Refinishing, Staining a Wood Deck

After spending your hard earned money to build a wood deck, if you do not protect it from the elements, your wood deck will slowly lose its original appearance. Refinishing a wood deck will keep it looking new. This article will give you some ideas by explaining the extra steps that I used to protect my own wood deck from the elements with a little investment of time and money.

To begin this home improvement project of refinishing my wood deck, I needed to use the proper materials for the job. I started by visiting my local home improvement store to see what was available for me to refinish my wood deck. Depending on where you live, you may shop at a Lowe’s or a Home Depot type of home improvement store or a regular small neighborhood type of hardware/home supply store.

These types of stores usually carry many brands of wood deck cleaners and stain for refinishing wood decks, and all of them will do a good job of refinishing a wood deck. The major difference is the price. If you choose a well-known and heavily advertised brand, it will cost more, probably because the company that makes it has to pay for their big advertisement bill.

To save money, I chose the less expensive brand, after trying the expensive and the cheaper brand. By following this advice you will not pay for all the hidden charges of the highest priced product.

I bought a two and one-half gallon container of wood deck cleaner, and two gallons of wood stain for an 8 feet by 12 feet wood deck, a small front porch and the steps for each of them.

If you still feel uncomfortable in buying the cheaper brand, do not worry, you can still buy it and try it in a small area of the wood deck, as I did. If it does not work, most reputable stores will allow you to exchange it for another brand. Please remember to ask your store about their return or exchange policy before you buy the product. As for me, the cheaper priced brand always worked as well as the more expensive brand. Briefly, these are the steps that I used to refinish my wood deck:

Temperature:
Before you begin to refinish your wood deck, most manufacturers advise to start the job only when the temperature is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) or higher. If the temperature is lower than 50 degrees, the stain will not be absorbed properly by the wood deck and the stain will not set as well as when the temperature is at 50 degrees or higher.

Preparation:
First I sprayed the deck with water, using a garden hose with a jet nozzle to remove some of the dirt. Next day, when the wood deck is dry, then you can either spray or brush the cleaner on the wood deck. I used a brush to save money, because in my opinion, the sprayer uses much more cleaner than is needed for the job.

Cleaner Application:
If you mix your own deck cleaner by using bleach and water, then you may need to brush the dirt and mildew off the deck. However if you use a ready made wood deck cleaner, as I did, you may not need to brush the dirt off the deck because the chemicals may do the work for you. Always remember to read the label regarding warnings and cautions.

Wash-off Cleaner:
After you leave the wood deck cleaner on the deck for about 10 minutes, then you can wash it off with a regular garden hose with a jet nozzle. You will see the difference, because the wood deck now is nice and bright with a light wood color. This will depend on the condition of your wood deck.

Stain Application:
After the wood deck dries, you are ready to protect the wood deck with the stain in your choice of colors. I have used the brush-on method, again to save money. Please remember to read the label regarding warnings and cautions.

Enjoy your Deck:
When the wood stain dries completely, sit back and enjoy your job in refinishing your wood deck.

Repeat:
In about 2 to 3 years repeat the above process or let the deck age naturally, as many people also like to do in order to have a wood deck with a weathered look.

Hope that this article gave you an idea on how to refinish a wood deck by yourself.

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