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 link and a good decking cleaner-deck cleaner link. 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 link. 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…