So I started powerwashing my deck way back when in June. I believe around the 21st. The deck was in bad bad shape. I should have taken a before image, but I didn't think of it at the time. I was able to find a pic of the deck from this year, but it is crappy. So here is the before: After powerwashing the deck, I realized it need to be sanded. Too many years of wear and tear with no TLC left it in bad shape. Luckily there was no rot. So the fun began. I first had to take about 6 hours or so to drive the nails all the way into the boards. Fun, it was not. I actually have decided to use that as punishment for my child when he gets older. I then rented a belt sander to try to sand the deck. that was a big no go, as it was taking forever. However the belt sander was good for the rails and made light work of them. I then got a stand up vibrating sander to do the main deck area. That worked great. I then used a finishing sander to get the banisters and anything else. Just to smooth it out a bit. After sanding, I realized I needed new hand rails. The old ones were just too splintered. So I bought new ones and replaced them. Then I sanded again. All in all, I think I spent close to 15 hours or so sanding! These were my results after sanding: After I was done, I read that I should wash and brighten the deck. So after looking, I did have some spots that needed help. So I washed and brightened the deck. I was all ready to put on the sealer, when the wife said, "maybe we should add some tint to give it some extra life." Famous last words. So I call up my stain place to place an order for Natural Pine color. 3 days the guy says. 2 weeks later, boom, stain finally comes in. It was about 1 month since I washed and brightened, so I did it again to be safe. Was about to seal again, and then the weather set in. Rain for 3 days. 2 days to dry off, and I am about to go to town and finish the bad boy. Of course, the weather forecasters predict rain. Day 1, no rain. Day 2, no rain. Day 3, fuck it, I am doing it rain or no rain. I used a paint brush to do the whole deck. It took me 8 hours to do all the outside boards and all of the latice and so on. That was over 2 days. Then rain came, and I let it stand. Yesterday was actually an awesome day. Slightly over cast, in the 70s. Perfect weather for staining. Took me 6 hours and I did all the boards minus 4 so that I could get back into the house. This morning, I finished it all up! Thank god. Here is the final. I painted the trim to the door way as well. And here is how well it beads after the rain. This Defy Extreme Stain: Natural Pine is great stuff for a water based sealer! If I could do it all over again, I would have just built a new deck from scratch. It would have been quicker then all the shit I did. So if you can learn from me, I suggest: - Build new if you can (replacing boards is not hard). If you insist on cleaning then: - Powerwash with deck cleaner, and use the lightest nozzel to powerwash. - If you need to sand, get a belt sander for the hand rails and get a vibrating sander for the boards. - Always brighten, comes out nicer. - Use Defy Extreme Stain, that stuff is incredible. I have to see the long term results of it, but even with it on, I can see a drastic difference from when the deck I used Thompson's. Thompson's only lasted 6 moths! Lastly, I think there is a sector in hell reserved for sinners who are damned to finish decks. It is that annoying to do. So if you tackle this project, be warned! While doing this, I removed 12 abbreviate trees and put up a vinyl fence in the back of the house (had vinyl on the side, and rotted wood in the back that the trees were hiding). This week I am going to pick up the Sod and finish off my backyard. Very excited to be all done. All in all I will have a new deck and have added about 500 sq feet to my back yard for my son to play in. Also, the deck is now a safe splinter free zone for him as well.