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Refinish Your Deck in 4 Easy Steps

Refinish Your Deck in 4 Easy Steps

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The joys of home ownership mean that you have invested in a money pit. Gradually, things need repair, improvement, and maintenance. Thanks to the Wisconsin winters, we often need more outdoor repair than you would think necessary and makes a huge difference for curb appeal if you are trying to sell your home. We love spending time in our backyard so it can be important to Refinish Your Deck if you are like us and the weather has been a tad harsh.

The deck is one of the most important parts of a house that contributes to its appearance in the eyes of potential buyers. It’s not usually an incredibly urgent matter on most people’s list of things to do until you have a special occasion or ceremony and wish you had thought sooner of refinishing your deck. It honestly doesn’t take that long, we have whipped up a way to refinish your deck in 4 easy steps!

Refinish Your Deck in 4 Easy Steps


Not every deck refinishing under goes this process, one or two steps may be omitted depending on the condition of the deck. This shouldn’t take more than one weekend or at most two to transform an old-looking deck into a newly refurbished one, ready for any ceremony. Stay tuned as we go through each step one by one.

Before diving into these four steps, you have to inspect your deck to check for any loose surface boards or any other problem. This is because we don’t know what is really wrong with it yet. A thorough inspection will set us on the right path.


Refinish Your Deck by starting with basic repairs first.
Deck knotholes can often be tapped down with a hammer instead of being popped up & out.

After carrying out a thorough inspection of the deck. We already know what is wrong with it, right? You have a list of things to repair on it. If the wood is split or rotten, we can replace it with a fresher one. Ensure you make the necessary repairs to the deck before moving into the refinishing proper. It is better to replace the wood with a new one every time you are refinishing. This will make it last longer. After repairing your deck, the next thing is cleaning. You can make use a deck cleaner to clean the deck surface lightly.

Board edges being anchored with fresh deck screws if needed.


Andy using the power washer (that we borrowed) to help clean off the deck.

After you have done a light cleaning to clear the surface of the deck, deep cleaning comes after. Be careful while carrying out this step. Although it is a very important step, it can also cause damage to your deck if not done well. Ensure you wash at the lowest pressure possible when making use of a power washer. However, if you don’t like to use a power washer, there are other alternatives such as a hose and a deck cleaner. Make sure the hose you are using has a strong spray nozzle. Also, avoid holding the nozzle too close to the deck when washing.

You really need to let the deck dry before the next step.


Refinish Your Deck by scraping it before you stain it
Scrape the areas of the deck that didn’t seem to come totally clean with power washing.

This is also a crucial step when your deck board surface is rough or damaged. You’ll need a quality sandpaper grit to carry out this step. Preferably a 60 or 80- grit sandpaper. This sandpaper that you’ll be using must be smooth and fine. This helps prevents the stains from entering the wood. On the other hand, if a coarse sandpaper is used, it can spoil the deck board easily. Sanding is the easiest step in the process of refinishing a deck. It is possible that rain falls, right? What to do? Allow the deck to dry out completely before moving on. However, you don’t need to sand again.


The kiddo starting on the upright parts of the railing. We used a roller to do the flat horizontal surfaces

You have carried out your inspection, then repaired/replaced, cleaned both lightly and deeply, power washed with a power washer or a hose and then sanding. The last thing to complete this process of refinishing your deck is staining. There are certain things that must be done to ensure perfect staining. They include:

  1. Choosing a suitable stain for your deck

There are different types of stain, we have semi-transparent stains, opaque stains, water-based stains, and oil-based stains. When you use a semi-transparent stain on your deck, you can see the wood grains through the stain applied. Opaque stains unlike the former colors the deck like a paint. You can’t see through at all. I wouldn’t recommend you use water-based stains because it doesn’t last long. Oil-based stains on the hand longer than water-based stains. Just jump into any paint shop and purchase any stain. I advise you to try out a little sample of the stains before picking the one you’ll like to use.

  1. You need a brush

You need a paintbrush to stain your deck. We have two types of brush perfect for this process. The natural-bristle brush perfectly fits oil-based stains and a synthetic-bristle brush which goes with a water-based stain.

  1. Stain Application

This is one of the most complicated steps in this process of refinishing your deck. Ensure your deck is dried completely before applying any stain. Apply the stain from the edge of the deck vertically. After staining, leave for a while before cleaning the surface with a cloth.

That is it – you are ready to enjoy time outside with your friends and family!

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