Decks are a great way to enjoy the outdoors but need regular maintenance. Whether it’s hot, humid summers or freezing winter temperatures, decks are exposed to the elements 24/7. A twice-yearly cleaning is required to keep your deck looking its best. Even with the best care, no stain or paint job lasts forever. If your deck looks worn, it’s probably time for a fresh coat of paint or stain. Deck restoration is not complicated, but it is time-consuming.
Prepping a wood deck before painting or staining helps ensures a long-lasting and durable finish. Whether your deck is new or old, cleaning and properly preparing the surface is essential for the best results. The key to a successful project is proper surface preparation.
Deck Restoration and Refinishing: Tips for DIYers
Step 1: Clear and Inspect
Remove all furniture, planters, grills, and other items, and sweep off debris. Note where the dirt accumulates and check the wood for moisture and decay by poking it with a screwdriver. Any area where the tool sinks in easily indicates rot. The closer the wood is to the ground, the more likely it is to rot. Check where the deck meets the house, too. If you find severe decay in any part of the deck’s structure, repair those areas before proceeding.
Step 2: Repair Damage
Repair or replace split or cracked boards, loose screws, and missing or loose nails before cleaning. Remove the damaged areas and replace them with new wood if they contain rot. If structural repairs are needed, hire an experienced contractor to handle the job.
Step 3: Clean
Deck cleaners, sometimes called cleaner-brighteners, are chemicals that you apply directly to the deck or mix with water and apply. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. In most cases, you wet the deck with a cleaner and then scrub the wood using a stiff plastic brush to dislodge dirt and debris. Some cleaner brighteners also neutralize chemical stripper residue. Power washers create enough pressure to damage the wood if misused. If you aren’t experienced with a pressure washer, it’s best to stick with a garden hose and scrub brush.
Step 4: Sand
After the deck is dry, sand it with medium-grit sandpaper to remove rough or splintered areas and create a smooth surface. If the deck is new, it may not need sanding, but if it’s old or has been previously painted, sanding will help ensure the paint will adhere properly. Wear a dust mask and safety glasses during the sanding process. You must remove old paint, stains, and other residues. Sand out any grooves and imperfections. Remember to only sand in the direction of the grain of the wood and not against it.
Step 5: Protect Surfaces
Cover areas next to the deck to protect against droplets and splatters. Applying painter’s tape around the borders of the deck to avoid accidentally painting your home’s siding is a good idea. Use drop cloths or heavy plastic sheeting to cover plants and flowers, yard ornaments, and any other objects you want to protect.
Step 6: Prime
If you’ve decided to use paint, you’ll need to prime. An older deck may need a wood filler to fill imperfections before priming. Primer will help seal the wood, preventing moisture from seeping into the grain, and your paint will adhere better. Use a high-quality primer designed for outdoor use and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let the primer dry completely before going on to the next step.
Step 7: Paint or Stain
Once the primer is dry, it’s time to apply the finish. If you want to paint your deck, choose a high-quality exterior paint designed for wood decks. Deck paint is formulated to withstand harsh elements and heavy foot traffic. It is also thicker than regular exterior paints and usually contains mold and mildew inhibitors. Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the paint, and work in sections, painting one board at a time. Let the paint dry completely and apply a second coat. A third coat may be necessary to have an even finish. Allow the paint to dry for 24 to 48 hours for the best results.
How Often Should I Refinish My Deck?
A well-maintained deck will last for many years. In general, decks should be refinished every two to three years. Deck maintenance and frequency depend on several variables, such as the type of decking materials, current condition, and environmental factors.
Should I Use Paint or Stain?
There are pros and cons to both options. The horizontal surfaces on decks are exposed to the elements 24/7 and endure a lot of wear and tear, so paint isn’t always the best choice. If your deck has already been painted, yearly maintenance should include lightly sanding the surface and applying a fresh coat of paint to any area where it begins to peel or crack. Choosing a paint product designed specifically for decks is the best option if you choose to paint.
Deck stain highlights the warmth and beauty of the wood’s natural grain. Stain is ideal if you are looking for a more rustic or natural look. A high-quality deck stain retains moisture and prevents future wood rot. Staining is also safer in a rainy region because it will be less slippery than glossy paint. Stain is the go-to choice for pressure-treated woods, as paint won’t adhere as well and peels easily.
Call Mr. Mole’s Painting for Deck Restoration Services
Painting or staining a deck can be a big job. That’s why Mr. Mole’s Painting LLC offers deck restoration and refinishing services. If your wood deck is starting to show its age, look to our team for help. We’ll clean, stain, and reseal your deck, so it looks great for years to come.
The benefits of hiring a professional paint contractor are numerous. Save time, energy, and money by hiring an experienced painting company. When you hire local painting professionals, you’ll benefit from their expertise and support your local community. The team members at Mr. Mole’s Painting LLC are trained to communicate with clients and ensure your satisfaction.
Mr. Mole’s Painting LLC offers interior and exterior painting services for commercial and residential properties. We provide in-person and virtual quotes for your convenience. Contact us at (218) 368-2560 to discuss your next painting project.