How to Prepare Your Deck

How’s the weather where you live? We’ve had sunshine and pleasant temperatures with the occasional storm. In Georgia, we have a very short window to tackle outdoor projects. It will be hot in a few more weeks and pretty miserable by June. So Ryan and I spent a couple of days last week prepping our deck for warmer temperatures. I thought I would share our process, which we’re fine-tuning since our deck is only a year old. Make sure to scroll to the bottom for a look at the deck!

Remove & Assess Everything

I recommend removing as much from the deck as possible. If you can’t remove something, like a fire pit, then work around it. If you’ve been storing cushions or flower pots, go ahead and get those out. Next, take a good look at everything. Does anything need repairing? Does something need replacing? More than likely your furniture and cushions need a good cleaning. Continue reading for my process. Also check the actual deck for any issues.

Clean, Clean, Clean

The first thing I cleaned was the furniture. I started by cleaning and staining our teak side table. Our chairs and sofa have teak accents, so I cleaned and stained those too. If you missed by post about cleaning and protecting teak, click here. I used soap and water to clean everything else from the deck.

Next, you’ll need to clean and protect your cushions. I started by vacuuming each one. I then removed them from the deck to clean them properly. I placed all of the cushions on a clean tarp. Using a mixture of OxiClean and water, I washed each cushion with a microfiber cloth. You can also use a sponge or soft bristle brush. Make sure to rinse the cushions really well and then let dry. On a sunny day, the cushions will dry quickly (maybe an hour or so). You’ll need to protect your cushions by spraying them with a fabric guard. I used 303 Fabric Guard because it’s recommended by Sunbrella. Just spray as evenly as possible and allow to dry. Make sure your cushions will remain dry for at least 24 hours. The fabric guard needs to cure. Within a day, I had all of our cushions cleaned and protected.

While all of that is drying, clean your deck and railings. I recommend sweeping or using a blower to remove any debris. Ryan prefers to clean our Trex deck with the pressure washer on a low setting. I used a bucket of dish soap and water to clean the rails before he cleaned the boards. It’s not an enjoyable chore but necessary. We removed so much dirt from the railings. We plan to clean the rails twice a year (once in the spring and again late fall). We clean the deck roughly three times per year. We clean our front porch, also Trex, the same amount of times.

Paint

I decided to repaint our back door and touch up any paint around the deck. Now is a good time to paint any furniture or re-coat any plant hangers, accessories, etc. This isn’t necessarily needed each time, but I don’t think it hurts to spend the time making sure everything looks good.

Add Flowers

I love flowers, so I have several flower pots on our deck. I recommend cleaning each one with water before adding the plants. I pick up a variety of annuals each season to plant. During the winter, I use a composite planter so that I can have some holiday greenery on the deck. We store our pots from Pike Nurseries in the shed during the colder months (December-February). Hanging baskets are another great way to add color to your deck or porch.

Style It

We’ve finally reached the fun part! Once your deck is dry, you can starting bringing everything back up and onto the deck. We placed our outdoor rug pad and rug first. I grabbed our new rug from Target, so we’ll see how it holds up. It looks similar-ish to the rug I wanted from West Elm but significantly cheaper. Once that was in place, we positioned the furniture and fire pit. I then brought up all of the cushions, pillows, and accessories. I recommend storing these items during the winter. I’m all about keeping things protected and cleaned so that they will last longer. I personally don’t want to buy stuff each year or season.

You may recall that our deck has two tiers. We’ve now completely furnished the first tier. We haven’t bought anything for the second tier yet. I wanted to wait to see how we actually utilized the deck first. The first tier is pretty much complete. I’m waiting on two pillows and a candle to arrive next week. We’re also purchasing a water fountain, but we obviously can’t go buy that yet. Other than those few items, it’s done. Take a look.

What do you think? I absolutely love it. I’ll have a reveal post soon with all of the details. I’ll also share my vision for the second tier. Be sure to check back. Until then, I hope you make time to create your own outdoor oasis.

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