If your deck is looking grey, old and tired, it may be time to refinish it, so that it’s restored to its former glory. However, there is a complete process that you have to adhere to in order to correctly refinish your deck and bring it back to a new condition. After all, in refinishing a deck, just like painting a wall, preparation really is the key. In this article, we outline exactly what you need to do to prepare your deck for refinishing. For more advice or tips, have a chat to your local decking professional
Sanding the Deck
If your deck suffers from rough spots or splinters, it is worthwhile taking the time to sand it. You can use an electric sander or sand by hand using a palm sander or similar tool. Be careful to only sand as much as necessary – you just want to take off the rough spots basically, not actually remove any wood! Sanding will also help to remove any loose stain or finish that you have.
Cleaning the Deck
The most important thing that you need to do when you are preparing your deck for a new stain or finish is to give it a good, thorough clean. Over time, your deck has probably accumulated stains and mildew and chances are that it’s gone grey. In most cases, a specialist deck cleaning product will do a brilliant job. Just follow the manufacturer’s directions when using the cleaner and remember to wear personal protective equipment (gloves, eye protection etc). A high pressure cleaner is also great for thoroughly cleaning a deck and you can use this on its own or in conjunction with the decking cleaner. Just be careful to not damage the surface of the deck when using it! If you have stubborn stains on your deck, you may need to use stain stripper. Again, follow the directions closely when doing this.
Applying Wood Brighteners
If you have a timber deck, a vital step in the preparation for refinishing is to apply a wood brightener. The purpose of a wood brightener is to help open up the surface of the wood so that the new stain or finish penetrates deeper and to restore the look of old weathered timber. Brighteners also neutralise any stain strippers that you have used. Best of all, they’re really easy to use. Just spray the product on, wait a few minutes and then rinse them off and allow the deck to dry. You don’t have to scrub or anything.
Remember to Rinse!
After cleaning the deck, sanding and applying brighteners, it is important that you rinse the deck as thoroughly as possible. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to over rinse! You need to make sure that all traces of any chemicals that you have used are completely washed away or they may come out of the wood over time and affect the new finish that you apply.