Things You'll Need
Bristle push broom
Vinegar is a "green" cleaning agent, but it can cause some plants to wither when it is applied in concentrated doses.
While staining a previously painted deck is time-consuming and takes a lot of energy, the converse is far simpler. If you have been putting off painting your deck because you are dreading the hours of sanding off the stain, get ready to enjoy a much faster, easier experience. All you need is one or two clear, dry days and you can have a newly painted deck instead of your old, stained one.
Clean the deck. Sweep off all the dust and large debris using the bristle broom. Then scrub the entire deck using the vinegar and the push broom to dissolve any caked-on grime and dirt. Rinse the deck as you scrub using the garden hose, and use plenty of water so that any foliage around the deck is not harmed by the vinegar.
Let the deck dry completely. This could take a few hours to a few days, depending on how humid your climate is. The wood needs to be completely dry before you move on.
Sand the deck. You are not sanding to remove the stain, but rather roughing up the surface so it will take the paint better. Use a sandpaper with a low grit so that it easily scratches the surface of the stain.
Paint the deck. Use the paintbrushes to apply an even coat of paint. Cover the stain completely, but do not worry about putting on a thick coat. It is better to paint smooth, even, slightly thinner coats and do several than to layer on the paint so thickly that it dries in globs. Wait several hours for the first coat to dry, then apply a second coat. Keep applying paint and letting it dry until you are satisfied with the look of the deck.
Seal the deck. Once the paint is dry, protect it from the elements. If you have a liquid sealer, paint on two coats (allowing a few hours of dry-time in between). If you have the spray-on sealant, simply spray the deck, allow 30 minutes for it to dry completely, then spray on a second coat.
Carole Ellis began writing in 2004 for the "UGA Research Magazine." Her work has appeared in Growing Edge, Medscape and Doctors' Guide publications. In addition to medical coverage, Carole publishes a real estate newsletter called REJournalOnline and is the news editor for the Bryan Ellis Real Estate Letter. She has a bachelor's degree in English and graduate work in creative writing and plant biology.