Having a great deck is one thing; another is maintaining its color and natural glow – something that can be done by refinishing the deck. A refinished deck not only makes it look new and elegant but elongates the life of your decking, allowing you to enjoy it to the fullest. What’s more? A refinished deck can increase the real estate value of your property by increasing its value in the eyes of buyers.
What goes into refinishing a wood deck?
Refinishing a wood deck usually involves the following individual steps: Inspection and repair, cleaning or power washing, sanding, staining/sealing. Not every step might be necessary for each deck, depending on the frequency of maintenance, the color of the deck and the weather conditions it is exposed to. Refinishing can be done over the weekend since it takes about two days. In the end, you should have a great looking, beautiful deck. Here’s a quick guide to refinishing your deck.
How to refinish a wood deck?
- Thorough Inspection: this process involving looking for loose surface deck boards or problems associated with your deck structure. There are times you may need to replace some components of your decking and it is best you know before carrying out a refinishing job. If your deck is varnished or painted, you’ll also need to remove old deck surface with a stripper.
- Deep Cleaning: if you want to achieve the best results with your refinishing, a power wash or deep cleaning is essential. But this must be done with precaution to avoid damages to your structure. For example, a power wash that’s done improperly can damage deck boards and reduce the overall integrity of your decking. Care must be taken so as to not apply too much pressure (its best to use the lowest most effective pressure). You should also be aware of some power washing techniques for maximum results. A product that can help make your hardwood cleaning easier is the DeckWise Hardwood Deck Cleaner & Brightener. It is highly recommended due to its effectiveness.
- Sanding: after a power wash, you should leave your hardwood to dry for about one or two days. The reason for sanding is to ensure wood fibers are not raised (which can result in splinter) before applying a stain. Ensure that all surfaces are sand properly including steps and railings.
- Selecting and applying wood stain/refinish: this step is crucial in refinishing a wood deck. An excellent deck refinish guarantees the best result. However, before using a stain, remember to let your deck dry for a minimum of two days after the pressure wash to allow proper absorption of your selected stain.
Do not use standard exterior house paint on your decking; especially if you have an exotic hardwood deck. Always read the product labels and test the stain on a small area before applying to the entire deck.
Keep your deck looking its best— by applying a new stain and sealant every year. For exotic hardwood decking like Ipe decking, its advisable to refinish once or twice in a year. This activity will help maintain the natural brown color of Ipe, a contrast from the silver coloring (results from not refinishing Ipe at least once a year).