Twenty Years ago, your deck looked absolutely amazing! Then time and wear got to it and its visibily has given up, with chips, warps, splinters, and questionable stains. It doesn’t help that the old furniture you have on it right now, if any, isn’t making the deck look any better. What can you do?
Homeowners can improve the appearance of their decks by repairing them, repainting or staining them, and/or adding furniture and decorative accents for more functionality and color.
Having trouble improving your deck? Read below for help on cleaning, picking colors, and adding furniture to help inspire you.
How do I Make My Decking Look Nice?
Good-looking decks require two things:
- Being clean and tidy
- Being decorated
Naturally, it isn’t very relaxing to lounge on a deck that is dirty, cluttered, splintered, or damaged. Necessary repairs and cleaning would be the first steps toward creating an enjoyable outdoor space.
After that, you can get to the fun part of decorating the deck with convenient furniture, rugs, plants, pillows and cushions, and more. That’s all it takes to turn a deck into an outdoor extension of the comforts of home.
How Can I Clean My Deck Quickly?
The quickest way to clean your deck is to pressure wash it. If food or drink spills occur, clean them up right away so that they don’t soak in. Stubborn stains might take a little more time, but not by much, and the effort to remove them is worth it.
For composite decks, remove stains with a mild soap like dish soap, or use a cleaner that’s specially formulated for your deck’s specific brand. Grab a brush to scrub at the stain, then wash the soap off thoroughly.
If you have a wood deck, stains from food and drinks can be removed relatively quickly by wetting the deck with water, dissolving deck cleaner in a bucket with warm water, and then applying with a mop, scrubbing with the grain. Let the solution soak into the wood for about 10 minutes, reapplying the solution if it starts prematurely drying, and then rinsing thoroughly with water. If solid stains are your trouble, you’ll need to strip that section of the deck with a deck stain stripping solution and a brush with firm bristles.
Lastly, for concrete stains, use a powdered oxygen cleaner and water to remove water-based stains or mineral spirits and a wire brush for oil-based stains. Then scrub the stained area again with an oxygen bleach and water mixture, and rinse off.
How do I Make My Decking Area Look Good?
When a deck looks inviting, it’s partly because it has furniture with which you and your guests can relax or dine. Furniture like a dining table and chairs, coffee table and chair sets, benches, or pergolas, are excellent additions. Appliances that refresh everyone, such as bars and BBQs, are also inviting.
Furniture won’t be enough to make a deck look good, they need to be decorated in order to be inviting. Tables need dining sets, cloths, and napkins, seating areas need cushions and pillows, and tables always benefit with centerpieces like firepits, and plants. The colors of these accents pieces, decorations, flowers, and the deck itself will make or break the environment, so get a good idea of your color scheme.
What Color Should I Paint My Decking?
When you choose a good color for your deck, it ties your home and outside furnishings together seamlessly, instead of creating distractingly separate spaces, and it will add beautiful visual interest with the right amount of contrast.
You can have a better chance of choosing a good deck color by matching it to the color of existing accent colors on your home’s exterior, like the trim or doors. It doesn’t even have to be a perfect match. You can just pull out a hue of color from your house’s exterior to use for the deck.
Another common color trick is to use a color wheel to determine your primary color, secondary color, and accent color by figuring out which color scheme you’re going for:
- Or triadic
How Can I Make My Deck More Modern?
Modern decks are gorgeous! Yours can look modern by employing techniques like:
- Using metal and wood, such as with rails
- Adding a pergola
- Using dark stain for greater contrast with your house, or dark woods like Ipe.
- Create patterns in the boards
- Having varied plank colors
- Adding built-in wood seats or benches
- Use hidden fasteners to prevent using nails that interrupt the design
- Use recycled material
One move that makes a deck modern in at least three ways is by using composite decking. You can have as dark a color as you’d like, have intricate designs, and in the case of TimberTech, can be made with up to 80% recycled material.
How do You Make Decking Shine?
Over time, the luster and color that your hardwood, composite, or concrete decking had will begin to wear off with heavy traffic, abrasive cleaning, excessive heat and sun, etc. So how do you get that shine back? After removing furniture, rugs, plants, and other decorations, restoring shine will come in three general steps:
- Apply shining product
Usually, the shining product will be some kind of stain or paint, which begs the question, is it better to paint or stain a deck?
Start repairing any damages such as replacing broken and splintered boards. Your next steps will depend on if your deck was originally stained, varnished, or painted.
If your wood deck was stained when it was originally installed, just thoroughly pressure wash the deck with either 500-600 psi or 1200-1500 psi, depending on if your deck uses softwood or hardwood. After cleaning, you have to sand the deck with 60-80 grit on the main deck and 80-100 grit on handrails, then vacuum or sweep the dust off.
Now you can stain the deck with either water or oil-based stains. Water-based will be easier to clean, but oil-based soaks into the wood better and lasts longer. It should be easy to find stains that also seals. Before staining the actual deck, make sure the stain you have has the color you want by swatching a sample on a spare board. Repainting or revarnishing is the same process: clean, sand, then paint or varnish.
For wood decks, paint will last longer than stain and has no trouble covering previous stains or blemishes, but hides the grain and is not easy to remove once it’s down.
Finally, you can maintain your hard work by lightly washing the deck with a mild soap, then applying a deck brightener (if you stained the deck) and rinsing, and lastly, applying new stain.
Composite decks, like TimberTech, are meant to be low-maintenance and long-lasting with a durable glossy finish. They have a minimum warranty of 25 years for fading and stains and neither paint or stain will stick to the deck if it’s capped. If you still want to go through with re-shining, the process is below.
Begin the process by removing furniture and decorations from the deck. Then, clean your composite decking by using Timberdeck’s Deckcleaner and the appropriate brush to scrub each board. Use a 1:3 ratio of cleaner to water.
If you have TimberTech composite:
- AZEK: A stiff brush with natural fibers
- PRO or EDGE: A medium to a stiff nylon brush
Use a hose or a power washer that’s at least 8” away from the deck at 1500 psi with a fan-tip nozzle to thoroughly rinse off the cleaner. If you leave any residue and move on to another section, you’ll end up with a film.
If you’re staining, use a reputable oil-based stain and sealant and apply it with a normal brush and/or a roller. Then simply maintain the deck by washing it down seasonally.
If you’re painting, you’ll have to sand the entire deck with a 240 grit in order to remove the gloss finish and get the paint to stick. Sweep off the shards. Next, you’ll need to prime the deck first with a latex exterior primer for flexibility, and once the primer is dry, paint.
For composite decking, both paint and stain work equally well, so long as you choose brands made for outside and for being walked on.
To resurface your concrete pool decking, begin by grinding and pressure washing the surface at approximately 3000 psi. The next step is to repair any cracks, chips, or spalling, and then smooth out the patched areas by grinding. Then, just wash off or vacuum the concrete dust.
Now you can finally mix and apply the resurfacing agent such as Sakrete Flo-Coat with a trowel or squeegee. The last step is to drag a broom across the fresh agent to create texture.
Trying to make sense of your decking situation? Well, if you’re located in the Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming areas, we can come by and talk about your next big backyard project! You can give us a call today at (970) 663-2868 or visit the deck services page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment for a free consultation.