Still, I remember the day when I finished building my new deck outside our bedroom close to the lawn. When it was completed the smell of fresh-cut wood, newly fixed deck boards, and the even color filled my body and mind only to consider myself an achiever. Since then it was my favorite place during the leisure time. Hours after hours I used to spend my dreamy afternoons, romantic evenings, and starry nights on this deck sometimes with my beau and sometimes with my pals.
But now after five years, things have changed drastically. The smoothness of wood has gone, the colors have faded, and enormous cracks and dents can be seen everywhere easily. And I also have lost the passion to spend my fine moments there.
Sounds depressed? No, I am not. As I know that things can be changed, once again I can rearrange the whole things to get back the lost glory. I mean to say, my most favorite deck can be refinished to regain its beauty. Just a matter of few days, some minor repairing and makeover using some minor tools, paint, stains, etc. and you may find my old deck once again in its exotic look. Let’s go and see how I am going to refinish a deck.
Remove The Old Stain From The Deck Surface
If the deck railing and deck surface are previously applied with a semitransparent or deep color stain that should be scrape only to flake off easily. After that, I should apply the deck stripper to revive the tired-looking deck with old color into a vibrant beautiful one. But before leaving the matter I must take a look over the condition of the wood surfaces. If the surface fibers pull out easily or the surface looks a little softer, then I have to remove the damaged wood with a new one.
Check The Sealing of The Deck Surface
Sealing is a sign of a better state of the wood. To check this, I have to put a drop of water on the surface. If it is absorbed then the wood needs to be changed or I will apply sealer on the surface with a roller and the hand railing will be coated with a paintbrush. If the drop remains then the wood is well sealed and you have to move on to the next step.
Clean The Deck Surface
When the necessary repairing and checking job is over, I have to start cleaning work to remove mildew. For this purpose, I have to spray a kind of biodegradable deck cleaner made of either liquid oxalic acid or powdered hydrogen peroxide and then I need to scrub the surface with a stiff bristle brush. This would remove the dead fibers from the deck surface and also remove the black and green stains that existed on the board. This may give the surface a fresh look. Besides, applying wood brighteners certainly improves the look of the surface.
Washing The Deck Surface
Next, the surface needs a deep cleaning. This certainly helps to draw out dirt from every joints and corner of the deck and wash them away only to make it perfectly cleaned. Power washing is the way to make it and I need water-jet pressure for this purpose. But I have to keep the spray nozzle a little far and keep the water pressure at a lower level unless some fibers may be worn off with the high speed of the water. Even I can use a garden hose to wash off the deck quite well.
Sanding The Deck Surface
If the deck board is found rough or damaged by sun or rain, sanding would be the best way to solve the issue. And a belt sander will help you to finish your job. Not only the surface, the handrails, railings also require sanding. I need 60-80 grit sandpaper for deck boards and 80-100 grit for handrails. Once the sanding is over, I don’t wash the deck but vacuum the surface thoroughly to get the perfect surface for refinishing.
Choosing The Stain For The Deck Surface
This is probably the most vital point for refinishing the deck. Selecting the type of stain depends on what kind of finish I wish to see on my deck surface. The semi-transparent stain allows the grain on the wood piece visible under the stains. There is another kind of stain that simply colors the wood but hiding all the grains. The stains are basically two types- water-based and oil-based. Water-based stains could be cleaned easily while the oil-based lasts long.
Applying The Stain on The Deck Surface
Finally, all my efforts so far to make the deck prepared for refinishing have come to an end. Now it is time to act. I mean, the final showdown begins with applying stain on the deck surface. But before that, the deck should be left for at least two days for complete drying. Because any moisture on the surface could ruin the finish of the stain.
At first, start with the handrails, railing, and other higher parts of the deck. Here, different sizes of brush require for the smaller areas mainly edges, corners, and joints. The brushwork should not be left before going on the deck surface.
As for the deck surface, a flat paint-pad applicator would be the right thing for staining as it covers a large area and that also in a short time. Besides a wet edge is easily maintained with this. And a nice and smooth application of stain is seen on the decking boards.
When the staining is over, I have to leave the surface for a while to allow the stain to be soaked. Then the surface needs to be wiped up with a rag to get the smooth and shiny deck as it was some years before.
After long arrangements and a sincere effort from my side, the dearest and refinished deck of mine regains its glamour and ready to make my neighbors envious once again. If I could manage the entire job all alone so why don’t you? Just follow the article, gain some confidence and start all from the beginning. Good Luck!!!