The other week, I nearly broke my neck. I wasn’t skateboarding, or slaloming, or falling off a mountain. I had just set a tentative foot onto our roof terrace decking and I went a**e over tit. And I was wearing deck shoes, too. Useless!
The cause of this mishap was a thick film of slime and algae that had grown over the wooden boards over the years and which had bloomed with the relentless rain we had throughout June and July. Rather than a lovely place to retreat from the kids of an evening, our decking and become a Deck-Trap!
Time to recruit the Big Guns aka My Sons.
As soon as the sun decided to put its hat on, we set about Mission: Possible with the help of a water blaster (borrowed from the builders working on the flat next door) and three tins of Cuprinol and Ronseal cleaner, restorer and stainer, what promised to be a chore turned into a decking doddle.
I’m sure these pictures taken on my iPhone 4 don’t do it justice, but up close, the transformation is incredible.
It took a week i.e. precisely as long as the sun stayed out. Good timing, for once.
Here’s how we did it – and how you can do it, too, should you have the need or inclination:
Step 1: Brush away all the surface debris.
Step 2: With the pressure hose, blast the surface grime and slime. It lifts up like a dream.
Step 3: Splash the cleaner all over the boards, scrub in with a hard-bristled brush, leave for 20 mins, then blast again. Leave to dry overnight.
Step 4: The next day, using a wide shed brush, apply the restorer. Leave to dry for 30 mins, then wash off (a watering can did the job for this stage). Leave to dry overnight.
Step 5: Using the same shed brush, paint the boards with the stainer (I chose Country Oak) in stages, always following the grain of the wood. It becomes waterproof in 90 minutes, but needs at least four hours, and ideally, 24, before you can walk on it.
Step 6: Repeat Step 5.
Step 7: Send the kids downstairs, open a bottle of wine – and celebrate.