Parties, dinners, kids, and pets; when you’re family is using and enjoying your deck, it shows. After years of entertaining, your deck can start to look weathered and worn. Spraying down your deck, and cleaning it once a season will help to keep it in good condition. But to revive a seriously weathered deck, you will need to take it a little further.

With a little elbow grease, and a weekend to work with, reviving your deck is definitely a project you can tackle.

You’ll need a few basic tools to get started. Gather the following:

  • Garden sprayer
  • Long-handled scrub brush or push broom
  • Garden hose with sprayer nozzle
  • Hammer
  • Putty knife or paint scraper
  • Sandpaper or sander
  • Nail set tool
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Sheet plastic
  • Masking tape

Start by protecting your siding and landscaping. Use sheet plastic and masking tape to cover the siding where ever the deck boards make contact. Spray down bushes and foliage around the deck to protect them from chemical burns from the cleaning solution.

Next, complete a thorough inspection of your deck. Make note of any splintered or faded deck boards, as well as any twisted boards or loose nails. Move any twisted boards back into their original position where you can, and use a nail set tool to hammer down any loose nails. The putty knife can be used to shear off any small splinters or rough edges on the boards. Deeply splintered boards, or boards with rotted out sections will have to be pulled and replaced.

With the putty knife or paint scraper, remove any loose paint or stain. Scrape damaged areas down to the bare wood where you can, and use sandpaper to get down to the bare wood where finish material remains.

Once you have made the necessary repairs, sweep the deck thoroughly with a wide push broom. Go over the deck at least twice to loosen and remove any dirt or debris caught in the surface of the wood. Spray the entire deck down with the garden hose, and scrub with the push broom to clear any debris left from removing the finish.

Using a garden sprayer, coat the deck with deck wash and brightener. Mix according to manufacturer’s instructions. Work into the surface with a stiff bristled brush and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Scrub down with a push broom or long handled scrub brush. Use a pressure washer to rinse off the solution, paying special attention to extremely dirty areas.

Use the garden sprayer again to apply a sealant. This will help to protect your deck throughout the seasons and minimize damage between treatments.Let the sealant dry for at least 48 hours before using the deck, or replacing furniture or plants.