Stripping your wooden deck
If you want to brighten or add a different stain to your deck’s hardwood floor, stripping could be the solution. Instead of replacing your entire deck floor with a light-colored wood, you have this inexpensive alternative. The good news is that you can easily pickle it yourself by following these five easy steps.
Before you begin, prepare plenty of sandpaper and absorbent (lint-free) rags, a wide brush, a bristle brush, a lambswool wax applicator, and enough varnish and paint for the entire deck floor. For toluene or alcohol-based varnish, protect yourself from toxic gases with a mask. Oil-based paint is easier to use on your deck because it takes longer to dry. If you want latex for the deck, dilute it in paint thinner at a ratio of 25/75. Stick with flat finishes, as the gloss tends to overshadow the texture of the deck wood. For larger decks, use an electric sanding device. Otherwise, it would take forever to finish the entire deck.
1. Remove the existing finish from your deck floor. Be careful when using the power sanding device as it may chip or damage the deck floor. Sand the deck in hard-to-reach spaces. Once the finish is completely removed, the deck surface may be too rough for you. Use fine sandpaper to smooth it out. Clean thoroughly afterwards. Be sure to vacuum the entire deck, especially the corners, to ensure a clean paint job.
2. Paint the deck. Spread the paint evenly over the wood. Don’t worry about the direction, as that won’t matter later. Let the deck dry for 20 to 60 minutes.
3. Using the rags, wipe off the paint in circular motions. The amount of paint you remove will determine how light the stain will be on the deck. Smooth out any paint clumps with the bristle brush.
4. Smooth the deck floor with the power sanding device and sandpaper. Remember to get rid of all the sawdust before moving on to the next step.
5. Apply a couple of coats of varnish to finish. Do not forget to use the mask for varnish that does not yellow. Use the wax applicator to achieve a polished veneer.
Remember that the colors you choose will blend in with the original color of the deck floor, acting like a sheet of colored cellophane. White paint on cedar will give it a rosy hue. A purplish one would show if blue paint was used. Different varnishes also affect deck floors in different ways. Oil or polyurethane varnishes can darken wood and turn it yellow over time.
Get creative with the colors and have it complement or contrast with the rest of your deck. That’s pretty much the 5 step process for stripping your wooden deck.