August 26

Refinishing a Deck: Five Important Steps to Follow


Your deck is an extension of your home and an investment worth keeping both safe and beautiful. A well-maintained deck can add enjoyment to your home and backyard and increase your home’s resale value. Refinishing your deck can keep it looking its best and protect it from damage.

Experts in restoring and maintaining wood decks know the importance of preparation before applying new stains and finishes for long-lasting beauty and protection. The preparation required is often time-consuming but is the basis of a successful project. If you’re thinking about refinishing your wood deck, there are some essential steps you need to follow.

Follow These Steps When Refinishing a Deck

1. Inspection 

As decks age, they can become structurally unsound. Decks with rotting framing, deck planking, or inadequate lateral bracing can be dangerous. Inspect your entire deck structure, including all posts, stairs, and railings. Any areas that show signs of damage, such as loose board or deck railings, warped or rotting wood, or loose nails or screws, should be addressed immediately.

2. Repairs

Depending on the type of repairs necessary, you may need to hire a carpenter. Loose or missing boards or deck railings are a serious safety hazard. Nails that have popped up can be a hazard, especially when walking barefoot, and should be replaced with deck screws, which are more durable and secure.

3. Cleaning

Once repairs are completed, thoroughly clean and remove any mold or mildew from the entire deck structure. If it’s been over a year since its last cleaning, you may need a power washer to remove dirt, mildew, and other stains. You may only need a scrub brush and a garden hose to remove any recent buildup if you regularly clean your deck. If you use a power washer, read and follow all manufacturer directions to protect yourself and your deck. Wait at least 48 hours for your deck to dry after cleaning.

4. Sanding

Sanding your deck removes old stains or sealers and smooths down any splinters or rough spots. Don’t skip this step- your new stain and sealer will not properly adhere if there are multiple layers of old stain on the wood. A pole stander makes this task easier and avoids having to sand on your hands and knees.

5. Staining and Sealing

Applying a high-quality stain or finish will help protect your wood deck from the elements. You may need multiple coats to ensure your deck looks its best. The wood must be completely dry before the application of the new stain. It’s essential to have several consecutive days of dry weather before and after applying a new stain. If the stain you use does not have a built-in sealer, you will need to stain your deck first, then wait until the stain has dried before applying the sealer. The stain needs time to cure, so allow at least a full day before applying sealer on top of the stain. Wait 24-48 hours for the sealer to dry before walking on your deck.

Regular Deck Maintenance Protects Your Investment

With proper cleaning and deck refinishing, your restored wood deck will add value and curb appeal to your home. Most professionals recommend an annual check for structural damage or other necessary repairs. Homeowners should regularly check the integrity of fasteners on their deck, including screws, nails, and anchors. Periodically cleaning your newly refinished wood deck will keep it looking its best longer. Regular deck maintenance throughout the year will protect your investment and keep repairs to a minimum. 

Preventative Measures Help Protect Your New Finish

Like any part of your home, preventive maintenance is important. By following these tips, you’ll extend the life of your new finish and reduce the need for

  • Trim back trees and shrubs to slow the development of mildew and rot.
  • Don’t allow leaves and other debris to pile up in corners. 
  • Occasionally move planters, tables, and chairs to avoid discoloring the decking.
  • Clean up food or beverage spills immediately to prevent staining.
  • Regularly remove any debris stuck between deck boards.
  • Use the right cleaning agent; some cleaners are abrasive and can damage the finish.

Should I Hire a Professional or DIY?

Although the steps may seem pretty straightforward, cleaning and refinishing a deck is not an easy task. Many homeowners are surprised by how much time and effort is required to complete the job. You will need additional time if significant repairs are needed. DIYers often need to rent a power washer adding to the total project cost.

Save yourself time and work, and hire a professional to keep your wood deck looking its best. They will have the tools and experience to make needed repairs and apply a long-lasting stain or paint product. 

Trust The Painting Pros to Deliver High-Quality Results 

The Painting Pros, Inc. is a high-quality, award-winning painting contractor. Since 1978, we’ve served homeowners, business owners, and property managers across the San Jose area. Call us for professional deck refinishing and repair services if your wood deck looks worn or dingy.

We have been recognized as one of the most reliable and professional contractors by customers on Angie’s List, Google, Yelp, and HomeAdvisor. Call (408) 418-9912 or contact us online to schedule a free estimate.



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