How to Clean Your Painted Deck Boards

Many homeowners decide to paint their deck boards for one reason or another. Some simply like the look of paint and, perhaps, prefer a color that is not available from decking manufacturers. Others may paint their decks to offer an added layer of protection against busy children, scurrying pets, and general foot traffic. Still other homeowners find that a layer of high-quality exterior paint protects their wooden decks from damage, ultimately helping them last longer. No matter why your North Carolina or South Carolina home’s deck is painted, however, the process of cleaning it is the same.


Properly cleaning painted deck boards can actually be more of a challenge than many homeowners anticipate. This guide is here to help. As you read the next few paragraphs, you’ll discover helpful tips and tricks that will make it easier for you to keep your family’s deck in excellent shape for many years to come.


Step 1: Clear the area


Before you begin cleaning your deck, it is important to clear the area. Not only will this prevent you from tripping over an object in your path as you clean, but it will ensure that your belongings don’t sustain any sort of damage from cleaning chemicals or water. 


It is wise to remove all items — including outdoor rugs, deck furniture, grills, kids’ toys, and even potted plants — from your deck. It is also a good idea to move any items that you store underneath your deck so that bleach and other cleaning chemicals don’t drip down onto them, potentially causing irreparable damage. 


Step 2: Find the right cleaning products


After your deck has been cleaned off and swept with a broom, it’s time to choose the cleaning products you need to most effectively do the job at hand. Instead of using a traditional mop or sponge that may get torn up by your deck boards, opt for a brush or small broom with many soft bristles. These won’t mar the paint on your deck, but also won’t get shredded by coming into contact with wood repeatedly.


You also need to buy or make your cleaning solution during this step. If you choose to make the deck cleaner you need out of household items, you’ll want to follow these simple instructions:


  • Combine two ounces of your preferred gentle soap or laundry detergent, eight ounces of your preferred oxygen bleach, and one gallon of warm water to a bucket.
  • Mix well using your hands or a whisk.


If you would prefer to purchase your cleaning solution from a store, choose something that is ammonia-free and states it can be used on painted decks.


Step 3: Clean your deck


Once you have your supplies in order, it’s time to clean! Gently scrub the deck starting at one corner, working your way down, then up again, until you reach the other side of the deck. If needed, repeat the process to remove additional dirt and grime. 


When you are finished cleaning, rinse your deck boards with a garden hose. Then, give the deck time to dry before rearranging furniture and other items.


If you’re ready to renovate the entire exterior of your home, let the team at Hatch Homes help you get started today!

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