How to Clean and Brighten a Deck
LESLIE: Pat in Texas is calling with a decking question. What can we do for you?
PAT: Hi. Well, I’ve got – actually, I’ve got a porch on the front and back of my house; it goes the length of my house. And they are – my husband refuses to let me paint them.
PAT: And so, I’m – I can use a pressure washer on them to clean them up but they still – they get really looking bad really quickly. And so I was hoping you all could give me an idea on something I could use to clean them; some kind of product I could use to clean them and maybe stain them where it wouldn’t be painted but it would still look better than that bare wood.
TOM: Sure. First of all, what are they kind of dirty with? Now, they have sort of like a mossy, mildewy kind of look to them right now?
PAT: Well, that but part of the problem is we have dogs.
PAT: My husband raises dogs and we have dogs running around and we live in black clay and so, you know, it gets dirty.
TOM: It gets everywhere, yeah. Alright. So what you’re going to need is a siding-wash product. You can use OxiClean or you can use JOMAX. And you mix these up with bleach, you apply them, you let them sit, you scrub them a little bit and rinse them off. They do a really good job of brightening up raw wood and making it nice and clean.
Now you’re going to have to keep the dogs away during this process, because you’ve got to let it dry really, really well. The next thing you’re going to do is you’re going to add an oil-based primer and you’re going to prime all of those wood surfaces. Then on top of that, you can use a solid-color stain.
And the solid-color stain is going to adhere to the primer, because that’s what primers do; they’re the adhesive that make the stains and the finishes stick but they’re going to see the grain come through it. And so it’ll have a nice look to it but you’ll have plenty of stain on there to give you a good color; a good solid, even color for the long haul.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. A nice adhesion and it’s going to be very durable.
TOM: It’ll be a lot easier to maintain.
PAT: OK. That’s good, yeah. And now is there a particular kind of primer I need to get?
TOM: Yeah, I would stay in the same family. So, it depends on what type of exterior stain you choose but I would stay within the same manufacturing family.
PAT: Oh, OK. OK. Well that’s great. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Pat. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.