Trees are not brown

They’re gray and black, and sometimes a little green from moss. But they are not brown, or orange. Sure, when you cut a tree, it is immediately brownish red at the cut; but left to its own, the cut will soon turn back to that gray-black color of bark.

Nature’s color palette became clearly evident to us for the first time when we opened a five-gallon bucket of oil stain; a bucket we were preparing to hand brush on our very LARGE deck. Our wooden deck spans quite a bit of area on our 130 feet of lakefront, connecting the house, the garage and the guesthouse. The color, “natural” was an orangish-brown: the exact same color the last person that covered the deck used. What a perfect match. This is what we used last year… and you can see pictures of it here.

But it wasn’t a perfect match. The house is white; the roof is gray, and the tree that grows up into the middle of the deck is gray – so are the other trees that surround the deck.

We sealed the lid back on the can, and visited the paint store one more time. “We’d like habor mist.” Two stores, and an hour and a half later, we had 14 gallons of grey oil stain, Harbor Mist.

Changing the color to gray, to match the trees, transformed the deck. Not only does it match the trees, but it matches the white house, and the gray roof. You can see the difference here:

We brushed the transparent stain on just a few boards, and loved it. This gray stain takes the edge off the harsh browns of the pressure-treated wood, and blends the deck into the colors of the surrounding trees, and the house. The deck, because of its massive size, needed softening… this gray did exactly that.

More importantly, it’s also the exact same color as the water on the lake. Here, you can see the gray, as contrasted against the big oak tree that grows up in the middle of our deck.

True to its name, the deck looks as if it’s “floating” like a mist on a Harbor.

I will admit… painting the deck was no “habor of mist.” More on that later, here...

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3 comments on “Trees are not brown
  1. Pingback: Some things are just better kept within the family… | Susiej

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