Cleaning and re-staining your desk every two to three years prolongs its life and keeps it looking new. Staining your deck is a simple job you can tackle over a single weekend. You’ll apply wood cleaner, scrub, rinse, sand and stain. Here’s what you’ll need to take on this project:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Deck Cleaner
- Deck Stain
- Plastic Sheeting
- Broom or Leaf Blower
- Hand Synthetic Bristle Brush
- Stiff Synthetic Bristle Brush
- Hammer & Nail Set or Drill/Driver
- Orbital Sander & Sandpaper
- Garden Hose or Pressure Washer
- Wet/Dry Vac
- Stain Applicator Pad
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
- Eye Protection
- Ear Protection
Prepare deck area. Clear your deck of furniture and other items. Then remove debris with a broom or blower. If any boards are damaged, repair or replace them. Our, How to Repair a Deck Board and, How to Replace a Deck Board tutorials can help you with this. Wet down any adjacent plantings and cover with plastic to protect them from the deck cleaning solution you’ll be using in the next step.
Clean. Apply cleaner according to manufacturer’s instructions with a garden pump sprayer. Deck cleaners typically need about 10 to 15 minutes to lift grime and old finish out of the wood. Once enough time has passed, scrub with your long-handled brush to remove as much dirt and finish as possible, using a hand brush for railings.
Power wash. Place a 24 or 40 degree nozzle on your power washer wand. Set the pressure to its lowest setting and start washing the shortest board on your deck keeping it 6 to 8 inches away from the surface. Sweep the wand back and forth across the boards. If necessary, gradually increase pressure being careful not to gouge the surface until you see fresh wood. Continue until your deck is completely clean.
Sand. Allow your deck to completely dry before continuing. This can take up to two days. Power washing will raise the fibers on the surface of the wood. So once your deck is dry you’ll need to lightly sand it with an orbital sander equipped with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper. While your main goal is to sand off the raised wood fibers, you may need to sand more aggressively to remove any splinters you encounter, especially on handrails.
Vacuum. When your sanding is complete use a wet/dry vac to remove dust. If you don’t have a wet/dry vac a thorough sweeping will get the job done.
Reset nails or screws. Inspect all fasteners in your deck. They’ll be easier to see now that the wood is clean. Use a hammer and nail set to reset popped nails and a drill driver to reset protruding screws.
Stain railings. Use a small staining pad to apply your stain starting with handrails, then moving on to spindles. Keep a rag handy, wiping and blending any drips. While working your way around the perimeter give the end of each deck board another coat.
Stain deck. To avoid visible lap marks always keep a wet edge. We recommend working along the length of three boards at a time, starting with a thin brush between the boards and a staining pad attached to a long handle for the top of the boards. Let dry per manufacturer’s instructions.
Then step back and admire your newly stained deck.