Probably my biggest around-the-house project in the summer of 2009 was stripping and repainting our deck.
We have a fairly large wooden deck, probably around 400-500 square feet.
When we moved into our house in 2007, the painted deck was beginning to flake. 2008 showed some definite wear, and I probably should have done the re-finish project then, but I put it off another year.
In 2009, I set forth to strip off the flaking paint and re-paint it.
I used a power washer to pull up most of the paint and dirt that had accumulated. A few days of dry weather allowed things to settle down.
I purchased Cabot Paint specifically blended for exterior use. I had done some homework and found some reviews that suggested that Cabot was durable and that many people were quite satisfied. I had read quite a few negative reviews about Behr paint on decks, which I discovered (from a couple of cans tucked away in the garage) was what had previously been used.
The project went well. It took two coats. Our biggest surprise was that, unbeknownst to me, I had picked out a color that had a slight red hue, and it was quite bright after the painting. Luckily, within a couple of weeks, the color dulled a bit and it actually turned out to be quite a nice color. I wanted something other than plain brown, and because it had been painted in the past, the idea of applying stain or sealer was pretty much out the window.
Things looked good throughout the summer but I was really concerned to see how the deck held up after a winter. My research during buying had shown that most of the problems that people had with decks beginning to flake took place after a full winter. So, while things held up for the summer, I knew the first test would be after a fall and spring.
One of the things I did was to keep the deck fairly clear of leaves during the fall. We're lucky enough to have quite a few trees in our backyard, but that means leaves everywhere. I had read that leaves breaking down (especially after getting wet) is pretty bad for decks, so I made sure to use my leaf blower a couple of times a week during the fall to keep the deck cleared off.
We didn't have a lot of snow this winter, but we did have a few small snowfalls and a couple of major snowfalls which left snow cover for weeks afterward.
While I know we could get more snow, I am happy to say that everything with the deck looks pretty good so far! I did a basic inspection and didn't see any spots of flaking.
When I did my research for Cabot, some people said that they got an extra year in between refinishes (the average time is two or three years, and many people reported three or four years as their timeframe). If I could get three years between significant breakdown, that would make my next repainting effort in 2012, and I'd be fine with that. 2013 would be even better!