Restoring a Deck

The 10 Step process for Restoring your Deck to New

By Mark J. Donovan

As someone once said to me, a home is not self maintaining. This can be no truer than with a deck. Sunlight and weather can quickly age a deck. They can cause the deck surface to fade or check, nails to pop up, deck boards to warp, and the wooden rails to cup and twist. However, with a little do-it-yourself effort you can restore your deck to a relatively new condition.

Tools Required

  • Hammer and Claw
  • Pressure Washer
  • Pole Sander
  • Rough grit sand paper and Nails
  • Broom and Leaf Blower
  • Stain/Paint and Brush/Roller

Step 1 – Sweep the Deck

To begin the process of restoring your deck, begin by sweeping it clean. If you have a leaf blower use this as well.

Step 2 – Power Wash the Deck

Use a power washer to thoroughly remove dirt build up, pitch, and flaking sealer material.

Step 3 – Replace Popped Nails

Use your hammer to remove and replace popped nails. Popped nails are nails that have worked their way up overtime due to the constant change of temperatures. Replace the popped nails with slightly larger nails to ensure they hold the decking material to the deck joists.

Step 4 – Realign Twisted Deck Boards

Using your claw, remove nails from deck boards that have twisted. Once the nails have been removed, realign the board using your claw and while holding the board into position, install new nails into the decking material. Place the new nails into the pre-existing nail holes of the decking material.

Step 5 – Replace Damaged Deck Boards

If any deck boards are damaged, e.g. splits or cracks, replace these boards altogether.

 Sand your deck and restore it to looking like new!

Step 6 – Repair Warped or Twisted Railings

If the deck rails are in rough shape, replace them with new material. I would highly recommend replacing them with composite decking boards as they will hold up for a lifetime.

Step 7 – Sand Deck

Using a pole sander and rough grit sand paper, sand the deck surface down.

Step 8 – Sweep the Deck

Once the deck has been sanded sweep and leaf blow the deck clean.

Step 9 – Apply Deck Cleaning Solution

Apply a deck cleaning solution to the deck. Work it into the wood with a broom and then rinse thoroughly.

Again, use the pressure washer to remove any residual deck cleaning solution.

Deck Installation Bid Sheet

Step 10 – Apply Sealer / Paint / Stain

Once the deck is free from dust and other material and is thoroughly dry, apply a quality watersealer, stain, or paint to the deck surface.

With these 10 steps your deck will look as good as new!!

For help on building a deck, see’s Deck Installation Bid Sheet. The Deck Installation Bid Sheet will teach your how to hire the right deck contractor, and help to ensure that your deck project is completed on time and budget.

Related Information

Additional Deck Building and Design Resources

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