Refinish Your Deck in 3 Easy Steps
As summer fades, thoughts turn to fall’s pleasant sunny days and cooler evenings – the ideal time for outdoor entertaining on the deck. Your deck takes a pounding from sunlight, moisture, plant debris, and foot traffic. So every two or three years, you need to re-stain your deck to keep it structurally sound and looking its best.
Taking the time now to clean and refinish your deck means that you’ll extend your outdoor fun well into fall and beyond, while protecting it against the inevitable winter rain, ice and snow that’s sure to come.
Contrary to popular belief, refinishing a deck doesn’t take a lot of time and effort. Here are three easy steps from Westlake Ace Hardware on how to refinish your deck with minimum work and maximum success.
1. Inspect/repair your deck. Just as you wouldn’t paint over any problem areas on walls inside your house, you need a solid and intact deck surface before you apply the finish. Reset popped nail heads and replace rusted nails. Remove soft, split or rotted boards and replace them. Check rails and steps for loose parts and repair or replace them. If your deck has multiple stories or extends from the second floor of your house, inspect the underside of it for any problem areas and address these.
2. Clean your deck. You have more than one option on how to remove the grit and grime that accumulates over time. Start by thoroughly sweeping your deck with a broom or clear off debris quickly with the help of a leaf blower. Scrub by hand with a stiff brush or broom and a premium deck cleaner product made specifically for the job and that works in minutes. Or use a power washer to apply deck cleaner and let it set for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Pay special attention to corners, upright surfaces and crevices as you clean the deck. Tip: Protect plants growing near the deck by spraying them with water before you begin washing the deck with soap or deck cleaner. After you finish washing the deck, rinse the plants again for an extra measure of protection against chemical damage. Let the deck dry before staining. Depending on the weather, this may take a few hours or up to a day.
3. Choose your tools and your stain and apply. You can apply stain with a high-quality brush, roller, paint pad or sprayer, or a combination, depending on the size and complexity of your deck. Be sure to stir your stain often as you apply. Deck stains come in transparent, semi-transparent, solid and semi-solid colors, with more than 100 colors to choose from. The main difference among the transparency factors in stains is the amount of pigment they contain.
Newer stains, such as Cabot Oil Modified Stains, contain resins suspended in water to provide deep penetration, great color retention and maximum durability. The stains dry faster than traditional oil stains and can be applied to a damp or dry surface. Clean up is easy with water and the entire project can be completed in one day.
That’s all there is to it! You can clean and stain with an investment of just a day’s time and be ready to entertain for the rest of summer and beyond on your new-looking deck. For application tips and advice on the right stain for your deck and your lifestyle, visit your local Westlake Ace Hardware and ask one of their deck experts.