Author Topic: Deck redo  (Read 3262 times)

impaire

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Deck redo
« on: August 05, 2013, 10:38:44 AM »
Hi everyone,

I am looking for some advice as I prepare to redo our deck (balcony deck on the first floor of the house). The previous owners painted it (or had it painted), and the paint is worn out in high-traffic areas (but it's still apparently holding strong elsewhere). The railing also needs some work, with disintegrating post caps and trim (at the foot of the post--I hope that's descriptive enough!)

My research suggests that painting decks is a mistake (and I'm not a huge fan of it anyway), so I was planning on applying a paint stripper, power wash, sand, and then stain/seal. However, I'd like to keep the railing painted for obvious aesthetic reasons.

I'm no DYI specialist -- I have sanded and refinished floors, fixed some plaster hole, sanded, and repainted walls, put up some wallpaper... this kind of things. That's the extent of it, though, and I have never had a deck before. I thought that it would be enough experience for this project, but now I am seeing information that I need to check under the boards for mold, and other more involved actions which I don't feel confident undertaking (basically rebuilding the deck from scratch for the more catastrophe-loving advisers... Yay Internet!)

So I guess I'm coming to you talented bunch for two things:

1) a plan! Was mine OK, does it need to be altered, do I need to subcontract it? How much time does a slow worker need to plan for this (surface is 150 sq feet at most)? Alternately, do you have a trustworthy resource to recommend to better prep for this project?
2) details - do you have reco for supplies? I was planning on borrowing the sander and renting the power washer, any compelling reason to invest in the later?

Thanks for any info -- I tend to disregard disaster warnings, but I've had an unlucky month and apparently this is getting to me :p

Greg

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Re: Deck redo
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 06:06:33 PM »
I'm also against painting decks, and painting in general for wood.  Anyway, it's hard to tell from your description, is the deck separate boards over dirt or gravel, or over a water-shedding surface?  Or are they tight like a solid surface?

Anyway you can probably skip the paint remover and just sand it off using a fairly rough grit, then use finer and finer grits until it is smooth.  The pressure washer will likely only remove paint that's not sticking, and not help with other areas. 

If you can rent a floor sander that has 4 random orbit discs and a vacuum collector, that's the one to use.  Be sure to counter-sink the nails first, or make sure the screws are below the surface.  Don't use a barrel sander, they are hard to keep from leaving divots.

Some oil based stains help cause mildew staining, so be choosy about your finish.  The post trim can probably be replaced if the post isn't compromised.

impaire

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Re: Deck redo
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 08:17:52 AM »
Thank you for the info! Mostly this is making me feel better that this project doesn't have to get inflated to "rebuild the deck from scratch" proportions, and the recommendations about the sander is really helpful too (plus I'm glad of the warning re: nails, I'd never have thought to pay them special attention!)

Anyway, it's hard to tell from your description, is the deck separate boards over dirt or gravel, or over a water-shedding surface?  Or are they tight like a solid surface?

They are rather tight together -- the deck is not right on the ground, it is a balcony deck leading off a second-floor. I just realize I wrote "first floor" in a previous post - my bad, I am just back from France and we count floors from zero there.


Some oil based stains help cause mildew staining, so be choosy about your finish.  The post trim can probably be replaced if the post isn't compromised.

Yes, I think the post trim is one of the easiest part, but that is - again - GREAT info about the stain! thanks

Greg

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Re: Deck redo
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 08:25:39 AM »
If you really want to DIY and not have to rent the sander, you could probably use a hand-held 5" random orbit sander which would be useful for many other things. ~150 sq. ft. is not too big to do it this way, it will just take longer, and I recommend kneepads.  If you have a shop vac, you could attach it to the sander (there are even adapters for this) to collect the paint and wood dust.

For a second floor deck with tight boards you may want to use a pressure washer after sanding just to get the joints open, and for maintenance later.  I like to space my boards about 1/4"-5/16" apart to promote drainage, drying and allow debris to fall through.  Not ideal on an upper deck however.

impaire

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Re: Deck redo
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 09:05:43 AM »
I'd love to own a sander (I'm weird - it's been my favorite tool to use in the past), but since my FIL has one I can borrow, that will be hard to justify unfortunately!

Adding "checking joint opening" to my list.

velocistar237

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Re: Deck redo
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 09:44:03 AM »
What about using a cheap plane? It might cut down on time and effort quite a bit. Harbor Freight sells one.

http://www.harborfreight.com/no-33-bench-plane-97544.html

impaire

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Re: Deck redo
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 03:08:02 PM »
Interesting suggestion - I'm looking into it now, I've never used this type of tools before. I'm not sure I want to learn to use a new tool on this project, I'd be afraid to shave too much wood...