This past week I spent several hours (around nine, but who's counting) cleaning and staining the deck. It's definitely not a fun job, but since it had been three years since I stained the deck it definitely needed it.
I'd still like to spruce it up a little more with more pots and flowers, and other finishing touches, but I wanted to give the stain a little more time first.
The nitty gritty: First I cleared the deck and cleared the crevices from all those stupid helicopters which seem to be everywhere this time of year. While I prefer using the shop vac to suck those suckers out of the hard to reach spots, it gets clogged, so the boy's solution of using the air compressor did ultimately work better. Though it pains me to admit this. Then I cleaned and scrubbed the deck with oxygenated bleach deck brightener. Lastly it was just me and my trusty paintbrush putting on one coat of stain (Olympic, semi-transparent, oil-based in Redwood Naturaltone) for hours and hours and hours.
Now if only someone would invent a stain that would last twenty years. Or more than one.