When we look out at the back garden and see a tired old deck we are reminded while decking is low maintenance (as opposed to a garden) it is not maintenance free. So how best to revive your decking?
To get a great clean finish to any paint job a good clean sound surface is required. With decking the easiest way to achieve this is a power washer-nilfisk and a good decking cleaner-deck cleaner. If there is any moss mould or algae this must also be cleared first. Again this is easily achieved with moss buster or moss away and the power washer. If you do not have a power washer an appropriate moss cleaner and deck scrub will suffice.
Having applied the moss killer and scrubbed the moss away lightly wet the entire deck area. Apply the decking cleaner by use of bottle as with the nilfisk power washer. If you do not have the power washer apply the cleaner liberally to the deck and again use a clean deck scrub to work in the chemical. Then either power wash or hose the decking down. This should leave a good clean sound deck. Do not forget to give a light cleaning & sanding to any spindles or hand rails, although these are generally in a better condition than the deck area. For a particularly neglected deck reapply the deck cleaner and leave the area to dry. Depending on conditions the time for this will vary but on a good bright sunny day this can be less than 2 hours.
Already, the deck should be looking a lot healthier. The decision now is to oil or stain. Both come in a variety of colours and a variety of brands-Ronseal. Clear deck oil is also available from rustins.
As regards oil versus stains our experience is that oils give a smoother longer lasting finish and we sell approx 10 oils to every one stain. The main difference we find is the oil seeps into the decking while the stain forms a skin on the deck which is prone to chipping – particularly in coastal areas. Anyone who has painted a deck in a mobile home in a coastal town will testify to this. There is also good value out there in oils at present. Ronseal have changed the sizing and pricing of the larger cans (formerly 5l now 4l with 25% free!) to the consumers benefit. Decking oils that were previously retailing between €49.99-€59.99 are now readily available at €34.99. Consequently the 2.5l oil at approx €30 offers very poor value at present.
Choose the colour that suits your garden or mobile home the best and get ready for the easy part! Painting a deck on a nice warm day should not be too strenuous a task. Ensure all planters, ornaments gnomes etc are away from the area to be painted. There are 3 main ways to apply the stain or oil:
- Traditional paint brush or stock brush. Can be hard on the back but ensures you are getting into every corner.
- Decking applicator pad. Looks like a wooden floor mop. Glides along the deck and as it is rectangular gets right into corners. Very easy to use but I would recommend having a stick brush to hand as certain areas may require the oil/stain be worked into the ridges if the deck. Replacement pads are available.
- A clean soft sweeping brush. Easy to use and inexpensive. Again no harm having a stock style brush for any tricky areas.
You do not need an expensive paint brush for this just a brush that is wide and thick so the stain/oil can be applied liberally and quickly. A standard 9″ roller tray will also be required.
Spindles and hand rails may be painted with a standard 2″ brush. Again nothing too expensive is required. Whichever way you choose to paint the deck area remember not to paint yourself into a corner! Choose a logical route working away from the back wall to the house/mobile home entrance. If you are using oil do not be disappointed by the appearance after a first coat. Your deck WILL require a second coat which can be applied approx 2 hours after the first coat-check this! Once applied you should have achieved a terrific finish.
On a good clear sunny day the deck should be dry and able to be walked on within 6-8 hours but no harm to leave overnight. Have a cold drink and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
With the harsh winters we have experienced over the past few years we do well to get 2 years out of a decking area before repainting is required. Assumptions may have been made when decks were put in that they were maintenance free but we now know this is not true! However, they are relatively low maintenance and 1 day every 12-24 months is reasonable to set aside to ensure your deck is being protected and looking well. It is generally good practice NOT to paint or oil your deck within the first 12 months to give the timber time to breathe. To add some colour to your deck area a variety of brightly coloured pots & plants can give a powerful effect and a waterfall can add a real focal point to a deck area.
I hope this was helpful and welcome any comments or feedback you may have to this topic. For more information on our products or services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 00353 (0)1 456 0215.