Do you want your deck to go from looking ordinary to great, or even from great to amazing? If so, this guide on wooden deck refinishing and cleaning is exactly what you need! Wood is the industry leader in outdoor deck design by a significant margin, but its primary drawback is its inevitable warping over time. By taking proper care of it and getting it professionally refinished, you can cut your losses and have your deck looking even better than new!
What You Need to Know About Deck Refinishing
Why refinish your deck? First of all, it will look great. In addition, proper cleaning and refinishing will protect your wood and extend its lifespan. This translates into a fantastic resale value on your home, making deck refinishing one of the top investments for resale.
1. Inspecting Your Deck
The first step is inspecting your deck for any marks, cracks, rots and warping that may have occurred since you installed it. If any boards are loose or you notice any rot that you cannot repair yourself, then hire a contractor to fix or replace these parts of your deck.
2. Preliminary Cleaning
Next, clean your deck with an oxygenated cleaning solution such as DEFY Wood Cleaner. Oxygenated cleaners are preferable to bleach, which don’t actually remove stains per se. In addition, an oxygenated cleaner will remove mildew as well as sun staining.
3. Power Washing Your Deck
The next phase in deck refinishing is power washing (assuming you do not want your deck repainted, which is an entirely separate process that will be addressed in the future). As you go about this, it is extremely important to choose the right pressure (as too much will wreck your deck):
- For softer lumber materials, a pressure setting of about 500 – 600 psi should be good.
- Harder wood, such as wood composites, will require more pressure. Adjust your pressure setting accordingly, but go no higher than about 1300 psi.
4. Sanding Your Deck
Power washing will raise the wooden fibers on your deck, which will dry into splinters. For this reason, it is essential that you sand your deck before it completely dries. Using a mechanical, random orbital sander will work best, and be sure to use a grit that is thick enought to penetrate the fibers.
5. Staining Your Deck
The final phase in the deck refinishing process is staining your deck. Browse a home improvement store and ask your contractor for recommendations on choosing both the stain and which brush will work best with your deck. Then, wait 2 days for your deck to thoroughly dry before you apply the staining (as water will prevent the oil-based stain from absorbing properly). Apply the stain evenly, going plank by plank, and voila! You have a refinished deck that looks cleaner and better than it did when you first installed it!