DIY Network

How To Remodel a Deck

Learn how to open up a deck by removing a railing and building steps to wrap around and match the existing steps. A stain treatment gives the deck a brand new look.

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  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $500 - $1,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Remove the Existing Rail

Be careful not to damage the deck in removing the rail as this area will now be highly visible.

Step 2: Clean the Deck

The paint on this deck was worn and chipping away. Use a pump sprayer to apply a deck cleaner, diluted with water, evenly over the entire deck. Without letting it dry completely, use a gas powered pressure washer to strip the deck of dirt and remaining paint. Hold the pressure washer spout about six inches from the deck for maximum results. (Let this dry overnight before applying the stain.)

Step 3: Build the New Steps

The deck had existing box-style steps on one side. We matched this by creating two more that are long enough to connect and look like they actually wrap around. For each step, follow these instructions: Use 2" x 6" pieces of wood for the long framing sides. Cut two boards, one inch less than the total width desired. Line the two boards up next to each other, thin side facing up, and make marks on both every 16 inches. Count the number of marks you made and add two. This is the number of small pieces of wood you'll need to cut that will become your joists (support beams) in the step. Cut this number of pieces 3-1/2 inches less than the total step depth, going from the front to the back. Attach the joists to one of the two longer pieces of wood so they stick out perpendicular at every mark and one on each end. Then, attach the other longer piece so it forms a box with joists, bracing it every 16 inches. Once you have the frames built for the steps, attach the floor-boards along the top, connecting them to the joists. Attach the bottom step to the deck first and then add the top, securing it to the bottom step and the deck.

Step 4: Apply the Paint Stain

There are many different options when it comes to wood deck treatments. We chose a dark brown paint/stain to hide some of the remaining paint and imperfections in the wood and give it a rich look. This is a water-based paint that also acts as a stain. Apply it evenly with rollers and brushes just as you would in painting a wall. Add a second coat if needed. Let this dry thoroughly before walking on it or adding furniture. Keep the remaining paint in the garage so you can re-apply a fresh coat every year to keep it looking great.

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