We got possession of our home fall of 2018. However, with the cooler weather upon us, and the importance being put on packing (and the inevitable unpacking) that comes with moving homes, followed by Canadian winter weather, we didn’t get the opportunity to explore our outdoor space until this spring…
Flash forward to April of this past year… we finally got out onto the wood deck in our backyard, and immediately realized that the deck needed some TLC.. and a lot of it. The wood was warping, plenty of splinters and cracks, and the stain that was already on it had faded considerably.
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Ideally I wanted to replace the wood entirely with composite wood. However, considering we had just moved into the house, not even a year ago, we weren’t ready to put in a whole lot of money into the backyard just yet.
So I decided to try and fix up the deck to make it usable and safe for my young family to use (my husband was very concerned about the splinters and cracks on bare feet).
NOTE: my method was not the most efficient way of doing it, but I still managed to get the job done, within a small budget!
So, this is MY method of getting my deck summer ready!
FIRST – Wash the deck!
Ideally you should power wash it. However, if you don’t own a power wash (like myself) hose down the patio with your sprayer in ‘jet’ setting, and do a thorough job of it. Scrub the deck with a broom or brush as you hose it down.
SECOND – Sand the wood!
Sanding is important to remove any splinters or debris that may be on the surface. Wait a couple of days for the wood to dry thoroughly after washing, before beginning to sand it. I used 60-grit sandpaper – but you can use anywhere between 60-80 grit. Once you’re done sanding, make sure to vacuum or sweep away the wood dust, and for extra measure, wipe surfaces with a tack cloth. And remember, while sanding, always wear protective gear (i.e., goggles and a particle mask) – and knee pads couldn’t hurt either 😉.
Note: Some people would recommend using fillers of some kind to cover cracks or splinters. I have read mixed reviews on doing this, so I decided not to.
THIRD – Time for staining
Once my deck was prepped, I used Behr Premium – Waterproofing Stain & Sealer in a solid colour. If you’re adding colour to your deck, Behr Premium Wood Coating comes in 2 options – semi-transparent and solid colours.
I chose to go with a solid colour for two reasons. First, according to Behr Premium, semi-transparent guarantees satisfaction for 6 years, while solid is good for 10 years. Second, my deck faces West and gets direct sun exposure in the afternoons – which means the chances of it fading faster is very real. So my decision was an easy one. I chose a solid colour – ‘Drift Gray’ (SC-137).
To apply the stain, I used a Deck Stain Brush that fits to most extension poles – this saved my knees! For optimal results, don’t paint in direct sun exposure and check your local weather to ensure you are not expecting rain for the next 48 hours. Because I get sun exposure by noon, I woke up bright and early at 5am on a Saturday morning to start staining, and managed to get 2 coats on the floor and bench. I did the railings on a weekday evening after the sun went down.
I am thrilled with the results, and hope you like it too! Thanks for reading!