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There seems to be various methods for cleaning and preparing a wooden deck for restoration. Some how-to's that I have read strongly advise against power washing. Some sources suggest a combination of the three methods.

There seems to be pros and cons to each method.
Can someone provide a guide to help me determine the best method for my deck?

I realize that the best method may be specific to the type of wood, current condition of the deck and perhaps other factors. I'm not necessarily looking for an answer specific for my case but would appreciate a more generic answer, possibly in the form of

[This method] is best for [this type of wood], in [these conditions] and should be avoided for [these conditions]...

The ideal answer would be comprehensive guide that can help DIYers determine which method is best suited for their specific decks.

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What type of wood and existing finish are on the deck, and what is its general condition? – bib Aug 6 '13 at 17:21
I believe it's currently painted but am unsure of the type of wood. – nmc Aug 6 '13 at 17:25
no generic answer. what do you mean by restoration? – mike Aug 6 '13 at 17:34
Perhaps restoration is the wrong word. Refinishing? I would like to remove the paint and reseal the wood to protect it. – nmc Aug 6 '13 at 17:44
Photographs would be helpful. After removing the paint (are you certain it is paint?) what specific product have you chosen to apply? Size of the deck? Geographic location? – mike Aug 6 '13 at 19:07

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