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Project Coach: Refinish Your Deck

Also, inspect the deck-to-house connection.

#HowTo Refinish A Teak Deck For Your #Boat

Tighten the fasteners that attach the deck to the house, look for any missing, bent or rusted flashing and carefully inspect inside and out for any telltale black stains that suggest moisture is working its way into your home. Next, look for any cosmetic damage. For example, tap down any popped nails or consider replacing them with screws. For the Johnsons' deck, Graf used galvanized ring-shanked nails when he replaced a few damaged boards. If you need to rip replacement decking to match existing boards, use a tablesaw.

Carefully inspect railings and decking for loose wood. Use a pry bar to pull damaged boards. Remove fasteners and lift the board straight up to avoid damaging adjacent boards. Here's the bad news: Every deck should have an annual cleaning. Assuming they have been maintained regularly, most decks can be revived with just a deck cleaner. Once on the deck, most still require a stiff-bristle brush and a lot of elbow grease to work the mixture into the wood.

Always wear eye protection and gloves when working with concentrated chemicals. You'll also want to protect nearby plants. The level of plant protection depends on the type and concentration of the chemicals you choose. For weak solutions and "plant-friendly" cleaners, you may need to only mist the plants before and after using cleaning.

Powerful deck restorers can burn leaves on contact; in that case you should cover nearby plants with plastic sheeting. Graf recommends using a fan-type nozzle instead of a pinpoint nozzle that can dig into the wood. For removing the mildew, Graf mixes his own cleaning solution see "Choosing the Right Cleaner," on the facing page , which he feeds into the intake hose on the washer. Go over the deck with a stiff-bristle brush to work the cleaner into the wood fibers, and then rinse.

The boards should be kept damp in order for the cleaning solution to work effectively.

Step 1: Making Repairs

Allow the deck to dry thoroughly before staining. Choosing the Right Cleaner There are dozens of deck-cleaning products on the market. Most contain one of the following four chemicals as their main ingredient. Each is effective for different types of stains. This chemical—chlorine bleach—is good for removing mildew but isn't effective on dirt or other stains.

So mix it with an ammonia-free detergent.

How to Pressure Wash and Seal a Deck | how-tos | DIY

Thoroughly rinse the deck after using this chemical because it can eat away at the wood, resulting in fuzzing and premature graying. When mixed with water, this chemical forms hydrogen peroxide an oxygen-based bleach and sodium carbonate, which acts as a detergent.

It is good for removing dirt, mildew and weathered wood. This is effective in removing iron stains and the brown-black tannins that frequently occur with cedar and redwood decks. This acid is commonly found in deck brighteners. Oxalic acid isn't effective against mildew, so you may want to use it after cleaning the deck with a bleach-based cleaner.

Also known as lye, this is the key ingredient in most finish lifters or removers. Don't leave it on too long, or it can eat away at the wood. Be very careful when working with any of these chemicals, especially when they're in their most concentrated premixed form.

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Wear the proper safety equipment and follow the manufacturer's directions to the letter. Rinse the surface thoroughly and allow it to dry before refinishing. Recommended by the U.

Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory, it's good for mildew and dirt. Rinse thoroughly before applying a finish. Do not use a detergent that contains ammonia. Ammonia and bleach react to form a poisonous gas. Trim the replacement boards with a circular saw. Using adjacent boards as a cutting guide is faster and more accurate than measuring. Once all of the repairs have been made and the deck is clean, it's time to apply a protective finish. Clear finishes and transparent stains are fine for new wood, but for older decks, Starling recommends using a semitransparent stain.

The pigment also provides extra protection from the damaging effects of the sun and will last longer than clear finishes. Unlike paint, stain is absorbed by the wood and does not form a film on its surface, so it will not peel or chip. Starling uses a sprayer and 2-in. Most painters and homeowners are better off spraying on a generous coat of stain and then following up with a roller or brush to spread out puddles and work the finish into the wood. Attach your stiff-bristle brush to the long handle and continue scrubbing the entire surface of the deck.

Scrubbing will clean off dirt, mold and mildew, old paint or stain, and grime. It will also help open the pores in the wood so that your finish will penetrate more deeply. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and safety equipment when working with heavy-duty cleaners. It is generally not necessary to actively strip old stain or sealer from a deck. Allow the deck to dry. If you are using a water-based stain or sealer, you can apply the product when the deck is still damp.

Go From an Old Deck to New in 4 Steps

However, if you chose an oil-based stain, you will have to wait two to three days [14] until the deck has dried completely before you can proceed with the refinishing. Apply the new finish to the railings. Pour your refinishing product into the paint tray. Dip in your paint brush a few times to saturate it, gently brush off the excess, and begin refinishing your deck, starting with the railings. Refinish the deck surface and stairs. Soak your roller in an even coating of stain and roll off the excess.

Dip the roller back in the tray as needed. Start in an inside corner closest to the house if possible, and apply the stain parallel to the boards in the direction of the wood grain. To prevent some areas from getting more stain and being darker than others, only work on a few boards at a time, and cover the entire length of those boards before moving over. Apply multiple coats if necessary. Note that some products have to be applied while the first coat is still slightly wet in order to absorb into the wood properly.


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Allow the deck to dry fully. You shouldn't need to. If a board itself is cracked, you may just want to replace that board.


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  • Maintain It.
  • Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. What is the easiest and most efficient way to get pine needles from between the cracks? Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Tips Refinish your deck every two years to keep it protected and looking like new. Article Summary X Before you refinish a deck, put on a pair of rubber gloves and protective clothing, since you'll be working with strong chemicals. Did this summary help you?

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