If your wooden dock deck is looking worn and needs updating, you can easily perform a renovation using the same wood and install a non-slip coating at the same time. The treated lumber used to make the deck is still viable even when its surface begins to show wear, and by reusing these pieces, you can save money and time. Below is how to do the job:
What you will need
- All-weather exterior primer
- Exterior latex enamel
- Clean playground sand
- Stainless-steel, ring shank 10D nails
- Wood glue
- 4-inch paint roller and tray
- Random orbital sander with 120-grit sanding pads
- Claw hammer
- Pry bar
- Electric drill with screwdriver bit
1. Remove the deck boards - The first task is to remove the deck boards from the dock stringers; this can be accomplished by prying up the deck boards with a pry bar and claw hammer. If the boards are screwed to the stringers, then you will need to remove the screws with a screwdriver or drill with a screw bit. Should you need to use an electric drill, always plug the drill into a GFCI outlet, and never stand in water while using it in order to prevent a dangerous electrical shock.
2. Inspect the condition of the boards and dock support - Once you have removed all the boards, take a close look at each one for signs of irreparable damage. For example, if the board has a longitudinal split that goes from end-to-end, it cannot be used again. However, drying and minor surface-level splitting at the ends is acceptable, and the board can be safely reused once these imperfections are filled with glue in step 3. In addition, inspect the stringers and cross brace boards to ensure no rotting is occurring and that there is no other damage that will need repair before proceeding.
Should a board need replacing, then cut a new deck board in the same dimensions as the board it is replacing. Be sure to use only pressure-treated lumber for replacement pieces.
3. Sand and glue the deck boards - After you have inspected and approved each piece for reuse, use a random orbital sander with a 120-grit sanding pad to strip away the old exterior surfaces of the boards. Remove old paint and any other residue that might prevent the new primer and paint from adhering. Brush away sanding dust with an old paintbrush or rag.
Once you have sanded the boards clean, apply a generous amount of wood glue into significant crevices or cracks on boards that might contain these imperfections. Wipe away excess glue with a damp rag, and set the boards aside to dry.
4. Prime and paint the deck boards - Once you have sanded and glued the deck boards, lay them on a flat surface to apply a primer appropriate for use in all weather conditions. Use a 4-inch roller to apply the primer evenly, and be sure that no exposed wood is visible through gaps in the primer. Allow the primer to dry overnight before applying the first coat of paint.
Once the primer has dried, use the paint roller to apply a coat of exterior latex enamel in a color of your choice. Keep the paint coats even and thin, and avoid allowing the paint to run down the sides of the boards. Give the paint the opportunity to dry for 24 hours before moving on to installation.
5. Install the deck boards - After applying the first coat of paint, you are ready to install the deck boards. To promote even wearing and to maximize the lifespan of the lumber, turn the boards over from their original position when installed, and lay them out on the stringers and cross braces. Once the deck boards are aligned on the stringers, use stainless steel 10D nails to attach the boards to the stringers and cross braces. Each board end should be attached to its stringer with no fewer than two nails.
6. Apply the final coat of paint and non-stick surface - Once the boards are nailed down to the dock, then you can apply a final coat of paint and the non-slip surface. Working one board at a time, use the roller to paint a thick coat of paint. Be careful that paint doesn't run down the sides of the boards, but keep in mind a thick coat will better retain the sand that forms the non-slip surface. After applying paint, sprinkle clean, dry playground sand across the surface of the paint until the paint is well-covered; be generous with the sand, as you don't want to create bare spots once the paint dries. Continue painting and sprinkling sand across the boards until all boards have been coated. Allow the paint to dry overnight, then use a broom to whisk away all the loose sand particles.
For more information or help with any necessary dock repairs, contact a local marine construction company like Abbott's Construction Services Inc.