Everyone is going to be flocking to your deck this summer. This outdoor living space is perfect for any barbeque or outdoor gathering.
If your deck has seen better years, don’t worry. It’s natural for the wood to experience wear and tear. After all, it has to face the elements year-round. Exposure to sun, wind, and rain will take its toll.
There are a few steps you can take to make your deck look brand new. Read on for our top tips.
Start with a Good Foundation
Your first instinct might be to add a new set of patio furniture. Not even the most strategic cosmetic changes can hide a deck in disarray.
You’ll want to start with a good foundation. Repairing, cleaning, sanding, and staining are crucial for:
- Fixing/replacing broken or missing boards
- Washing away dirt and grime
- Eliminating black leaf stains
- Removing algae/mold
- Smoothing the surface
- Revamping the boards’ color
Conduct a thorough inspection. Take note of any structural damage. Rotting wood may require major renovation. Problems with the deck-to-house connection? You might be able to fix these with spacers or by tightening fasteners.
Also, take note of any cosmetic damage. Tap down loose nails or replace them with screws. Inspect railings and address loose boards.
Now you can get to cleaning. There are many good deck cleaners available – Some you mix with water in a bucket, others consist of integral applicators that you attach to a hose.
Make sure the boards remain damp throughout the process. Apply the cleaning product and brush vigorously. A stiff-bristle brush should do the job. For particularly stubborn stains, consider renting a pressure washer.
After you wash your deck, you should sand it. Wood fibers tend to expand with water and can rise. They can lead to annoying splinters if not smoothed down. Sanding also ensures that the staining process goes smoothly.
Use a quality sander for deck to get the best results. Make sure the wood is completely dry before starting.
Keep in mind that each component requires a different technique. The surface, for instance, should be as smooth as possible. Ensure that the wood is even in appearance. Use 60-80 grit sandpaper.
The board edges, on the other hand, might require a different approach. The design can make this process a little trickier. Use a smaller detail sander for tighter spaces. Like with the surface, use 60-80 grit sandpaper. Other components such as the railings require 80-100 grit sandpaper.
Before staining, make sure the deck is clean. Vacuum sanding dust. Remove any extra dirt with a tack cloth. A smooth surface will ensure that the stain goes on easily.
If the wood is new, use a clear finish. It will protect the wood while highlighting its beautiful grain.
For older decks, go with a semitransparent stain. You’ll still see the original grain. The stain will just make it look fresh by giving it uniformity.
Practice Good Maintenance
It’s easy to neglect deck maintenance. Regular care will ensure that it lasts you for years to come. Otherwise, it might fall apart before you know it.
You should conduct annual cleanings. This means reapplying the stain. Depending on the kind used, you might reapply anywhere from every 6 to 48 months.
Now It’s Time to Add Furniture!
With your deck taken care of, you can now get creative!
- Add new patio furniture for a fresh look
- Add garden containers for fresh produce and beautiful flowers
- Experiment with different decoration styles for all seasons
- Create an outdoor kitchen with a grill, refrigerator, sink, etc.