Deck Restoration: A Step-By-Step Beginner’s Guide

deck restoration

If you are not afraid of using some tools and breaking a sweat, you can strip, sand, and re-oil or stain your deck, and enjoy the fruits of your labor for years. The results of your hard work will be a beautifully restored wooden deck. The last step in timber deck restoration is finishing the deck by applying a fresh coat of Deck Oil or Wood Stain.

Unlike stain that is applied on a superficial level, when it is time to reapply, you will not need to strip and sand the wood deck. If your deck is stained or painted wood, you will need to strip your stain or paint from the surface first using paint stripper, then wash. If your deck already has a clear finish or transparent stain on it, skip the paint stripper and use a wood deck cleaning product to clean it.

For older decks that are made of gray wood, try using a consistent-color stain. For older decks, or if you are looking to give a completely new color to the wood, semi-transparent or colored stain is the better option. If your deck is brand new, and the wood still has most of its original color and shine, a clear stain could add luster without the color.

The age and condition of your deck will influence what kind of stain you choose. How often you need to stain your deck depends on the climate in which you live, the kind of wood that your deck is made from, if your deck is covered by elements, and what kind of stain you are using.

Whether your deck is brand new or has been in place for several years, it needs cleaning to make sure that it looks and functions the way it was intended. Unless your deck is new, you will want to thoroughly clean it prior to sanding and staining the deck. If your boards are rough or have been heavily sun-damaged, you should smooth out the top deck surface before staining.

If sanding your deck, you will want to first wash your deck and let it dry out for at least 24 hours. Most wood sealers require all 24 hours for them to fully cure, but many experts recommend that it dries completely for a full 72 hours before using your deck. Home Depot recommends leaving a cleaning solution to sit for about 15 minutes, spraying your deck with water if necessary to keep the wood moist as the cleaner does its work.

Power-washing is an effective method for cleaning wood decks deeply, but must be done with care so that wood is not damaged. Deck cleaning products are designed to clean a decks surface, regardless if there is a stain or sealant. Deck strippers are designed to strip away old finishes (stain or sealer) and prepare the surface to allow a deck cleaner to do its job.

The deck is cleaned using Deck Brightener to get rid of any mildew and grayed out wood to give you a new stained surface. We did not need to do that with a well-maintained deck as the wood surfaces were in great shape. The deck we cleaned for this article had sound wood throughout, but the semi-transparent oil finish on the railings was starting to peel.

We used that oil finish, a cheap oil stained brush, deck mat, and painters pallet. The brush will make sure that your stain is applied evenly, and that your deck looks appealing with whatever stain you chose. All you need to do is simply use a wide-angle pressure washer on the wooden deck, wait for it to dry for a couple days, then apply your stain.

Sanding is not a strict necessity, but if you have still got a rough texture on the deck, and would rather get a smoother, slicker finish, then you might want to smooth out your wood prior to applying your stain. This process removes the loose wood fibers from the deck, which allows the wood to more easily absorb the stain.

If you have painted or treated wood, like pine, and you want to stain the deck, you will need to strip away the exterior finish using lacquer thinner, and then wash it down. If you are rebuilding an neglected outdoor deck, or if it has been painted or stained before, a stain remover or varnish might be needed. Deck strippers are used to strip away the aging, loose stain and deck sealant, prior to cleaning and brightening.

This means that when the time comes to clean the deck, you will easily get the job done using the correct brushes and cleaners. When cleaning a traditional composite deck, you can usually use a gentle soap such as the Spray & Clean Composite Deck Cleaner by Wash Safe, or Dawn dish soap and water. Depending on the types of spills or stains on the deck, you can also use other mild cleaning agents to address specific problems, such as mold, mildew, and rust.

This step is essential for preventing any future problems, so spend sufficient time grinding down your deck until it is totally free from any mildew, fungus, or rot before moving on to the next step. If you are using a semi-transparent stain, you will likely have to refinish your deck every two or three years. If you are using a full-color stain, you deck should last for around a decade.