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How to Revamp Your Backyard Deck This Summer | Deck Maintenance and Restoration

Cleaning Then Add Patio Furniture, Grills & More | Upgrade Backyard

A deck is a great way to upgrade your backyard and create a space to entertain, relax, or bond with your family. However, if it’s started to wear or is growing algae, you may be less inclined to use it. In some cases, it can even become dangerous if large splinters have developed or nails are sticking out. Fortunately, with some hard work, you can make your backyard deck look like new. 

Upgrade Deck

Upgrade Deck

What You’ll Need?

Since this is a multi-step process, you will need several items to restore your old deck. 

  • Protective gear
  • Bucket
  • Cleaning solution
  • Hose
  • Stiff-bristled brush or broom
  • Stain
  • Sprayer
  • Brush
  • Clear epoxy resin

Simple Steps to Follow

Step 1: Make Preparations & Set up

Choose an overcast day to work on your deck. On sunny days, the cleaner and stain can evaporate quickly which can be frustrating. Before getting started, check the deck for any repairs that may be needed like replacing popped nails or securing loose wood. If there are cracks or gauges in your deck, use a stainable wood filler for a quick and affordable fix. You will want to do any repairs at the very start of this process. Since most cleaners can be damaging to plants, make sure to cover any that are close to where you’ll be working. Water-resistant plastic works well for this. You should also create a workspace for yourself so all your supplies are on hand.

Step 2: Wash the Deck

Deck Maintenance

Deck Maintenance

First things first, you need a clean surface. You don’t want dust, dirt, and other debris interfering with the quality of your results. If you don’t thoroughly clean it, it could start wearing fairly quickly. Whenever using chemicals, you’ll want to protect yourself by using eye goggles. You should also wear rubber boots so you don’t slip on the slick surface. Sweep the entire deck before you apply the cleaning solution and begin washing. There are two common ways you can go about washing your deck: scrubbing it yourself, or if you can rent one, using a pressure washer. While a power washer will be less physically taxing, both methods will get the job done. However, if you are going to use a power washer, take care not to linger in one spot. 

Begin by applying the cleaner to the surface using a sprayer or roller. Depending on the size of your deck, you may want to wash it in sections because the cleaning solution needs to remain wet. The solution should sit for about 15 minutes before you begin to scrub. You’ll need to put in a good deal of elbow grease to make sure the wood is being sufficiently cleaned. Make sure you scrub in the direction of the grain of the wood. After scrubbing, rinse the deck with your hose. Once you have repeated this process across your entire deck, let it dry completely before you move on to staining. In some cases, you may need to do some sanding before staining if there are still uneven areas. 

Step 3: Stain & Seal the deck

Deck Cleaning

Deck

You will want to do the railings first. Then, start at the farthest point of the deck and work your way back toward your house or the stairs so you don’t have to walk across the freshly applied stain. It’s recommended that you get two different sized brushes, a smaller one for the railing and cracks and a larger one, about three to four inches wide, for the deck itself.  If your deck is older and has not been restored in a while, it is likely that the wood will absorb most of the first coat. You will likely need to apply multiple coats to achieve the best results. Otherwise, all you’ll have to show for your day is a botched stain job.

Backyard Deck

Backyard Deck

​Finally, you should seal your deck with an epoxy resin to preserve the color, repel water, and provide a nice even finish. It also prevents staining, splintering, and other damage. Make sure you get a clear epoxy resin so it does not contribute to discoloration and allows the full color of the stain to show. 

​You should allow the deck to dry for about two days before putting back your patio furniture or grill. You might also want to get a grill mat to protect your deck now that it’s been revamped. Once it’s completely dry, have some friends over to show off your handy work. 


How To Clean and Maintain Your Deck | ​Video From Home Depot



Final Reminders

The purpose of this project is to restore your deck to its former glory. Don’t let your hard work go to waste by taking short cuts or choosing the wrong supplies. Take your time, pay attention to detail, and follow this guide for results you can feel proud of. 


YouTube Video on How to Clean, Renew and Seal a Wood Deck in One Day

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