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Maximise your deck's potential
Get your outdoor area in top shape in time for summer with these five easy steps.

These easy D.I.Y. projects will have your outdoor area looking tidy and fresh in time for the busy summer and holiday season. From cleaning and oiling your deck to giving your outdoor furniture a little TLC and reset, these five steps will make your deck feel like new.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

1. Clean your deck

Make sure your deck is ready to entertain family and friends by giving it a thorough clean. With the right tools and equipment, this is a simple D.I.Y. job that will make a big impact.

Start by brushing down the deck with a soft broom to remove any dirt or leaves. Follow this up with a high-pressure cleaner (or hose) to wash away any remaining dirt, going carefully over the entire deck.

Mix some deck cleaner with water, following the instructions to achieve the correct balance, and give your deck a good scrub using the cleaning mixture and a broom. Leave this for 10 to 20 minutes before washing it thoroughly with the high-pressure cleaner or hose. Allow the deck to dry completely before staining or oiling.

DIY - Header - How to clean a deck

2. Give your deck a makeover

Decks get a lot of wear and tear from weather exposure and use. Oiling, staining, and/or painting your deck will not only help protect it, but it will also make it look like new.

Re-oiling your deck is an important part of deck maintenance. The oil adds a new layer of protection to the wood, prolonging your deck’s lifespan. If you’re seeing deterioration, discolouration or patchiness, these are signs that it’s time to add some oil.

If you want to help preserve your timber and give your deck a little bit of a facelift, try staining the timber. Once you’ve prepared the surface (cleaned, sanded and any areas you don’t want to stain covered with masking tape), use a paintbrush and lambswool applicator to evenly apply the stain.

Pour, mix, roll in stunning results!

3. Spruce up your outdoor furniture and barbecue

With your deck looking like a million dollars, make sure your outdoor furniture and barbecue are fit to match.

Even the most durable of outdoor settings can use a refresh. Clean surfaces, wiping away dirt and cobwebs, and sand away any flaking varnish or niggly edges. Apply furniture oil to help protect exposed timber and give your outdoor cushions a wash so they’re ready for the summer season.

If your barbecue has seen better days, give it a thorough once-over and a good clean. First, turn your gas bottle off. Check there are no leaks or cracks in the gas hose. Clean the drip tray and scrub the hotplates, removing any excess grease or fat. Scrub the barbecue with soap and water before replacing the hotplates (give them a light spray with cooking oil to help prevent rusting) and drip tray (line this with aluminium foil and sprinkled Fat-sorb).

Using a paintbrush apply the furniture oil.

4. Add some lighting and temperature controls

Lighting adds atmosphere – it’s also a safety feature. Review how your deck is illuminated and consider upgrading your existing lights.

Low voltage deck lights create a warm, fun and inviting atmosphere. Installing them is a D.I.Y. project that you can do yourself. Festoon lights create a glittering galaxy of light overhead. They are energy efficient and affordable, and they are also a simple D.I.Y. installation project.

Summer is bound to get hot, so planning ahead with some ready-to-hand temperature controls is another way to stay comfortable and safe.

Outdoor blinds provide welcome relief and protection from the sun and there are a wide range to choose from to suit your space. 

DIY - Extra 147 - How to choose garden lights

5. Style your space

Looking to change your outdoor area’s appearance and get more out of the space? Think about how you’re using your deck and make a few easy changes. It’s that simple.

Start by upcycling any outdoor furniture to revive and refresh what you have. If you’re missing something that would have come in handy last summer (a barbecue or outdoor kitchen area, for example), add this to your space. Also, incorporate some small touches that make an immediate impression – think atmospheric lighting, colourful outdoor cushions and greenery with potted plants.

It also helps to consider what you use your deck for besides entertaining family and friends. Do you need a place to exercise, meditate or stretch? Decks are perfect places to easily and efficiently find space to practice your passion, with nature as a backdrop.

Alternatively, set up an outdoor cinema for fun family nights, or scatter some cosy blankets, cushions and beanbag or camp chairs to do a little stargazing at night. (Don’t forget the popcorn and hot chocolate!)

Get inspired!

Shop our wide range of outdoor furniture.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.