If you have an old, worn-looking wooden deck, then you probably miss the beautiful, smooth deck you used to have when it was new. A good-looking deck not only feels comfortable, but it also makes visitors feel cozy too. However, you can bring your deck back to life quite simply, without the help of a professional carpenter. If you’re looking to improve the resale value of your home, or you simply want your deck to look as good as a new one, here is how to go about it.
The Initial Cleaning
Before you start refinishing, you need to do a thorough inspection. This means looking for loose boards, severe splits, or rotted spots. If you find problems, make sure you either fix or replace the broken sections. If you want to change the appearance of the deck completely, you will have to strip off the old paint and varnish by using a paint stripper.
If you have a transparent finish, a clear finish, or a semi-transparent stain, then you only need to clean it with a quality wood cleaner. Always use an oxygen-based cleaner designed to get rid of mold and mildew stains when cleaning your wooden deck.
You should be careful when power washing your deck. You need to understand that power washing can deep-clean it or completely ruin your boards – you need to know how to use the power washer properly. If the water-jet pressure is too high, then you will ruin the boards. But if the pressure is too low, then you will only get it wet, and the cleaning will not be effective. To effectively clean with a power pressure, make sure you take note of the following factors:
- Tip selection
- Pressure selection
- Power washing technique
Wood fibers expand when they encounter water. So, after power washing, let your deck completely dry and sand it to get rid of any splinters. This will help you get a professional looking finish and eliminate any dangerous splinters.
You can use a random orbital sander, but you also need to be careful to choose the proper grit sandpaper. For instance, if the grit is too fine, the stain will not soak thoroughly into the wood. On the other hand, if it is too coarse, it may damage the wood. So a medium grit is perfect to start with.
Select a Stain
This is the next task you need to take on in order to refinish your deck. In fact, the type of strain you select will directly have a huge impact on the finished look of your deck. This is why you should never settle for a cheap material.
As you shop for a stain, it is important to understand that not all stains are equally created. Make sure you choose penetrating stains that soak in deeply. The best choice to make is oil-based products. Although they are harder to clean up and a little messier, the results are worth the effort.
Select a Brush
As much as this step may seem less important, the brush you use can also affect your work. When it comes to choosing a brush, make sure you get a natural bristle brush and not polyester. The natural bristle brushes allow the stain to flow better and will give you a better finish.
Apply the Stain
Before you begin staining your deck, it is important to be sure that it is dry for at least two days without any rain. When water is allowed into the pores of the wood, it will prevent proper absorption of the stain into the wood. Remember the stain contains oil.
It is always advisable to start with the handrails and stain your way down to the boards. You can stain the small areas such as trim boards and handrails using the natural bristle brush. The best way to stain the boards is with a flat paint-pad applicator. This allows you to cover a large area faster.
The Finished Deck
When you follow the above procedure, you will have a beautifully finished wooden deck that you will love sit on and enjoy. No need to hire a professional, simply follow proper preparation and application techniques. If you use quality materials, you should be able to enjoy your beautiful deck for years to come.