Refinishing your deck can be easier you think. In just a weekend, you can turn your old, tired-looking deck into an outdoor oasis. With a few tips and a little bit of time, you can refinish and stain your deck and return it to a newer-looking state.
The first step is looking for any dark spots on you decking, railings, or steps. These spots are usually wood oxidation and tannin bleed, common effects of weather. Dark spots are best addressed with a wood cleaner followed by a wood brightener, allowing the affected area to better blend in with the other areas of your deck. For splintered or rough areas of the deck, a quick sanding will smooth them and bring them back to life.
You can apply the wood cleaner with a pressure washer or pump-up garden sprayer. Just be sure to follow manufacturer instructions. Generally, the cleaning solution is left on the surface for 15 or 20 minutes, then easily rinsed off with regular water. If using a pressure washer, avoid going over 1000 PSI, as this can damage the wood. Allow all surfaces to dry thoroughly for at least 24 hours.
Your deck is now ready for stain. Using a brush, roller, or sprayer, simply apply the stain evenly. Many stains are self-leveling, meaning you don’t have to worry about brush marks or drips. With even, back and forth strokes, or back brushing, work the stain at a rate the wood can absorb. This will give the stain time to penetrate and give you a smooth, even application.
Drying time should take about a day before any foot traffic or contact. With just a few hours of work, you can give your deck and new life while protecting and preserving the wood. Refinishing isn’t just for the cosmetic look – it can add years of additional life to your deck and make it a place you want to spend time.