I thought I'd share my current deck renewal project.
The deck is around 10 years old and was looking pretty shabby. The timber is merbau but I wasn't sure what the original coating put on the deck was - something with a coating that peeled off in parts (as opposed to an oil).
Subsequent oiling never got a brilliant result despite how much I scrubbed and blasted with the pressure cleaner - it was clear that a full sand back to the bare timber was needed.
In preparation for hiring a floor sander I purchased an orbital sander and sanded back all the edges of the deck with 40 grit paper. It's hard work on the hands and knees but I was happy with the initial results, giving me confidence that the deck was going to come up well after the job was complete. Here's a rough example:
I hired a floor sander on Saturday. They are heavy beasts but surprisingly easy to use. It's a job anyone can do - even those with limited skills like me! Again I used 40 grit paper for the first sand, then went over again with an 80 grit. Here's a few sanding progress shots:
Final step in the sanding process was to get the orbital sander out again with the 80 grit paper and tidy up any spots that were a little rough or needed a little more work.
After cleaning up I started oiling the deck. I got one coat on Saturday and one coat on Sunday morning, but with rain forecast for Sunday afternoon/night I couldn't get the third coat done. Hoping to get to it in the next couple of days and will share the results. It looks like it will be a big improvement and well worth doing.
Safety update: January 2021
The Bunnings team would like to advise the drum sanders available for hire in Bunnings stores are not suitable for use on decks. For any exterior decking projects, the Orbital sander available for hire is the correct choice as it has a sturdier head which is ideal for decking.
Before sanding your deck, all nails should be checked to make sure they are below the surface of the boards. Any protruding nails should be punched below the deck surface.
The state of your deck's timber is also important to assess. If they are weathered, the edges can start to split. Any boards that are damaged with sharp edges or splinters should be replaced before commencing sanding.
If you need a hand with your deck renewal project, please don't hesitate to ask for assistance. We're here to help.
@Jason, we had strong winds & good rain overnight, but I'm not sure where it was headed to afterwards.
Having said that, it's fine here today.
Fingers crossed that Workshoppers have fine weather for their outdoor projects over the weekend.
Happy Sunday @Jason - still busy on my deck. Hilarious happenings around here. A nice chap was standing on my nearly finished deck about to measure up for a quote for blinds. I was explaining that the deck was built in what was a very busy flight path for all the local birds along the river here. I am used to it - he was not ! I saw a rather large magpie with her fledgling about to swoop in. I called "incoming" and ducked. He thought I was a lunatic-until they almost took his ears off as they passed. On another note, the soil here is quite compacted and I'm too puny to dig, so I thought I'd make a dry creek bed as a part of the garden along the deck. Truck was to deliver assorted sizes in rocks but some wires got crossed and they were set down quite far from the work area.When I got home truck was gone. Now people in boats on the river, or walking through the bush or along the bank often see this strange old woman ( me ) carrying rocks away from this "cairn" in the bush to build her darn garden! Building this deck has been a wondrous experience-but thank my lucky stars it's nearly done. Now...back to the creekbed. Cheers
Finally !! Here's the finished ' dry creek bed.' I'm happy, but I'd love some feedback. Not looking to do a 'fix it' but I know some of the rocks don't marry up with others. Be gentle with me-still sore from carrying the damn things but I had such fun ! Cheers
Hi Jason, curious what oil you used? We've replaced our decking with merbau, and after a few weeks of letting the tanines out, we're ready to oil. I'm thinking clear and not stained oil.
Thanks for joining in the discussion. I used Intergrain Ultradeck, which is a water-based product. Intergrain recommends four to six weeks of weathering, or you could use PowerPrep if you are keen to get cracking as per this information - How to skip weathering your deck.
Regarding colour, if you've got a spare decking board, you might like to do a test using a sample pot and see if you are happy with it. If you go with Ultradeck, you'll probably be tossing up between Merbau and Natural.
I found this information from Cabots really interesting about why there's no clear (colourless) decking oils. They say the reason all exterior decking oils have pigment in them is due to the colour being the component which provides protection from Australia’s harsh Ultra-Violet radiation. Screening out UV helps to protect the timber surface, and prevent degradation. Bare timber left in the sun will go grey and eventually cup, crack and splinter.
I'm sure Workshop community members who are more knowledgeable and experienced than me would be happy to help further if you have other questions. It would also be great to see your deck - perhaps you could share some photos and document your project before and after for the benefit of other members.