The Deck

So my parents have been living at their house for awhile now and for that past couple of years my mom has been trying to figure out how to redo the deck that has been slowly growing grayer as time moves on. After missing our opportunity last year with settling on some critical aspects of our execution of the project, a date was pinned down this year for us to finally take care of it.

Low and behold as our pinned day came around we ran into some issues. First, it was suppose to rain in the middle of the project, not really good for the drying off period. Second, after the winter we had the shutoff gate valve for the back yard faucet leaked when we tried to turn it on. So after a phone call to the plumber (I decided not to add to many projects to my list at this point) we decided to move everything out to the following weekend.

Plumber came out during the week and replaced the valve with a more appropriate ball valve allowing us to test the new power washer my mom got and we were ready to go!

Day 1

So after sneaking out of work a little early on Friday (Shh) i was greeted with a beautiful day and mostly dry weekend ahead. a quick couple of pictures and i was ready to start power washing the deck.

I was able to pull out a decent amount of dirt and mold from the boards as evident from the stairwell picture below, but there was still more embedded mold and dirt left in the flat boards afterwords. We would need to take some additional measures to clean them up.

Day 2

After everything dried off a bit we were able to see a significant change from what it was at the start of the project, but there were still some spot left that I wanted to take care of. We tried to use an oxi-clean solution on them and scrub the boards a bit, and while we did see some minor improvements it still did not make me feel comfortable with applying stain to the boards. After a spring shower decided that i was done for the day so everything can continue to dry

Day 3

I decided to pulled out the 5′ rotary sander and some 60 grit sand paper that I got a few years ago and started going at the deck in a last ditch effort to clean it up before we started staining. The improvements were even more impressive then i would have imagined, we were able to pull up all of the lingering mold and dirt from the boards.

Looking at the stairs picture above you can see three stages of sanding i ended up doing. The bottom step is what everything looked like before sanding, the middle step is what a single pass did with the sander, and the top step was 2-3 passes

Day 4

After a little bit more standing we started prepping the deck for stain. taping around the siding sweeping the deck, getting our tools together, and praying for no more rain. We started with the balusters and top rail as i assumed it would take the most time (it did) and then started on the decking.


After 3 cans of stain we were able to finish the deck. It ended up taking us the entire day, with us finishing up around 6-7 in the evening but it was worth it.

Day 6

After a couple of days of drying we tossed the gazebo back on the deck with a new canvas top and restrung mood lights in a more… professional manner to give it that extra “polish”.

We did hit a few unfortunate snags during the project like miscalculating how much stain we would need for this thirsty deck, using brushes/rollers for the stain application (use a sprayer instead), and accidentally forgetting to apply sandpaper to my rotary sander causing the hook and loop pad to no longer work, but all in all I think it came out great and should last for a few years.

Now on to the next project.

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