How to protect a wooden deck and railings?

Hello all,

I've recently bought my first house and inherited a wooden deck & surround railings. The deck's weathered (gone a bit green), and the railings are looking a bit flaky. I started to brush the deck hard with a stiff bristle brush, to remove the green. but I'm concerned that I may have stripped any protection on the wood.

My question is, what DIY product should I look for, to protect and improve the appearance of both the deck and railings?

Thanks
Answers:
Modern products have stain and protection in one. Read the label carefully, and choose a product that specifies it's use outdoors on decks.

Continue with the scrubbing process until you have all of the loose product off. Then roll on whichever colour of stain you've chosen. It's very important that you do this before the weather gets much cooler, as the product will not dry properly overnight if the deck gets wet with dew.

If you're going to be clearing and walking on this deck during the winter, you should think about mixing some sand in with the stain that you put on the flooring and stairs. This will help improve the traction when ice forms.
Just buy a good quality decking stain or protector
stain it or paint it...........
There is such a thing as deck wash you can get it at Home Depot or Lowes or Menards..

if the deck looks gree it is either new treated wood or has mildew growing one it.

Clean it well and get Thompsons water sealer and put on it. If you want to stain it, stain it BEFORE you water seal it.
http://www.ronseal.com/prodshow.asp?sec=.

does what it says on the tin!
The best thing to do is to rent a pressure washer from Home Depot and clean it well. The wood is likely treated wood to protect it from the elements, but not well enough. After the deck is clean and dry, purchase a water treatment, such as Duck's Back or Behr's, and spray on to cover the wood completely. This will need to be done every year, as no treatment is permanent.
decking stain, its tough, looks great and lasts for ages.
Go to the garden centre, and they have rows and rows of garden paints and stains. Look for something that has 'low' on the volatility sticker you'll find on it. These are better for the environment, and don't stink. You can get coloured or neutral, and as they are deisgned for wood they do penetrate deeply and protect the wood. It is worth spending the money on a good name of woodstain, like ronseal, as it will last longer and so you would end up paying the same in the long run as the stuff that is 4 quid for a massive tub needs to be repainted every year. Make sure you paint in good weather- it will need to dry properly to give the best protection. The best ones are those that contain wax or have a waxy finish- the water just bounces off! I don't like those ones you spray on with a hose. 1, they make a mess! and 2, you end up having to go over it with a brush anyway as the spray doesn't get into all the cracks! If the railings are metal, strip them with NitroMors (paint stripper) before repainting with hammerite. If they are wooden, if they are flaking they may have been painted with gloss or something. Proper garden stain won't flake. You may need to sand these down heavily- it you paint onto a flaky surface the new stain won't penetrate the wood. Happy painting! Oh yeah, make sure it's exterior woodstain.
varnish it or sumtin
I just finished my deck for the second time and I found a great product, ask for "SUPER DECK" at your hardware store. It was higher priced than most but to save cost I did it myself and it is beutiful. Two of my neighbors like mine so much they are going to pressure wash their decks so they can use the same product I used . :)
use beher product stain and sealant .first you need to some how get that mold of off of the wood beher also sell this mold remover or you could use just regular bleach .and my second choice is pressures it before you put any stain or water proofing sealant on your deck.
stain or wood protector
Pressure wash the deck and railings.

After they are dry, use Thompson's deck and porch paint or stain if you want that look.

Behr makes a good product as does CWF.

It's going to b a lot of work but worth it.
Raven E is right. Use a nice stain (Preserveawood is good) on a cool day (around 70 degrees) . If it's too hot it won't dry properly. Be sure to sand the deck lightly first. It really helps.Thompsons Water Seal is great.
I've just done my deck and railing with cuprinol oil based light oak. Give it a good clean down first with a power washer and some deck cleaner then wait for the deck to completely dry out. Once dry give it a coat of the deck oil (or two even). Worked on mine!
Try either Sadolin or Cuprinol! They both do exactly as it says on the Sadolin tin. Cuprinol may be a bit cheaper though, I used it to paint our fence last year and it was great, then the fence blew down, so, not so great! We've had a new fence installed last week after patching the old one so many times! The guy said to leave it for a year and then paint it as it had already been treated with Sadolin.
Personally, I would give either sadolin or Cuprinol a go. You can get them from any DIY store. Good luck and I hope YOUR fence doesn't blow down in these freak winds we've been having!
wood preserver