How to Renew an Old Deck Quickly


Decks are great spaces to enjoy the outdoors, but if yours has seen better days, you’re probably not getting as much use out of it as you once did. If you’ve been staying inside because looking at your deck reminds you of all the work it needs, you might be surprised to learn that you can have your deck looking like new again in as little as a weekend.
The first step is power washing. If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one for a reasonable price at your local big box hardware store. As you spray the deck, be sure to keep the tip of spray gun about one foot away from the surface. Any closer and the pressure of the water can gouge the wood. Remove as much loose stain or paint with the power washer as possible. This will make for less work later when scraping loose stain by hand. Allow to dry 24 hours.
After the deck has dried, do repairs such as sanding rough spots and tightening or replacing loose screws and nails. At this time you should also scrape any loose stain or paint that was missed by the power washer. Use a stiff brush or wide putty knife, being careful not to damage the wood. If any boards are rotten, cracked, or insect damaged, this is a good time to replace or repair them.
Very small damaged areas can be cleaned out and patched with wood putty. Sand and let the putty dry before staining the deck. When replacing an old board, the new board will not match the existing decking. However, an easy way to make the new board look weathered is to scrub it with a solution of 1 cup baking soda to one gallon warm water.
The fastest way to stain is with a hand pump or airless sprayer. An airless sprayer can be rented if you don’t own one and a hand pump sprayer can be purchased very inexpensively. For a deck that was previously stained, be sure to use the same or darker color, as a lighter color will not cover the old finish. Before you begin staining, cover the ground around the deck, siding on the house, and anything else that might get damaged if sprayed.
Now you are ready to begin staining. Spray with the grain of the wood and stop spraying at the end of the stroke to avoid puddling. Use a brush for detail work such as removing runs and drips and working the stain into the end grain, seams, and gaps.
Once you see how beautiful your newly stained deck looks, you might not want to stop there. Adding a few simple touches to your deck can have a big visual impact. Make your own flower boxes or attach store bought flower boxes to the railing of the deck and plant annuals for seasonal color. Replace worn railing or balusters with decorative, maintenance free vinyl railing or aluminum balusters. Add a built in deck bench for extra seating.
Solar lighting is an easy way add style and define your outdoor space. It doesn’t require any wiring or electricity so it is simple to install. Solar post cap lights are available that attach to a standard 4” by 4” railing post and finishes include black, bronze, and even tiffany lights. These lights add a sophisticated finish and transform the look of any deck.
No matter how much or how little time you have to invest in renewing your deck, there are many options available. An old deck can look new again simply by restaining. By updating finishes such as lighting and new balusters, you can add style to your deck without spending a lot of time or money. A few small changes can have you enjoying your deck again in a weekend.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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