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How to Restore a Wood Deck

When the season turns warmer, everyone loves spending time outdoors to enjoy the good weather.  And, having a wood deck will let you do exactly that!

But, like other outdoor fixtures, your wood deck requires regular maintenance and proper care for it to look its best all the time and last for many years.  It means you have to clean your wood deck every two years and apply a new coat of stain once the old stain has worn off.

Read on to know how to restore a wood deck to its initial state and little maintenance for the longest time possible.

Clean Your Wood Deck

Decks are exposed to water and lots of traffic.  They accumulate gunk coating through the years, so you have to clean it first before restoring your deck.

You might be tempted to use the most powerful pressure washer to wash off that gunk in minutes. However, this will not give you the kind of results you need and want.

A homeowner grade pressure washer can work better than a pressure washer with more than 1500 to 1800 psi. The work may be slower, but a better result is achieved in the end. Wash your wood deck thoroughly if you have lots of stains or dirt. You can just use clean water for the minor build-up of dirt and stains.

Once you are done, wait for several dry days, although one week is recommended to ensure that the wood’s moisture content has gone back to the manageable level of moisture content below 12%. If you paint or stain your deck before then, expect to deal with all sorts of problems regarding the finish.

Additionally, wood rot is a potential problem since moisture is trapped into the wood.  Water will be forced into the wood during pressure washing in a notable way, and it can take a longer time for the wood to dry off than when it just feels dry when touched.

Choose the Right Stain

There are numerous stain options available, and staining is better compared to painting.  Stains are intended for wood decks.  They can also hold up much better than paint that tends to peel and flake with wear.  Although you can choose from numerous colors and brands, there are three main kinds of stains you can consider:

  • Solid – Solid stains are almost similar to paint, but the formulation is different than standard paint.  Solid stains completely hide wood grain, and its life is longest than other exterior stains.
  • Semi-transparent – Semi-transparent stains slightly obscure wood grain with higher solids content.  These can last much longer and offer more protection compared to transparent stains.
  • Transparent – Out of all stains, transparent stains tend to last the shortest.  These work great for showcasing the wood’s attractive grain.  For newer decks that are not yet battle-worn or decks built from striking wood species, transparent stains are good options.

You can choose between oil-based or water-based stains.  Stain application is tedious but straightforward by just using a brush and roller. The stain should be spread evenly, and puddles should be wiped up. 

After applying the stain, keep off the deck until this is completely dry. This often requires 24 to 36 hours, which depends on the weather.

Use these tips for restoring your deck and you’ll have it looking as good as new.

2 thoughts on “How to Restore a Wood Deck”

  1. Thank you for the information! I felt quite lost in this matter, but the steps to cleaning a wood deck were super easy to follow and I got a great results. Waiting for it to properly dry was key!


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