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Tip for Deck Refinishing

Beading water on a freshly finished deckRefinishing an existing deck goes a long way to preserving the wood and avoiding future maintenance problems.

And how do you know it's time to refinish your deck? Well, every two years is a good rule of thumb, but there's another way to see if your sealer/stain is standing up.

Sprinkle some water on the deck and watch to see if it is absorbed. If the water soaks into the wood immediately, it's time to apply a sealing product.

If it is beading like the picture on the left you should be okay.

A typical refinishing schedule for deck maintenance would be:

  • Every year: thorough deck cleaning
  • Every two years: apply sealer or stain. Solid stains required re-application less frequently because they contain more pigment than semi-transparent stains.
  • Every four to six years: thorough sanding of all surfaces before refinishing

Decks less than five years old:

  • Unless the deck has already been treated with a solid stain, use a clear or semi transparent stain that allows the wood grain to show through.

Wood Decks More Than Five Years Old:

  • Use a solid stain to hide imperfections, cracks and splinters.

To Refinish a Wood Deck:

  • First sand the area with 80-grit sandpaper.
  • Sand in the direction of the grain and wear a mask so you don't inhale the sawdust.
  • Safety first! Wear protective masks, gloves, goggles, long sleeves and pants when applying paints, stains or sealers.
  • Stir, do not shake, the sealer or stain product.
  • Follow the instructions on the label for drying times and ideal application temperatures
  • Taking sections of three boards a a time, evenly apply a coat of stain or sealer. Expect to do at least two coats. If the stain puddles, roll over it again to spread the stain out evenly.
  • Allow to dry completely.
  • Follow manufacturers directions for cleanup and disposal of rags, brushes and rollers.



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