How to Prepare Your Decking for Painting

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – now really is the best time of year to get your home’s exteriors in order. Three reasons for this are as follows:

  1. The weather is still pretty great, so you may as well take advantage of it.
  2. When spring arrives, you’ll have one less thing to do.
  3. Minor repairs and renovations now could spare you a major headache later.

An example to illustrate the point is decking, which after a long summer’s use can start looking a little worse for wear. The paint begins to crack, peel and flake, and the wood itself may have been damaged in a few high-traffic areas.

Left to its own devices, your decking will only continue to deteriorate over the winter. Small areas of peeling paint will quickly turn into a major eyesore, and those minor cracks and imperfections in the wood could escalate into serious rot.

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A touch of exterior painting or staining at the right time could therefore be just the thing to save yourself a lot of hassle.  Best of all, preparing decking for painting or staining can be surprisingly simple.

Particularly if you hire a professional contractor to handle things on your behalf, but the manual approach is also perfectly viable.

How to Remove Old Paint from Decking

Ideally, you’ll want to arm yourself with some kind of power sander to save yourself some serious elbow grease. That said, it depends entirely on the size of the surface area you’ll be working on, and how much old paint you need to remove.

If most of your decking is still in fairly good condition, you’ll get by with some good old-fashioned sandpaper.

In any case, the basic steps involved in removing old paint from an exterior getting are as follows:

  1. Give the whole thing a thorough wash with a good quality deck cleaner, and get to work on the surface with a stiff broom. This alone will start lifting some of the loose paint away from the surface, after which the whole thing can be rinsed and left to dry.
  2. Take to the trouble spots on your decking with a paint scraper and a soft-bristled brush, remove all the loose, peeling and flaking paint without applying too much pressure. Your aim should be to remove the loose/damaged paint without damaging the surrounding area.
  3. Where you have removed loose or damaged paint from your decking, take some medium grit sandpaper and gently sand the surrounding area. Finish with a finer grit sandpaper to create a smooth finish between the surrounding paint and the bare wood.

In theory, all you should need to do at this point is clean the surface carefully, then rough it up gently with some medium-fine sandpaper and get to work with the painting.  Just as long as the surface is even and slightly roughed up, the paint should stick just fine.

However, depending on the type of paint that was used on your picking previously and/or whether you strip it right down to the bare wood, it may also be necessary to apply a coat of primer before painting.  Likewise, if the paint on your decking is generally looking a little dishevelled, it may be a good idea to strip the whole thing and start again from scratch.

Otherwise, you’ll face the prospect of having to continually patch it up, which over the course of time will end up even more laborious.

Ask the Experts…

If all of the above sounds too much like hard work, we can help. At Homm CPS, we offer a comprehensive range of interior and exterior painting services at competitive prices. From stripping to staining to painting and decorating, we offer fixed quotations on all exterior renovation projects.

We take pride in our commitment to affordable quality, and we cover all work carried out with an extensive warranty for total peace of mind.

Whether ready to go ahead or simply considering a makeover for your home’s exterior, we would be delighted to provide you with an obligation-free consultation.  We can also arrange for a member of our team to visit your home for a closer look at what’s needed, in order to provide you with a written quotation you can count on.

For more information on the services we provide or to discuss your requirements in more detail, contact a member of the team at Homm CPS today.