My in-laws let us borrow their power washer this summer, so after using it for some small projects, we decided to take on our drab deck. The deck was fine. The wood had turned gray over years (like most wood decks do) and I honestly never thought it would turn out looking brand new!
I apologize for not having many before pictures. I really wasn’t planning on writing a blog post about this, but after seeing the finished product it just didn’t feel right keeping this easy, but time consuming, deck facelift from my readers. Here is a picture of the dramatic difference power washing made to our deck.
First we power washed the deck. If you don’t have a power washer or know someone you can borrow one from, you can usually rent them as well. This took quite a bit of time to get it looking right. My husband and I took turns. Doing the railings is the worst part! But, take your time and do it right. It is worth the time! Not all power washers are the same so make sure you read the instructions. If it isn’t done probably you could ruin your deck. A few tips, use a lower pressure tip and don’t hold the power washer too close to the wood because this could cause splintering. I tried it in a small, inconspicuous area first to get a feel for the power.
You will have to watch the weather forecast for the next steps. We decided to use a clear water sealer on the deck because we like the look of the natural wood, but you could stain or paint it if you prefer Once the deck has been completely cleaned with the power washer, it will need to dry for at least 48 hours before applying the water sealer. The water sealer will also need to dry for 48 hours after it is applied so make sure there is no rain in the forecast. We ended up waiting a few weeks after power washing just because of our schedules and the forecast.
We used Thompson’s Clear WaterSeal, which you can buy at any local hardware store. Follow the instructions on the container. We used two bonus size containers for a 16×16 deck. I’m not sure when the last time our deck was sealed so it absorbed it pretty quickly. We applied it using a combination of a brush and sprayer. The sprayer definitely saved a lot of time!
As you can see, the Brooklyn Summer Ale (my new favorite summer beer) snuck into the picture, but it was also a necessary tool for this job.
The clear water seal really brought out the grains in the wood. You can see the difference between where we started applying it in the below picture.
And here is the finished product! I can’t wait to enjoy it for the rest of the summer. And next summer we will get some patio furniture for it 🙂
UPDATE: Here are pictures of the water beading after some rain. Looks like the Thompson’s WaterSeal is working the way it should!