I spent most of this past weekend repainting the horizontal surfaces of my deck. Probably around 13 hours including cleaning, sanding, scraping, and buying stuff and what not. It was quite hot and tiring and I was rather worn and sore afterward, almost to the point of being dizzy. But cooling down and relaxing inside made me feel better.

I had painted the deck just last year, but the paint on many of the horizontal surfaces had chipped / flaked away at spots, and was pretty bad on the steps and top of the railing. This was partly due to the fact that it was getting cold and moist when I painted into the fall last year, and that I hadn’t primed some areas. The stairs get a fair amount of foot traffic and are close to the ground. Birds seem to love perching and pooping on the railing, damaging the paint. An intense hail storm did some damage to the floor.

I wanted to get it done during the dry heat of summer this year to hopefully get a longer lasting result. Unfortunately, I was working on my car during the longer dry spell in early to mid July, and the last few weeks has had rain here and there. I saw this weekend with about three days post rain and two days before a predicted long stint rain, and plenty of heat and sun, as possibly the best I’ll get, otherwise risking the days getting shorter and colder as I wait.

It was somewhat annoying to have to repaint after spending probably 100 hours last year, but 13 hours was very little comparatively. I didn’t have to do the more significant cleaning and prep with the much more rough shape it was in then, or deal with all the vertical surfaces or painting over a different color.

It was also a bit annoying since there was stuff I didn’t finish last year and still haven’t finished. I did a different color on the balusters, and there is a lot of edging between the colors that still needs done. There’s also a post on the stair railing that was never done because it has a bunch of nails that need pulled from it and a lot of cleaning, some spots near the ground, and some hard to access areas. And the biggest thing that needs done is rebuilding the skirting, which is falling apart and hasn’t been repainted at all to match the new colors.

Lots of time for a deck. Hopefully it lasts.

I bought myself a power sander after seeing how long hand sanding was taking. Got a Ryobi orbital sander on the One+ system used by other tools I have. It went way faster on the flat areas, though it couldn’t get into corners and other tight areas, where I still had to hand sand.

I spot primed the bare wood areas, trying to leave as much of the surviving painted areas be. It wasn’t easy though. The primer unfortunately covers the existing paint up completely and then takes two coats of paint to hide. I would love a clear or tinted primer for repainting applications that creates that creates that nice bond on the bare wood without losing the work put into the existing paint.

I used a roller, regular brush, and foam brush. I did much of the floor with the roller having a pole attached. That went very fast, but used a lot of paint and didn’t get into the cracks or ruts. I had to do a narrow section and then follow with the brush to get the details.

I had to time it out well to get it done in the time allotted. I cleaned and sanded Friday and Saturday, primed the steps and rail Saturday night, did the first coat on steps and rail early Sunday, primed the floor, waited for that to dry while eating lunch, did the first coat on all but a narrow walkway around the outside of the floor, did the second coat on the stairs and rail, then did the first coat around the walkway on the floor. That took so long I did part of a spot second coat on the floor right after the first, going back to the other end and using the last bit of paint left in the roller pan.

Today I did a more thorough spot second coat today on the floor during my lunch break from work. Since the floor’s paint from last year was still pretty good, I don’t think it needed a full second coat. That was mainly needed for the primed spots where the white was still showing through. I didn’t even repaint the part of the deck that’s underneath the eave of my roof, as it was just fine.

The deck once again looks rather nice from a position atop it, unless you look too closely at the edges of the balusters. Once I get that skirting made, painted, and installed, a project for later this summer or fall, it should look rather nice from ground level too. And then, hopefully, it will remain so for a good while.