Refinishing a deck is an excellent way to protect and preserve the wood, while also giving it a refreshed look. It’s an important home improvement project that requires some time and effort but can result in a beautiful, long-lasting outdoor living space. This blog post will walk you through the steps of refinishing your deck and offer tips on how to make sure it looks great when you’re finished.
Deck refinishing is the process of restoring or updating the exterior surface of a wooden deck by removing any existing finish and applying a new one. This includes sanding down the wood, cleaning it, applying a stain or sealer to protect it from weather damage, and then adding additional finishes for aesthetics.
The process for refinishing decks starts with preparing the area by clearing furniture, plants, or other items from around the deck; then cleaning off dirt and debris from the surface; followed by sanding down any rough spots; stripping off old coatings; brightening up faded areas with wood brighteners; sealing or staining with products designed specifically for outdoor use; painting if desired; finishing touches like installing screws or nails; final inspection/cleanup; and finally enjoying your newly refinished deck!
Refinishing your deck is important because it protects against weather damage such as UV rays that can cause fading as well as wear due to foot traffic or other activities on top of the surface. It also helps keep mold and mildew at bay which can be detrimental to both people’s health when breathed in as well as damaging to wooden surfaces if left unchecked. Refinishing also enhances its overall aesthetic appeal making it look more inviting for guests when entertaining outdoors!
Preparation For Refinishing A Deck
Clearing The Space
Before starting any work on your deck, make sure you clear out all furniture, plants, decorations, toys etc. so that you have room to move around freely without obstruction during this project – especially considering you may be working at heights depending on how high up your deck is off the ground.
Cleaning The Deck Surface & Checking For Damage
Once everything has been cleared away from around your deck, start by spraying down any dirt, debris, leaves etc., using either a power washer or garden hose set onto its highest setting. After giving everything a good rinse, use either a scrub brush or broom handle attachment (depending on size) dipped into soapy water mixed with an appropriate cleaner designed specifically for exterior use (avoid using household cleaners such as Windex ) to scrub away any remaining build up such as algae, moss etc. Rinse again afterward before allowing everything time to dry completely before moving on to sanding. During this step take note of any nail heads sticking out, splintered wood etc. and make note of these for later repairs.
Sanding Before Refinishing
Choosing The Right Sandpaper Grits
Depending on the state of your deck’s current finish, you’ll want to use either a medium or coarse sandpaper grit for initial removal (check with your local hardware store associate for recommendations). Using an orbital sander, begin by lightly sanding in the same direction as the wood grain before moving onto more aggressive strokes and higher grit numbers until desired results are achieved. If you don’t have access to an orbital sander, a hand-sanding block can be used instead, however, it will take longer to complete this step as well as require additional elbow grease.
Removing Old Finish
Once you feel like you’ve achieved the desired smoothness on your deck surface, begin removing any old finish using either a paint/varnish remover or chemical stripper depending on the type of coating previously used (test on a small section first to ensure compatibility) – following manufacturer instructions carefully when doing so. Scrape off softened coatings with a wide putty knife before wiping away the residue with clean cloths or shop vacuuming it away if needed.
Stripping The Deck For Refinishing
Chemical strippers should only be used if necessary such as when attempting to remove multiple layers of old paint/stain from wooden surfaces that can’t be effectively removed through hand-sanding alone. Before applying any chemical strippers, always test a small section first to determine compatibility between the product and surface being treated – allowing time for it to sit according to manufacturer instructions before scraping away the residue with a putty knife and then wiping off excess with a clean cloth or shop vacuum once finished. Be sure to also wear protective gear (gloves, safety glasses etc.) when handling these types of products as they can irritate skin and eyes upon contact!
Brightening The Deck
What Brighteners Do & How They Can Help Restore Color To Faded Decks
Wood brighteners are highly beneficial when trying to restore color to faded decks due to weather damage caused by sun exposure. These products contain special ingredients that help pull tannins out from within wood fibers to create an even tone throughout the entire surface – making them ideal for decks made from cedar or redwood which tend to darken after extended periods outdoors without proper maintenance.
Applying Wood Brightener According To Manufacturer’s Instructions
Start by spraying down the entire deck area with a water sprayer or hose to moisten wood fibers before application; then apply brightener liberally across the surface using either brush, roller, or garden pump sprayer, paying special attention not leaving behind any puddles which could cause discoloration in certain spots. Let the brightener sit for the recommended amount of time before rinsing off with a water sprayer or hose. Then allow the area to dry completely before examining the results and deciding whether a second application is necessary.
Wiping Down the Area With a Clean Cloth Once Finished
After you’ve finished applying the wood brightener and allowing it enough time to settle, wipe down the entire surface with clean cloths to remove any excess product that may have been left behind before moving on to the next step.
Sealing/Staining/Painting (Choose One)
Choosing The Appropriate Type Of Sealer, Stain, Or Paint Based On Your Desired Look
Depending on your desired result, choose either an exterior sealer, stain, or paint product designed specifically for outdoor use – checking with a local hardware store associate if unsure what type best fits your needs. Make sure to read through label instructions carefully before purchase as some products require multiple coats or additional drying times.
Preparing Area By Masking Off Railings & Any Other Areas Not Intended For Coverage
Prior to beginning this step, mask off any railings or other areas not intended for coverage using painter’s tape or plastic sheeting. This will help ensure clean lines when applying sealer/stain/paint as well as protect surrounding areas from any potential overspray during the application process.
Applying Product As Directed By Manufacturer’s Instructions
Start by stirring up contents inside the can thoroughly before opening to ensure even consistency throughout the entire batch; then begin painting starting at one edge and working way across the surface until finished – making sure brush strokes are all parallel (this helps achieve more even coverage) and overlapping slightly on each stroke just like tiling a wall! Allow appropriate drying time between coats (if necessary) before proceeding further into the project.
Finishing Touches To Your Refinished Deck
Depending on the condition of existing screws, nails etc., make sure to replace them if needed before finishing touches such as adding furniture back onto the deck after the project has been completed. Be sure to also check joists underneath the deck that may need reinforcement due to years of weather damage – replacing any weakened wood pieces with new ones before continuing further into the project.
Before moving on to the final inspection, make sure you take a few extra minutes to scan over the entire deck looking for any missed spots that may need additional attention such as touch-up paint around the edges where the railing meets the rest of the surface. This will help ensure an overall even look once everything is said and done.
During the sanding process, some edges around the railing may have been exposed due to their proximity close to ground level so be sure not to miss these when re-sealing with the appropriate product after the project has been completed – this helps protect against water damage in those areas.
Final Inspection & Cleanup Of Deck
Checking Over the Entire Surface For Evenness In Coloring
Once all finishing touches have been taken care of, take a few moments to step back and check the entire deck for even coloring. This will help ensure that there are no blotches or streaks from the sealer/stain/paint application before moving on to the final cleanup stage.
Clean Up Any Dropped Products
Make sure to also clean up any dropped paint, stain, sealer etc., that may have landed on surrounding surfaces before wrapping up this project such as a driveway, patio, or grass. Use clean cloths dipped into the appropriate cleaner to remove any excess build-up left behind; then rinse off with a hose or power washer if needed and allow the area to dry completely before continuing further into the project.
Tackling Any Remaining Spots With Brush
If necessary, use a brush dipped into the appropriate cleaning solution to tackle any remaining spots that may still be present after completing the entire project – scrubbing gently until desired results are achieved before rinsing off with a water sprayer or hose once finished.
How To Refinish A Deck Conclusion
Refinishing a deck can be a great way to protect your outdoor living space from weather damage while enhancing its overall aesthetic appeal. It’s important to prepare the area by clearing out furniture, plants, and toys; cleaning off dirt and debris from the surface; sanding down rough spots, stripping old coatings; brightening faded areas with wood brighteners; sealing or staining according to specific product instructions; painting if desired; installing screws and nails; doing a final inspection/cleanup; and finally admire the result! Hopefully, this blog post has provided you with helpful information on how to refinish your deck so that it looks as good as new!
10 Resources & Tips
Here are some additional resources and tips for those looking for more info regarding refinishing their decks:
- Watch online instructional videos: YouTube is full of helpful tutorials when it comes to learning about how exactly refinish decks properly – simply search “refinishing decks” for various options available.
- Visit local hardware stores: Make sure you visit your local hardware store associate when looking for products best suited for your particular needs as they’ll be able to provide advice on which type should be used depending on the type of wood being treated.
- Read blogs/articles written by experts: Many home improvement websites offer informative content when it comes to understanding the proper steps involved during the process so make sure you do some research before diving head first into the project!
As previously mentioned throughout the article, always remember to wear protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses, etc. when handling chemical strippers due to their potential skin/eye irritants upon contact; and make sure to work in well-ventilated areas only when applying sealer, stain, or paint products – keeping children/pets away from the project as well during this time. Don’t forget also to double-check the joists underneath the deck before moving on to finishing touches as these may need reinforcement due to years of weather damage.