Spring cleaning the deck

As the weather finally begins to warm up, we are keen to spend more time outdoors and start using our deck more often. However, as I shared on Monday's post when I was restoring our blackboard, our deck was in major need of some cleaning up. When Summer approaches, the exterior often needs as much work as the interior. Here's how we restored our deck so it was Summer-ready! 

This is what our deck was looking like before the weekend. Not a very appealing setting for a nice family dinner or an afternoon of art activities.

Might need to remind my daughter that the chalk is for the blackboard rather than the deck! Cheeky monkey...

And don't you just love our chalk storage solution? Our house exterior was definitely in need of some love!

So, while hubby was ridding the garden of its winter blues, my first step in this cleaning project was to 'clear the decks!'. The chalk went back in its container, and I chucked out any small or broken bits. I moved the large table (with the chairs stacked on top) to the side so I could clean around it, as it is too heavy to carry off the deck. I ended up throwing out the little white Ikea table. I did try to see if I could save it, but it was water-logged, bubbled and beyond repair - don't think it was made for outside use and destructive children!

Next, I swept the deck with a soft broom...

This was followed by a wash with a stiff broom dipped in a bucket of soapy water - I just used a few squeezes of normal dish detergent. There are specific deck cleaners that I have used in the past, but I find this method works just as well... and it's cheaper! We do usually apply a stain over the boards to seal in the colour before summer hits.

Quick hose down! (#photobomber)

The ledges got a good scrub too, as they are unfortunately a much-loved spot for the birds to sit and do their business... 

I scrubbed and hosed down the very dirty and dusty table...

And did a rearrange of the furniture. I wanted to create separate 'zones' on the deck for dining, and the kids' play area. The end with the newly-painted blackboard and two little chairs is right near the door that leads into the house, so this is useful for grabbing supplies if we're having a crafty day. Might need to get/build a little table for this area.

I think our dining table is too big for this space, but this was the best configuration we could come up with that lets everyone take in the view while still allowing easy access past it. Some pot plants on the deck would also be a nice addition.

All in all, a huge improvement on the initial space, and I'm ready to take a glass of wine out there right now and enjoy the space!

What do you do to your exterior to prepare for the warmer weather?