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Pickling Your Wooden Deck

If you want to lighten or add a different color to your deck’s wooden floor, pickling it could be the solution. Instead of replacing the entire deck floor with light wood, you have this inexpensive alternative. The good news is that you can easily decapitate it yourself by following these five simple steps.

Before you begin, prepare a lot of sandpaper and absorbent (lint-free) rags, a wide brush, a bristle brush, a lamb wool wax applicator and enough paint and varnish for the entire deck floor. For toluene or alcohol based paint, protect yourself from toxic gases with a mask. Oil-based paint is easier to use on the deck because it takes longer to dry. If you want latex for the deck, dilute it with paint thinner with a ratio of 25/75. Stick with flat finishes since the shine tends to eclipse the structured wood of the bridge. For larger bridges, use an electric honing device. Otherwise, it would take forever to finish the whole deck.

1. Remove the existing deck floor finish. Be careful when using the electric sanding device as it may chip or damage the deck floor. Sand the deck on hard to reach spaces. Once the finish has been completely removed, the deck surface may be too rough for you. Use fine sandpaper to make it smoother. Clean thoroughly afterwards. Make sure to vacuum the entire deck, especially the corners, to ensure a clean paint job.

2. Paint the deck. Evenly distribute the paint over the wood. Don’t worry about the direction as it doesn’t matter later. Let the bouquet dry for 20 to 60 minutes.

3. Using the rags, dry the paint in circular motions. The amount of paint removed will determine the light of the deck stain. Smooth out any lumps of paint with the bristle brush.

4. Sand the floor of the blanket with the sander and sandpaper. Remember to get rid of all the sawdust before moving on to the next step.

5. Apply a few coats of paint to finish. Don’t forget to use the face mask for non-yellowing paints. Use the wax applicator to obtain a polished veneer.

Remember that the colors chosen will blend with the original color of the bridge floor, acting like a colored cellophane sheet. The white paint over the cedar will give it a pinkish hue. A purplish one would show if blue paint had been used. Different paints also affect deck floors in different ways. Oil or polyurethane paints can darken the wood and make it yellow over time.

Be creative with the colors and make it complement or contrast the rest of your deck. This is practically the 5-step process for pickling your wooden deck.


by Johnny Kilroy

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