If you want to lighten or add a different tint to your deck’s wooden flooring, pickling it could be the solution. Instead of replacing the entire deck floor with a light-colored wood, you have this inexpensive alternative. The good news is you can easily pickle it yourself by following these five easy steps.
Before starting, prepare lots of sandpaper and absorbent rags (lint-free), a wide paintbrush, a bristle brush, a lambs-wool wax applicator, and enough varnish and paint for the entire deck floor. For toluene or alcohol-based varnish, protect yourself against toxic gases with a face mask. Oil-based paint is easier to use on your deck because they take longer to dry. If you want latex for the deck, dilute it in paint thinner at a 25/75 ratio. Stick with flat finishes since gloss tends to outshine the deck’s textured wood. For larger decks, use a power sanding device. Otherwise, it would take forever to finish the entire deck.
1. Remove the existing finish of your deck flooring. Be careful in using the power sanding device as it might chip or damage the deck’s floor. Sandpaper the deck on hard to reach spaces. Once the finish has been completely removed, the deck’s surface could be too coarse for you. Use fine sandpaper to make it smoother. Clean up thoroughly afterward. Make sure to vacuum the entire deck, especially the corners, to ensure a clean paint job.
2. Paint the deck. Evenly spread the paint onto the wood. Don’t worry about direction since that won’t matter later. Leave the deck to dry for 20 to 60 minutes.
3. Using the rags, wipe off the paint in circular motions. The amount of paint you rub off will dictate how light the deck stain will be. Smooth out any clumps of paint with the bristle brush.
4. Smooth the deck floor with the power sanding device and sandpaper. Remember to rid it of all sawdust before moving on to the next step.
5. Apply a couple of coats of varnish to finish. Don’t forget to use the face mask for non-yellowing varnish. Use the wax applicator to achieve a polished veneer.
Remember that the colors you choose will blend with the original color of the deck flooring, acting like a sheet of colored cellophane. White paint over cedar will give it a pinkish hue. A purplish one would show if blue paint was used. Different varnishes also affect the deck flooring’s in different ways. Oil or polyurethane varnishes 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. That is pretty much the 5 step process for pickling your wooden deck.