Video: How to prepare an old deck for new stain, a magic mildew wash recipe and a giveaway from HomeRight


The time has come for us to restain our wraparound porch. It’s another project we’ll be tackling on our own, since we’re living rich on less around here. 😉 Considering the size of our porch, I’m foreseeing this will be no small project. So I’m breaking it down into bite-sized pieces and spreading the work out over a few weeks.

Our porch wood is still in pretty good shape, with only a few small areas of chipping stain and spots of mildew. That means the preparation work has been fairly minimal. In fact, the best piece of advice I can offer regarding an exterior restaining or repainting project is to tackle it before the finish is so deteriorated that you have to spend days scraping and sanding the surface.

After researching the best way to prepare an old deck for new stain, I came up with three key steps, which I’ve detailed below. Or check out the following video to see exactly how I prepared our porch for new stain.

Step 1: Pressure wash the area to remove dirt and chipping paint or stain.

Pressure washing quickly removes dirt, loose paint and built-up grime, improving paint adhesion as a result. Use caution when spraying around windows. Also, avoid directing water up under the siding laps, and keep the nozzle at least 12-16 inches from the wood, so it doesn’t splinter it.

Step 2: Scrape and sand off any leftover chipped paint or stain.

Flaking paint must be removed or the new paint on top of it will eventually let go, too. Make sure the surface is dry first. Then with a sharp scraper, follow the grain of the wood with long strokes. Be sure to pound down any nails sticking up and follow that up with a good sanding.

Step 3: Kill any mildew.

A pressure washer and water alone will not kill mildew. Since mildew can bleed through and ruin a new coat of paint or stain, it needs to be dealt with. I used the homemade mildew wash recipe below coupled with the HomeRight® Deck Washer Flow-Through Broom to tackle our porch mildew quickly and easily.

Homemade mildew wash

Homemade Magic Mildew Wash

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 quart laundry bleach
  • 1 pint rubbing alcohol
  • 2 Tablespoons Murphy’s Oil Soap (or other non-ammonia detergent)

After mixing this concoction up, I used the deck washer flow-through broom* to brush it on. (Remember to mix this solution outside or in a very well-ventilated room). Then I attached a garden hose to the broom and turned it on. The broom’s stiff bristles loosened and pushed the debris, while the water jets blasted the area clean.

After these three steps, be sure to let the surface dry really well. Then you are ready to apply that beautiful new coat of paint or stain! I’ll be changing the color of our porch floor and using solid color stain. So stay tuned for that project coming soon.

In the meantime, enter below to win your own HomeRight® Deck Washer Flow-Through Broom! It has a 13” bristle broom with water jet nozzles and a durable three-piece aluminum extension handle with foam grips. It’s a two-in-one deck washer that can also be used to scrub clean: patios, driveways, garage floors, pool areas and any outdoor space that needs deep-cleaned. Or if you can’t wait for the giveaway, you can purchase a broom here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Special thanks to HomeRight for sponsoring this post and giveaway. I’m thrilled to be a brand ambassador for Homeright and, as always, all thoughts, opinions and projects are my own.

* Links to products in this post are affiliate links. Purchasing though these links will not cost you anything additional, but a small portion will come back to Living Rich on Less, helping me continue to provide great, free content. Thanks in advance for your support.

45 thoughts on “Video: How to prepare an old deck for new stain, a magic mildew wash recipe and a giveaway from HomeRight

  1. We need to redo our deck, we’re going to use the rubbery stuff you roll on. This broom thing looks like a great way to clean. If I don’t get lucky enough to win, I may have to buy one.

  2. This would be a big big help with my dirty cool deck on my patio and around my pool from my boys and dog that track mud all over the place 🙂

  3. A very timely blog post. Our deck is in desperate need of cleaning and staining. It would be wonderful to have the washer flow through broom.

  4. What a coincidence, I was just wondering how I was going to get the deck refinished this year. Since my husband turned 80 he hasn’t been able to do some of the things he had always done. I think Home Right has just the thing he needs!

  5. I also have a large wood deck in the back yard and a porch (cement) in the front. I can easily see using the HomeRight Deck Washer to clean both!

  6. Living in the Pacific Northwest our decks are always mildews and moldy. This looks like just the right DIY tool to use. Thanks for the ideas and recipe.

  7. OMGosh, I have a covered veranda with a open patio above it. It’s so difficult spraying AND brushing at the same time. This is a fantastic idea. Thanks for the chance!

  8. Excited to find this video, recipe, and broom. Trying to close on a home and one of the “problem” areas was the peeling porch and deck. The house was built in the 1800’s so this is one of many projects I will be tackling on my own. Can’t wait to give it a try and see the results! Thank you!

  9. This brush is amazing, although I do not have a deck I would love to try it out on our siding when we power wash it each summer and eventually when we get around to remodeling our old porches I know it would be a handy dandy tool to have. Love you post sis!

  10. The wraparound deck on our one year old mountain home already has mildew 🙁 This broom will make the job go much faster!
    Thanks for the mildew remover recipe!

  11. This tool is awesome! We just bought a new house and the deck needs refinished. But, before we move I also want to use this to scrub down the patio and garage floors before we sell our house.

  12. Thank you for sharing your recipe for inexpensive deck wash. It’s that time of year! Do you know if it is safe for the plants around the deck or should they be covered?

    • Jo, because of the bleach content, I would probably shy away from getting too much of the solution on the plants. However, I didn’t worry about the shrubs around the front of my porch. I just hosed everything off and pushed the water off the porch. All my plants are fine.

  13. Wow! What a terrific product! We are planning on re-finishing our deck this summer so this couldn’t come along at a better time :). Thank you so much for the chance to win.

  14. I have a large patio in back also a large deck around the pool. The HomeRight® Deck Washer Flow-Through Broom would be perfect to clean both.

  15. I would like to use this on the bricks on our home. I think the mildew wash would be just as effective on brick.

    • I agree, David. I think it would do a great job on brick! Just be sure to let the wash sit for a few minutes to work its “magic” before hosing it off. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  16. I have a back porch combo deck i would love to use this amazing set of supplies on this is pretty amazing love the video ty for showing us how great this works…best of luck to everyone

  17. Id like to clean our patio area. My grand kids are always out there and I think I could make it look 99% better.

  18. Pingback: How to stain a porch in record timeLiving Rich on Less

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