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Refurbishing my old deck
Refurbishing My Old Deck
Home Improvement Woodworking Project

When I bought my old house, the deck looked like a haunted house specimen. My foot actually went through one of the deck floorboards. The deck rail was partially rotten away as well. But there was just enough good wood left in my old deck to justify refurbishing the deck rather than going to the expense of tearing it down and building a new one.

Here are the steps I took (with a lot of help from friends) to refurbish my old deck and make it safe to use and beautiful to look at. Refurbishing my deck myself saved me a lot of money, and the work was actually fun. In short, of all my home improvement projects, refurbishing my deck was most rewarding, a really fun summer home improvement project.

Step #1: Replacing Rotten Floorboards

I started refurbishing my old deck by replacing the rotten floorboards before someone falls right through them. Using a hammer and chisel I pried the old floorboards out from the end, heading back toward the house. When I was done, I had the frame of the deck left, but no deck floor.

Before and after pictures of refurbishing my deck
Step #2: Building the Deck Floor

I used cheap 2x4 lumber to refurbish the deck floor. This time I started from the house down the deck, laying the lumber and hammering into place, then standing on the new deck surface to build the next section. Since I was refurbishing my deck in summer, I didn’t have to worry about the lumber getting rained on before I could seal it.

Step #3: Replacing Rotten Deck Rails

Some of my deck rail was fine, but much was rotten through. I refurbished the deck rail section by section, replacing rotten wood with new 2x4 lumber where necessary, or nailing old sections back into place. For wood that was slightly rotten in one spot, I used wood filler instead of replacing the entire section. But for supporting deck rail beams, I took no chances and replaced them all.

Step #4: Pressure Wash the Old Deck

As part of refurbishing the old deck, I had to get rid of old, peeling paint. Rather than sand the deck down, my friends pressure washed the deck. Then after the deck dried, any new rotten areas that were exposed in the deck were replaced or refurbished with wood putty.
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 © Inventive Home Improvement, 2011