How to revive your decking

By Tony Griffin, Manager Pat McDonnell Paints Tralee

Given our climate in Ireland, decking requires regular maintenance. We get a lot of queries at Pat McDonnell Paints this time of year about how to breathe new life into old decking. Once you have decided it is time to spruce up your deck, below are the steps that are involved.

Step 1: Preparation

For every paint job you need the surface as clean as possible. Clean down the entire area with a decking brush and multi-purpose solution like FARBEX Exterior Fungicidal Wash to remove any mould, moss and algae making sure to scrub between the boards – leave for 15 minutes and hose it off.

Avoid bleach cleaner as this can shade the wood to a white which could cause further damage. Leave the decking to dry for at least 2 days. Tomorrow it might look dry but there will still be moisture in the deck and if you seal that moisture in it will come out somewhere. Trapped moisture can make the deck look like it’s cracking and splitting.

If required, sand off any loose or flaking areas and run a cloth soaked in white spirits to remove any sanding dust.

Step 2: Choose the Correct Product

Typically, your decking will have been coated with Decking Oil, Decking Stain or a Solid Decking Colour. To re-coat with a similar type of product is the most straightforward but remember while you can go darker with a stain or oil is very difficult to go lighter so I always advise to test first.

Sikkens HLS is my go-to product in a stain or a solid colour; another alternative is Textrol Oil.

Tip: Check the weather forecast before you start, you will need a few of days of dry weather to complete your project but best avoid very hot weather as this can result in the product drying too quickly and not fully absorbing into the wood.

Step 3: Now it is time to paint/ stain / oil your decking! 

Use a 4” paint brush to apply your chosen product, a 4”Classic from Harper & Green would suit, or you could use a 4” Masonry Brush if you had it to hand. While you can use a roller it can sometimes result in an uneven finish.

Tip: Start at the furthest end of the deck and go in an s shape painting one or two boards at a time for an even finish.

We recommend you give it 2 coats in April. After your final coat, if the gods allow it, leave at least 24 hours of good weather before you use it. At the end of September, give your decking the 3rd coat to protect it from the winter.

All the products mentioned above are available in Pat McDonnell Paints stores nationwide and online today!!