How To Refinish A Metal Deck

April 25, 2011 · 0 comments

in 2011,Tips & Pointers

If you live in some sort of building with a metal deck, over the years it will probably start to develop rust spots, and eventually peels and chips.

Mine had poor drainage so water would sit on it, collect and eventually rust the metal. Parts of it were starting to flake so I knew it was time to get it taken care of.

I looked into some options for having someone come out and do it, but I heard that the handy work could be hit or miss. Since I actually like doing construction and DIY stuff, I decided to give it a shot.

It was pretty straight forward, but I had to buy some new equipment and tools. Which I am always happy with getting more gadgets!

What you will need:

  • A stiff wire brush Or (preferred) a angle grinder with wire brush attachment
  • Safety goggles
  • breathing mask/dusk mask
  • ear plugs
  • broom
  • hopefully a shopvac
  • primer
  • paint
  • rollers/pans/etc
  • I also would recommend kneepads since kneeling on a diamond plate deck is not going to be fun, and when you start grinding you are kneeling on hunks of hard paint and metal. FUN!
  • Good Weather!

You will want to watch the weather and try and plan for a nice few days to do this. I did mine last year around the 4th of April, and I got pretty lucky with the weather. This year there is no way April would have worked. I had to rush on the final day and it ended up getting wet the day after it rained, but it did not seem to cause any problems. Either way it has held up for a year now, and looks like it should have at least another good year in it.

Here are the steps.

  1. Remove everything off of your deck
  2. Give it a quick sweep
  3. Pick a spot and go at it with the wire brush. I tried doing mine by hand and gave up after a few minutes, so I headed over to menards and picked up a angle grinder and metal brush. The grinder I bought was a cheap Black & Decker and it overheated and died on me in about 10 minutes. It was garbage. Stay away from that brand. I had to go return it.
  4. Use the angle grinder with wire brush. Make sure you have glasses / earplugs and a breathing mask because stuff will be flying everywhere and is loud as can be.
  5. You will probably need to do a few pickups while you are doing the grinding/sanding phase at it can be messy.
  6. When you are done, sweep everything, vacuum if you can, and then wash it all down with soap and water. When this is done I did a rinse with the hottest water I could get.
  7. Let it dry.
  8. Prime it / Let it dry
  9. Paint it / let it dry.
  10. Enjoy your new deck.

All in, this project took probably 6 hours over the course of 3 days. I would totally do this again, and may help my neighbor do his since I have all of the equipment. It took me a bit longer because I had to run out to menards to return the crappy grinder that broke, but while I was there I picked up a shopvac and some other items.

The total cost was about $180 and that is with the shopvac and the angle grinder. So now if I were to do it again, it would cost me paint (30-40$), new paint rollers/brushes and a pan ($10). So like $50 and my time which is priceless :P

If you have a metal deck that is chipping and rusting, I 100% recommend refinishing and repainting it yourself.

Also note, that there are other ways to strip this… using chemicals, sanding it, maybe even a pressure washer. I cannot speak about the other methods, but feel free to leave your questions and comments and maybe someone with more experience can answer them.

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