If your deck is looking a bit ho-hum – weathered, grey and patches of mould – it’s time to smarten it up for another season with a quick makeover. Before you start, you literally need to ‘clear the deck’, so move off any furniture and fixtures, such as umbrellas and pot plants, and give the bare boards a good sweep to remove leaves, loose dirt, cobwebs and any other debris.
Now have a look at the boards themselves. If there are raised nail heads, you can bang them back into position with a hammer and nail punch or, if they’re really loose, you’ll need to remove and replace them with nails that are slightly longer and thicker, hammering them firmly into place.
The best way to clean the deck thoroughly after sweeping and repairing is to scrub with a specialised deck cleaning product – check out your local hardware store – which will brighten and smooth the timber and remove all traces of mould. Rinse this off with a hose or pressure washer and allow the deck to dry thoroughly, before proceeding to the next step.
Now you need to nourish and protect the washed timber with a deck oil. Use a paintbrush to apply the oil to the edges of the deck and cut it in, then apply it to the rest of the boards using a long-handled lambswool applicator, working along the grain in sections and stopping at a natural break, such as a join in the boards. Let the first coat dry – about 2 hours – and apply a second coat, and even a third coat if you want maximum protection.
You’ll be amazed at how new it looks! And if your wooden garden furniture is now looking a bit shabby on your new deck, then give it a facelift as well, by sanding or cleaning with deck cleaner and applying a coat of garden furniture oil.
Now put everything back, add some bright new cushions, some pots of colour and enjoy your new deck.