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How To Pressure Wash a Deck

Proper Surface Preparation Ensures A Beautiful Looking Deck.

Spring time, Project time!  As it starts to dry out (as much as it can in the Pac NW in Spring), we start thinking of heading outdoors again.  Sitting out on the deck early morning with a cup of coffee watching the sunrise, or heading out for the ever loved barbeque!  We have to take advantage of the good days when we get them!

Now is the time to get your deck spruced up for just those occasions!  Cause what’s better than heading out your back door to enjoy your beautiful, and protected deck?

If you plan to stain your deck, here’s the right way to get the best results. First you may wonder why you can’t just go out and sweep off the dirt and get staining… Well, whether you have new wood or old wood there are 2 things we recommend you do, sanding and power washing. Both are recommended but sanding is always the best method to ensure a clean porous surface.

Dirt, weathering, and Mill Glaze are three causes of coatings failures on wood. They not only prevent good penetration and adhesion, but if you are using a translucent finish it alters the look you are trying to achieve.

The following instructions are for new or weathered uncoated wood…

First: Get yourself a basic garden sprayer.  Apply a solution of 4oz. TSP, 1quart of household bleach, and 3quarts of water to DRY wood, keeping it wet with the solution for 5-20 minutes.

Second: For the most effective cleaning, keeping the wood wet you lightly scrub with a synthetic bristle brush to remove dirt, mildew spores, mill glaze and old weathered finishes.

Third: Thoroughly rinse with a power washer @500 PSI, keeping the nozzle AT LEAST 8-12 inches from the surface. Doing this any closer than that pushes the water entirely too deep into the wood and can cause a lot of damage.

Fourth: WAIT 3 days after cleaning to allow wood to dry completely before sanding. Use an electric sander with 60-80 grit sandpaper for the floor surfaces and 80-120 grit sandpaper for the vertical surfaces. Hardwoods however should be sanded with 60 grit or less. Always sanding in the direction of the grain.

Fifth: Thoroughly remove all sanding dust with vacuum, broom or blower before applying stain. Any leftover will absorb the stain and prevent penetration.

You are ready to stain, so come on down to your local Miller Paint Store & get going!

~Melanie Gibbs