12 Easy Deck Spruce-Ups You Can Knock Out in a Weekend

Did winter destory your deck? Prep your outdoor space for warm-weather entertaining in a weekend (or less!) with these simple tips.

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Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

The Perfect "After"

Warm weather has arrived, and if you're lucky enough to have a porch or deck you’ll want to hang out on it as much as possible this season. Get your outdoor space ready for summer with these spruce-ups you can knock out in a weekend.

Dirt Blaster

When it's time to start cleaning off a deck that's had a hard winter, you'll find the leaf blower is your BFF. Use it to blow dirt off the deck and railings, then give all the furniture a good once-over. Get extra close to cushions and pillows for a fast "dry clean" that'll blast any stubborn dust or pollen off the upholstery.

Evaluate Existing Furniture

Take a good look at your existing outdoor furniture and accessories to determine what needs to be cleaned, as well as what needs to be repaired or refurbished. Consider the fact that a repair could cost more than replacing the item altogether. Once you have a game plan, gather your cleaning supplies and clear the deck.

A Greener Clean

If you like an all-natural clean, make your own soapy solution that gets the job done and smells great. To clean outdoor furniture, you need a mixture that can cut through grease and grime. Drop one tablespoon of unscented mild soap, several drops of lavender oil and a tablespoon of sodium borate into a 16-ounce squirt bottle, then top off with hot water. You can also do your own variation of this in a two-gallon bucket of hot water for scrubbing the deck. Bonus: Bugs don't like lavender!

Prep Before You Paint

Proper preparation is essential before you repaint outdoor items, and that includes a thorough cleaning with solutions appropriate for the finish or material. Most real wicker can be cleaned with a mild soap and water mixture. Lightly scrub any stubborn stains, then rinse with fresh water and allow to fully dry. You may also want to give any rough or peeling areas a light sanding with extra fine-grit paper, then wipe clean with a damp cloth prior to spray painting.

Refurbish With Paint

Wipe the furniture down until it's free of dust, then place it on a drop cloth or piece of cardboard. Most outdoor furniture will accept spray paint; simply use a light sweeping motion to avoid drips, and do multiple coats for a more durable finish. As you refurbish anything for outdoor use, there are specially formulated paints for different surfaces. For instance, plastic versus metal or high-heat surfaces, so consider this before you buy your paint.

All Hands on Deck

Once you've blown leaves and dirt off the decking, give it a good scrub using an extra-large scrub brush or push broom. Hose off the deck with cool water and allow to fully dry before walking on it. Be very careful using a pressure washer on any painted wood surfaces; if the water stream is too strong you'll knock the paint off or potentially mar the wood. Use your DIY cleaning solution to scrub down an especially nasty deck.

Railing Refresh

While you're in the zone with the all-natural cleaner, don't overlook the railings. Give handrails and balusters a serious scrub and thorough wipe-down. It's amazing what a deep clean can do for a large deck, especially when there are large sections of light-colored railings. You can take years off your deck or porch in just a few hours.

Coordinating Cushions

An outdoor cushion's longevity will depend largely on how durable the material is, how much weather it's exposed to and how often you clean it. Eventually, even the most durable cushions will need to be replaced. When it's time to buy, stick with neutral fabrics (preferably with UV protection) so they'll last several years. And if your cushions will be on a fully exposed deck year-round, consider a style that's simple so it'll be easy to replace (or have recovered).

Roll Out the Color

Once you've got everything clean and your select pieces refurbished, it's time to bring it all back together on the deck. Consider grounding the area beneath furniture with an inexpensive indoor/outdoor rug. A good-looking rug will not only define the area, it'll make the space more inviting. You'll find these durable rugs come in a variety of materials. Flatweaves in natural and synthetic materials are common, but keep in mind synthetics are recommended for high-traffic and harsh weather conditions. They're easier to hose off, resist mildew and handle harsh UV rays better than some natural-fiber rugs.

Cozy Things Up

Don't forget to cozy things up! Lots of pillows and a few colorful throw blankets not only add color, they'll encourage you to snuggle up late into the evening, too.

Showcase Your Green Thumb

Once you've fully accessorized the space, add flowers and potted plants to help connect the space to the surrounding landscape. While you're at it, why not plant a few edibles and herbs for summer salads and cocktails? If you don't have a lot of floor space for planters, bring in window or railing boxes for additional gardening space.

Stylish Sun Protection

If your deck is fully exposed to the sun for most of the day, consider adding a large patio umbrella in a fun color or pretty pattern. Look for UV-protected fabrics and when not in use, store the umbrella in a clean, dry area. You'll also want to invest in a heavily-weighted umbrella base if you live in a windy area.

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