Weekend DIY – Restoring Our Deck

I love the sun but just as it takes a toll on our skin,  it can also dry out and damage exterior wood.  Combined with salt in the air and the occasion rain, our deck has really taken a beating.  True, it doesn’t get much love. It’s been YEARS since we put any oils or conditioners on it and now the wood is dry, weathered grey and starting to splinter.

At our house, a long weekend usually involves a DIY project so it was no surprise when I got up this morning and decided to tackle cleaning up the deck.  Plus, I really wanted to try Benjamin Moore Restore.  Think of it like an acid peel for your woodwork!  I got a bucket, a scrub brush, and a water hose.

Since the wood on our deck was very weathered, I mixed ½ gallon or Benjamin Moore Restore with 2 ½ gallons of water.  Feel free to skip the measuring cups and eye-ball.

Then the work began.  Two boards at a time, I applied the diluted Restore with a deck brush, scrubbed thoroughly and then rinsed with the hose.  I won’t lie to you – this was hard work.  An area 16′ x 20′ took me over two hours and I feel like my arms are going to fall off.  Alternately, if you have a garden sprayer handy you can soak the entire surface, let the Restore and water mixture sit for a few minutes and THEN scrub.  Sorry – scrubbing is a must.

Even though it was a work out, I was amazed at how much cleaner the new boards were compared with the ones that hadn’t been scrubbed.  With every pass of the brush a layer of green/grey gunk was removed from the wood and a warm brown surface was exposed.

After a couple of hours, one gallon of Restore and a slight sunburn on my back (where’s that hubby with the lotion when you need him!) the deck was dry and looking good!

RECAP – If you’re planning on tackling this at home here are some tips.  After you hose down the deck it will be very slippery so be careful and wear some shoes you’re not terribly fond of.  Also, all that water and scrubbing will probably raise the grain of the wood.  After it’s dry it will look and feel “fuzzy”.  Before staining it wouldn’t hurt to give it a once over with some 180 grit sandpaper.

But wait – I’m not done yet!  Now that the boards are clean and dry it’s time to protect them so they’ll stay that way!  Plus, I’m not in a rush to do this again anytime soon.  Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll be trying out Benjamin Moore Arbor Coat in Mahogany to seal the deck and keep it looking pretty.

Are you tackling any weekend projects?  Leave us a comment below!

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