The Deck Job
This year, was the year to refinish the patio deck. My wife had wanted this accomplished last year, but I got pulled away from doing it. Generally, I am not one to put things off, but the deck had to wait it out for me to be ready.
Having refinished decks before, this was not something that I was in the dark over. Decks can be a very straight forward redo, unless a lot of wear and tear is evident. My deck was fairly new, actually. The main thing that I wanted to do was, find a good semi transparent stain for the deck.
My deck is something that I had contracted to have built, for me and the family. The material and labor cost me our vacation money a short few years ago, so I do want to protect my investment. If the deck in not refinished, then the whether will soon dig into the wood fiber itself and begin to break it down. It only takes a few years of wear on the wood deck, before it starts to fall apart.
I purchased a good semi transparent deck sealer. It cost more than the more popular brand, but I knew it was a superior product. This sealer had a more expensive oil and resins, that was designed to actually sink into the wood fiber a lot deeper and would last longer. I also bought a box of all-purpose rags, some thinner, a couple of brushes and a good applicator, meant to hold the sealer.
Before actually starting to apply anything onto the deck, I first needed to prep it out. Ensuring that the deck is clean, free of dirt, etc. I rented a good power washer for a couple of hours for this task.
Power washers are great for cleaning the deck, because they will blast out a lot of the older sealer and dirt from the wood crevices. I highly recommend a good power washer. You can rent them at many rental shops and paint stores. An employee handling the rental, will walk you through using it. Power washers are very user friendly.
The first thing that I did was, blast the whole deck, all the wood, with the power washer; giving it a good cleaning. Then, I did it again. I prepped out my deck a full week before sealing it. If it had rained a couple of days before I was ready to refinish, I would have put the job off, until the wood was real dry. Usually about three days of dry whether will do it.
After I power-washed the deck, I looked everything over real close. Anything lose, got nailed back into place. If any wood had needed replacement, this would have been the perfect time to do it.
Overall, the prep work on a deck refinishing job can be the hardest part of the project. If the old sealer needs to be stripped off, then you need to get a good chemical deck stripper and do this first. Lucky for me, this was not something I needed to do.
The morning I began to apply the sealer, I had my son help me with it. I did not want to wait until later in the day, because I didn’t want the sealer setting up too quickly in the direct sunlight. My plan was simple. My son and I would work the deck in sections. The applicator I got was a lambskin roller, then attached this to a broom handle to roll out the sealer onto the deck’s surface.
My son rolled out two plank widths at a time, while I followed along brushing the sealer he had rolled, into the wood. At times, it got a little confusing, yet actually worked out quite well. We finished up in only a couple of hours time. The next evening, I went out and hit the deck on more time for a second coat, using just the roller, applicator this time.
The deck looks great! Had I waited much longer though, the job would have been more detailed, for sure. I should note, that now I will probably not have to refinish my deck for about 3 years. The next time I do it, I will need to strip off any of this old sealer and this will take more elbow grease than it did, before.