DIY: Maintaining, Protecting & Restoring Your Wooden Deck By Yourself
Thinking about taking on your deck and you want to do it right. Here is what you are looking at.
Deck Cleaning, Sealing/Staining and Equipment
- Deck cleaner product
- Sprayer for deck cleaner application
- Scrub brush and handle for cleaning floors, stairs and tops of rails
- 5 gallon bucket
- If you are daring and do not care if you permanently damage your deck...
- Rent a pressure-washer. Be sure to get your 5 minute training lesson at the rental store before you try it out on your deck.
- Cleaning technique - how close, how much pressure, what angle? If you do not do it correctly, you will scar your deck. You only have one chance.
Deck Sealing/Staining and Waterproofing
- Paint pans
- Rough Rider for floors and large areas
- 2.5 - 3 inch china bristle for rails and detail areas
- Cheap brushes = cheap results
- Wooden poles to do floors (or get on your knees)
- Tarps for sidewalk and yard protection
- Tarps for protection of deck areas while applying sealer/stain on other areas
- Tape for house protection
- Gloves for hand protection
- Goggles for eye protection
- Mineral spirits for clean up
- Bucket or pail for mineral spirit clean up
Other Issues to Consider
Type of Deck Cleaning, Sealing/Staining Products
Many products purchased at Big Box stores have been known to peel and crack on deck floors. This happens more frequently on CEDAR decks that need more special care.
The help at the store is trained to sell you a product, not to alert you that a problem may occur.
Some products look great on application #1, but due to wearing patterns, subsequent seal/staining are more difficult.
Application of sealer/stain is a slow tedious process for 1-2 people that may take multiple days to do if done correctly. Rain issues can delay your project scheduled for the weekends. Quickly spraying on the sealer/stain ALWAYS LOOKS BAD.
Deck cleaning, staining and sealing products are usually fairly caustic. Gloves should be worn. Eyes should be protected.
OK, so you did it yourself. Where are you going to store that left-over sealer, brushes, pans, smelly tarps, etc.? Throw them out and what have you really saved.
Re-staining and Resealing
Premium products can last 2-4 years on the floors. Less expensive products are really more 1-2 year products. To keep your deck looking good, subsequent applications are needed.
IN THE END, IS IT WORTH IT TO DO IT YOURSELF?
- The cost of supplies.
- The time if takes to purchase supplies.
- The time it takes to do the work.
- The sacrifice of your weekend time and nice weather days on a tiring project.
- The storage of smelly supplies after project is completed.
- If you do not like the way it looks, you cannot really just PAINT OVER it like a wall in your house. You are stuck.