Get your Deck in Shape for Summer

Ready to start grilling and entertaining on your deck? If you’ve been blessed with a deck, there’s a good chance it needs a bit of lovin’ after the winter months.  Ours really needs A LOT of loving, but we decided to give it just a little lovin’ because in a couple of years we hope to save enough money to build a new one out of composite wood, because well, we’re not too found of having to do the following project year after year.

Anyway, decks tend to get washed out and icky after a year so it’s a good idea to sand and re-stain your deck every year or every two years.  I kinda started this project last year and then finished it up this year even though that’s not what the original plan was.  Last spring I started getting our deck in shape for summer which meant that at 5 months pregnant and with a small bump protruding from my front, I was down on my hands and knees sanding away.  To make a long story short, I finished the sanding and re-staining of the deck and rail slats but I didn’t do the railing top board because Jeff was going to get new boards and try to make our deck a little sturdier and better looking.  You’ll notice in the pictures they are severely warped.

Well, that never happened and so once it started warming up outside I asked Jeff about replacing the top boards.  After much discussion, we decided it was pointless to replace the boards because it would be impossible to get them to match up and they still wouldn’t look that great.  So, like putting make-up over a bruise, we decided to just sand and re-stain the top boards to give the illusion of a newer deck until we could actually afford a newer deck…won’t that be nice!

There’s nothing revolutionary about the way we did it, just a lot of grunt work.  This is a great weekend project and I’m posting this simply to motivate you to do the work now so you can enjoy your labor the entire spring and summer rather than waiting half way through before getting it done.

Game Plan:

1. Clean deck of furniture and debris

2.  Make sure all nails are hammered down below the surface of the wood

3.  Sand all surfaces so old stain is removed and bare wood is exposed to allow for stain absorption.

sand and re-stain your deck

Jeff sanding down the rails with an electric sander

4.  Use a stain/sealant mixture or waterproof stain so you only have to stain one time.

how to sand and stain a deck

Use a waterproof stain to make the job quick and easy

5.  Let dry completely before replacing furniture.

Make sure no rain is in the near forecast before you stain!

how to get your deck in shape


get your deck to look great


how to stain a deck

AFTER: Don't make the same mistake as I did which was use the wrong stain! I accidentally used the fence stain (slightly red) instead of the deck stain (slightly orange). Funny thing is, I had the deck stain out first but thought it was labeled wrong.

how to sand and re-stain a deck

Rylan trying to get in on the makeover action!

What are your tips for staining a deck?

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