive, but I have really enjoyed using it on the porch, so didn’t want to toss it out just yet.

DIY Paint, Plant Stand


The rust was pretty bad though, especially down in that far left corner where it had eaten a small hole into the stand.

Painting a rusted plant stand


You may remember when I completed a mini-makeover on the bistro set, painting the table and the chairs a dark green with Rust-oleum paint.


I guess I purchased two cans of paint back when I painted the bistro set because I discovered I still had about 2/3 of a can left over. I wasn’t sure if it would be enough to fully cover the plant stand, but decided to give it a go.


By the way, if you don’t have one of these awesome little Comfort Grip handles, get one! I don’t remember when or where I got this one, but I came across it in my box of painting paraphernalia when I was getting my supplies together to paint the stand.

I decided to give it a try, and WOW, is it awesome! It beats the heck out of having to keep that tiny little nozzle pressed down with just your finger! It’s not a one-time-use thing, it can be used anytime you spray paint something. I’ll never spray paint without it again, made this job so much easier! (It’s available here: Comfort Grip Spray Handle.)

Rust-oleum Paint Gun for Spray Cans


We’ve been having gorgeous weather, so I sanded down the rusty bits as best I could outside in the driveway. Next, I spread out a plastic, painters sheet and got to work spraying the stand.

The green Rust-oleum paint I used is both primer and paint, so there was no need to prime the stand first. I laid the stand down to paint it, spraying one side, then flipping it over to spray the other side a few hours later. It didn’t take any time at all, the work went very fast.

Rusted Plant Stand Painted with Green Paint


Much better! It’s going back behind the bistro table where it will be ready for more flowers next summer. Not sure how long this little stand will last but hopefully I’ll get a few more years out of it.

Plant Stand Painted Green DIY Paint Project


The Never-Ending, Always-Dirty Deck Rails

So, I have this problem. I can’t for the life of me keep my white deck railing clean. I scrub and scrub or have them professionally pressure washed, and within weeks, sometimes just a few days depending on how much it rains, they look awful again! The problem is all the big trees in my backyard–they are forever staining and dirtying up the deck rails.

Paint Rails Brown to Disguise Dirt and Mildew


I’m not a big fan of the two-tone look, love an all-white deck, but I can’t deal with this anymore!

Paint White Rain Brown to Cover Dirt and Stains from Overhead Trees


So, I’m going this route. I’m not going to have the balusters painted, only the top railing and the little post caps–can’t keep the post caps clean either! I tried to trace down the origin of this photo below and I’m pretty sure it’s from the Trex website, but if you google phrases like “paint deck railing brown” you’ll find quite a few pictures online where others have done this. Again, the balusters will remain white, only the railing and post caps will be painted.

The trees will continue to stain the railings whenever it rains, but at least it won’t look near as bad as it does now! The brown paint should help to camouflage the stains in between cleanings. I hope my next house doesn’t have any trees right over the deck–further out in the yard, yes! But NOT directly over the deck.

Paint Deck Rails Brown to Hide Dirt Between Cleanings


So that’s the plan: the whole house is getting pressure washed, the decks will be cleaned and stained and the top railing and post caps will be painted brown which will coordinate with the stain color I’ll be using on the deck.

I’m going to go with a stain color similar to what you see in the photo above of the Trex deck. I’ve had that color stain on my decks before and really liked it. I think next year it will finally be time to paint the whole house again. The last time that was done was in 2008, so the Sherwin Williams Duration paint my painter recommended back then has held up beautifully. I will be going with SW Duration again when the time comes.

Screened in Porch with Two Decks


Update on the Mopnado

Remember the Mopnado I ordered recently? Oh. My. Gosh, I absolutely love this thing! I mopped the screened porch this weekend and it worked beautifully! That was the fastest I’ve ever mopped a room AND I really felt like the floor was getting clean for once. The porch floor was really in need of a good moping since I had only vacuumed it all summer.

The mop heads that come with this mopping system are really fat and they hold a lot of water. So when you’re mopping, you can cover a lot of territory quickly. I watched a “Tips and Tricks” video on YouTube before I started and I learned a few tips that made the process even faster.

One trick I learned from the YouTube video was that you don’t have to re-tighten the handle each time after rinsing out the mop if you hold the mop a certain way while mopping. Love that trick because it saves even more time!

I’ve only used the Mopnado once, but so far I absolutely love it! It definitely made mopping the porch a lot more enjoyable and a lot faster. I also like that I can toss the mop heads into the wash. It’s just a much more efficient way to mop. You can read more about the Mopnado where I purchased mine here: Mopnado.

Mopnado Mopping System


Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

Pssst: I post almost daily to Instagram. Follow Between Naps on the Porch on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.


Metamorphosis Monday

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In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

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Please link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, decorating, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, fashion or DIY related.

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  1. Wow, Susan, I love the two tones on the deck. I bet it will look fabulous. I’m a big fan of the all white look too, but I think this will be a pretty change. Can’t wait to see the after.

  2. Wow it all looks beautiful! That plant stand is so pretty and the paint job really made a difference. I have NOT heard of the Comfort Grip but I will be checking it out since I do use a lot of spray paint and you’re right — it’s a “pain” to hold that button down, not to mention the paint on your fingers. Mopnado — that made me laugh! Will be checking it out as well!

  3. Wow! Never knew about the comfort grip – what a great way to paint evenly and avoid spray all over your fingers. Can’t wait to get one! Your little planter looks adorable now and will be sweet when it reunites with the bistro set.

    May I offer a suggestion for your deck railings? We have an issue with the pines in our backyards as well. I use a product called Spray & Forget that is nothing short of a miracle(there are many others that are similar too). Once an area is cleaned thoroughly and dried, I spray it on, and no more stains! We use it on the deck corners where the sun never quite shines, where water drips down near the roof and other problem spots. Has saved a lot of scrubbing and frustration!

    • Hopefully they won’t be too matchy matchy.
      Lori, you know, I have used Spray & Forget on my front porch steps but I hadn’t really considered it for the railing. The birds in my yard are always landing on the railing since they come to the feeders that hang off the deck, but as long as I stayed outside to keep them away until it dried, I think I could use it there. It’s supposed to be safe after it dries. I know rain activates it though…so wonder if that would be okay for the birds.
      I may use it in combination with having that top rail painted. Thanks for suggesting it!

  4. I actually like the stand better painted green. I will be picking up a Comfort Grip. I have two bar stools that need to be sanded and repainted and the Comfort Grip will be much appreciated!

  5. Such great info. I love the color on your plant stand. You did a great job and thank you for the Comfort Grip tip. I’ll pass that along.
    I have the same problem on my porch railings. I’ll think about painting the tops, too. I’ll also check out the Spray & Forget that was recommended.
    Glad to hear you like the Mopnado. Do you plan on using this inside? What do you use to clean your hardwood floors?

    • Thanks, Anne! Yup, will definitely use it inside, too. I’m going to save one of the mop heads to use for the porch and the other one will be my inside mop. Of course, I can order additional mop heads. They show using them for dusting hard to reach places and for cleaning marble, etc…
      My house is all hardwood flooring except for the upstairs family room. I’ve always just used water and a damp mop. I’ve heard you can use vinegar…but can’t remember now if I’ve ever tried that. I’m afraid to use anything that commercial because all my hardwoods have a satin finish, so I just feel better sticking with water.

  6. I love the plant stand in green….gorgeous. I think the brown railings will look really nice. You have made me want to get to my to-do list pronto. Sometimes it’s the little things that need doing that drive me the craziest.

    • Rene, you said it! I’m the exact same way. I’ve got a list I’m working down right now. It’s all little things, but they really need to be done.
      Thanks! I like that color, too! πŸ™‚

  7. I love that you are painting the railings, love that color!!!! I am going to check out that mop system too!!!! Thanks for the info and recomendation. Have a beautiful week, Susan.

  8. Susan, I love the idea of the brown deck railing. In addition to hiding some of the tree debris, I think it’s going to make your beautiful deck look more elegant. The plant stand turned out great. I want to know what kind of vitamin you take. I need some of your energy. Thank you for hosting.

    • lol Just a Vitamin D once a week. I do get a lot of sleep, though…that’s my one guilty pleasure, I have to have my 8 hours every night!
      Thanks, Lauri!

  9. The joys of spray paint!! Going to get one of the grps.
    Thanks for the tip. Having the deck rails and caps a
    contrasting color will be gorgeous. The pictured deck
    looks really rich and elegant. I enjoy your product reviews!

  10. OMG, Susan. Will you please come over and do this at my house? Your house always looks so terrific. I have an old house in northern California. Well, old by California standards. It was built in 1935. (I may have commented on this in one of your earlier posts.) I inherited it when my father passed away two years ago, however his estate is not yet settled so I am presently stuck in limbo and cannot do much of the work that it so desperately needs.

    Just out of curiosity, have you ever had any of your outdoor furniture powder coated? More expensive, but lasts a very long time.

    • Lisa, I hope it gets out of limbo soon, I know that must be so frustrating!
      No, the only outdoor furniture that I have was really not very expensive…and I think some of it may have already been powder coated, but I’m not sure. The bistro set sorta looked like it powder coated before I painted it, but not sure if it was.
      Many years ago I purchased very inexpensive patio/dining set at Home Depot. I just moved it over to the other deck under the pergola because the squirrels chewed the outdoor wicker dining set I had over there to pieces. They literally destroyed it, and I think I used it one time before they did that. πŸ™ So I’m sticking with metal dining set for right now since I have furniture eating squirrels!

  11. I forgot to ask you, what are the trees that you have in your yard that shed dirt on your deck rails?

    • I have Poplar, Oaks and Sweet Gum…not sure what else, but definitely have those. I think there’s a Poplar and a Sweet Gum near one of the decks.

  12. The plant stand looks like new! I completely understand the railing problem, and boy, what a problem it is to try to wipe down those railings. My balcony is north-facing, and I have similar issues. I’ve used Awesome in the past to clean, and it’s all that, but your idea of painting will definitely help your situation.
    Thanks for the Met Monday hosting, Susan! Here’s hoping it cools down this week, but NO RAIN! We’re participating in a yard sale Sat – need to purge!

    • Thanks, Rita! I should buy some Awesome! lol I like that name! Good luck with your yard sale, I know how much work it is getting ready for one of those!

  13. The rail staining would annoy me too. Did you look into a marine quality paint/finish that might resist staining, and be easy to rinse clean? Although Lori’s suggestion, Spray and Forget, sounds amazing. Then again, you have a solution, and an intriguing one at that.

    • Thanks, Mia! I know marine varnish/paint yellows, so not sure that would work on white paint too well. Maybe between painting them brown and the spray and forget I won’t have such a big issue. Just have to make sure the rails will still be safe for the birds to land on since rain activates the spray and forget….and the birds land on the rails a lot since I have feeders handing off the deck.

  14. WOW! I had no idea that you could re-paint powder-coated metal furniture and get the new paint to last. Also, you can always use J-B Weld to fill in the spots where the rust ate away the metal…smooth it out as best you can and then once dry, just paint over it….easy repair for small rusted spots. I could not live without my J-B Weld! Great stuff!! Pretty sure there is a Mopnado in our future….we have been mulling over a new approach…this looks like just the ticket.

    • I don’t know for sure if my bistro set was powder coated or not…I purchased it from Home Depot many years ago. Thanks for the tip on the J-B Weld…I will buy some of that. I’m worried that area where the hole is will break right through eventually, so I will try that!
      I love my Mopnado, so far so good!

  15. The mopnado sounds great Susan, I use Swiffer, but the supplies are so $$$! Also, a comfort handle for spray paint, holy wow! Your deck is going to look great!

  16. I have one of those Comfort Grips, and oh my goodness…it’s da bomb! I love that thing!!

  17. Like the table painted green as well as the deck rails will look nice with contrast. Geraniums will really pop on the new color…love those too.

    • Thanks, Jillian! I wish I could put flowers in it right now. Since pansies survive the winter, maybe I should try that, although the pots might crack if leave them out and water them.

  18. I think your deck will look beautiful with the darker railing. Trees are wonderful but they are dirty! Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    I’m glad you like your new mop and gave a review. I have a steam mop for my kitchen ceramic tile flooring, but it still doesn’t get in the grout like I thought it would do, maybe if I steamed cleaned everyday? HA! No…

  19. That “Comfort Grip” is right up there with…chocolate!! I’m a fan of your new 2-tone deck look!! You Go Girl!! franki

  20. Love your blog. Just a thought re: dirty deck rails. Not sure what material your deck rails are made of, but I have the same exact problem on my deck, porch, and white fencing. It’s a never-ending battle. In my case, I also get a lot of bird waste. Have you tried using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser? I find this to be a life-saver.
    Here’s a link to a generic/cheaper version:

  21. Hi Susan, Dirty railings were my nemesis too. I purchased these amber glass deck post caps from lowes that I love to eliminate part of the problem, but I am still scrubbing the white horizontal rails.

    • Patricia, those are sooo pretty! Unfortunately, I have 17 posts, so it would be $548 + tax for 17 of those. I’m going to drive over to Lowes and check those out though…they are so pretty! Wonder if they ever go on sale. Thanks for telling me about those!

  22. Susan, you are the energizer bunny! Always working hard and got something going on! Are you a little bit concerned about the dark brown? I had dark green on the top of my porch railings and it showed everything just like white. But I am sure you have it figured out. Love that plant stand!

  23. Thanks so mugh for hosting!!

  24. I have the same problem with my front porch! Everything is white. I was out on Sat and noticed all the icky dark stuff on the railings and pillars. I also noticed that the siding on the porch looked filthy. We had the house pressure washed in the Spring, it almost looks like they for got to do the front porch. I am going out with a bucket of hot water, TSP, a ladder and a good scrubrush. We just had all the windows done inside and out. I really thought the outside cleaning was done, ugh! I was thinking I may try putting a coat of quick drying liquid car wax on the flat surfaces. I am wondering if it will help, or make things worse? I too have the Mopendo system. I love it. So do the girls who clean for me. Have you used the stiff bristle brush that comes with it, yet? Love the way you throw the head in the the wash and it comes out so clean. Good luck with your deck, but have to say, not a fan of the two tone, especially not brown.

    • I was wondering how the stiff brush is supposed to be used. It probably says in the manual…need to look again. I thought maybe it was for scrubbing something that was stuck down on tile. How do you use it, Mary Anne?
      Yeah, I’ve been reluctant to go the two-tone route, too…but the last time I had the decks cleaned and even had the rails painted again, they looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in years after only a month. It was during a time we were getting a lot of rain. So discouraging. πŸ™

  25. Susan, I use Wet and Forget which is available on Amazon or at Home Depot. I sprayed my white deck railings last summer and have had no problem with mold of staining this year. Give it a try before spending all that money to paint your railings. I also loved hearing about your trip to Ireland as we are going next summer.

    • Margot, do you have trees that hang over or very close to the deck? I’m a little worried about the birds landing on the railing after a rain since I know rain is what continually activates the Spray and Forget and I’m guessing, Wet and Forget. I should call one of those companies and ask. I have bird feeders hanging off the deck, so birds are on the rails a lot…and the squirrels come up to drink from the birdbath that’s on the railing.
      Thanks! You will LOVE Ireland! I would love to go back one day!

  26. Hi, Susan,
    I LOVE the way your plant stand came out: looks like new! And I do believe your two-tone deck railings will look “mahhvelous”!!

  27. Can’t wait to see your new darker railings and end caps. I bet it will look beautiful. I’m spraying wrought iron outdoor furniture this week, as well. I love your green plant stand! I’m spraying boring black, but it will pop against all the ferns and evergreens in our back yard. We live in Seattle and I’m surrounded by green! LOL Thanks again for hosting. Have an awesome week, Cynthia

  28. virginia westlake says

    I’d like to hear an update on the Mopnado after you’ve used it a few ore times. It sounds good, but sometimes things don’t work out as well as the first time. Thanks!

  29. Susan,
    now do your plant stand and that bistro set look like they have always belonged together, how beautiful is that?! πŸ™‚ Isn’t it great when something you do, works even better than you expected? πŸ™‚ Susan, I am sure your deck’s gonna look (more) beautiful, too. Go for that brown railings, unhesitatingly, because you know they’ll make your life easier! (Plus, I love the white/brown combo… so…) LOL Speaking of an easier life… Susan, I, too, have a floor mop very similar to yours, which I also am happy with, but for small rooms or for the stairs I use another one, a so-called “spray mop” which makes you don’t need a bucket, not bad, huh? πŸ™‚
    P.S. Susan, an Italian instagrammer stole exactly that picture of that beautiful bistro set of yours (from your post from 2010, with no watermark) and told everyone that it was “her” romantic corner of “her” patio! I couldn’t believe my eyes! As I wrote her I knew for sure that romantic corner is “somewhere” in the USA, she flatly denied, of course, and became abusive. Go figure! I only wrote her back to tell her that she ought to be ashamed of herself as I was ashamed of her, and that she should be praying a rosary! Sheesh! πŸ™

  30. Cyndi Raines says

    Susan, I love the design, especially the pretty legs of your plantstand and and now that it is painted green, I think it even prettier, but I am partial to green. Our house is white with green shutters and so our deck is white with the deck green and the main posts are green, but all railings and spindles are white. With that said, I know your 2 tone deck will be lovely as the brown will outline the deck and make it stand out even more. It will be stunning! Can’t wait to see it!

  31. Dear Susan,
    I love the deck; very clever. I’m thinking of
    Turning part of my large deck my father
    Had built into a sunroom, while keeping
    The other half a deck. Any ideas, I’d
    Appreciate it!

  32. I am so glad you repainted the plant stand and rescued it! It looks so nice now!

  33. Susan, thank you so much for this great post! You’ve given so many good tips and ideas that I need right now! Lots of the comments were helpful, too. I just looked on the “Spray and Forget” website, on the FAQ page: One of the questions is about whether it will hurt your pets. It says it will not, after the initial application dries. About the trees… we live in the same area as you, and we don’t have trees very close to our house, but we still get the same mildew on the rails and gutters. I think it’s primarily our abundant rainfall and humidity that cause that problem. I like your idea of painting the rails brown. I’ve decided to do that, too. Also, I’ve seen more dark colored gutters lately, and I’m considering switching to those. If you search online for “houses with dark gutters”, there are lots of pictures. I especially like the half-round kind.
    Good luck as you continue to conquer your “to-do” list! πŸ™‚

  34. We get the same issue with the trees on our deck and fence as well. I hate the look of all the grime and mildew. We bought a small power washer and we power wash and seal at least once a year. I like your idea of the brown paint.

    I love, love the plant stand in the green. I have a bar cart I have used on the deck for a few years. I wanted to bring it inside and have decided to paint it as well.

  35. Susan, I may have missed this on a previous post, but do you mind sharing the brand and color stain that you will use on the deck floor. We just had a new deck built, but have to wait at least 1 month to stain it. Yours will be beautiful. We have the same problem with the trees in our yard near deck. Trying to decide which color to paint it. Good luck on yours.
    Love the plant stand and color.

    • When I first had my porch and decks built, I used a semi-transparent stain by Cabot in a pretty brown color. It was the highest rated at that time from all the reading I did. I loved how it looked but it didn’t hold up to cleaning at all. This time I’m going with Sherwin Williams, Super Deck. That’s what was recommended by both of the companies from whom I got estimates. They spoke very highly of SW Super Deck. I think I’m going to go with a solid stain this time since I’ve been told it holds up to cleaning better. But you still have to clean it yearly and restain about every two years, or at least that’s been my experience. They are supposed to stain my decks the second week of October so I’ll be sure to post some “After” pics then.

  36. I love the plant stand green! I say don’t retire it yet till next summer. It will make your Christmas poinsettias pop! Two reds and a white with some Christmas ribbon woven between wrought iron or a small wreath affixed to the front…pretty! Great job Susan!

  37. It’s the shade + moist climate = the right conditions for mildew. (Rather than actual stuff dripping from trees). Same thing happens on northern exposures of white houses in the Southeast, regardless of whether there are trees around or not.

  38. Also, my deck railings are white too but no trees overhead, and still covered in the same mildew. We just live in a really moist environment down here. Such a pain.

  39. Like you, I have a lot of decking! My old wood deck is definitely showing it’s age. Have you ever considered composite decking??

  40. Thanks, Rita! I should buy some Awesome! lol I like that name! Good luck with your yard sale, I know how much work it is getting ready for one of those.

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