Keeping your deck in shape involves a number of steps. You can't just go out and start staining the deck. It must be cleaned first. Composite decks or PVC decks can be pressured washed but if you use too much power on a wood deck you will curl it or cause the fiber on the deck to peel up and roll back. There are some key products to use to clean the deck. Corte Cleaner is an excellent eco-friendly cleaner. One gallon mixed will do 200 square feet of the deck and it won't hurt the plants or anything else on the deck. If the deck is painted you will want to strip it down to the natural wood using stripper and a deck brush. Next you want to stain the deck. You have to decide what color you want to stain it. There are 3 different stains you can use including Penofin, Super Deck, or Wolman. To apply the stain you can use a paint pad with a handle just like rolling with a roller with an extender on it. When you apply the stain you don't want to put too much on. Start in a corner spot and apply some stain and let it dry for 45 minutes. After it is dry rub your hand over the stain. If it transfers to your fingertips you are using too much stain. Stain requires one coat and you are done so you want to get the right amount down when you apply it. After applying the stain let it set for 24 hours. The temperature should be 75 degrees or higher, with no rain. If it rains the next day you will have to redo the job. Just follow these steps and you will have a beautiful deck again.