There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a newly built deck. The wood is fresh and the possibilities for stain colors and furniture seem endless. But over time, rain, snow, and the summer sun take their toll. Suddenly, your favorite outdoor space becomes an embarrassing eyesore riddled with splinters. You might even consider ripping the whole thing out and starting from scratch. We know the feeling!
Before you take any drastic measures, take a breath. Renewing your weathered deck doesn’t have to be a painful task as long as you know where to start. Follow the steps below to discover how to make your deck look brand new again.
Inspect & Repair
The first step to restoring your deck? Inspect for damage and perform any necessary repairs. You’ll need to check for any loose or damaged boards, insect invasion, and wood rot. While damage like pits and scratches can be sanded down, wood rot and insect damage are larger problems that can’t be fixed.
Moisture is the enemy of wood decks. Check for wood rot by examining areas where water pools and wood posts touch the ground. Areas around gutter drains, sprinkler systems, and faulty plumbing are more susceptible to accumulating moisture and attracting wood-loving fungi. Wood rot also compromises the safety and structural integrity of your deck.
If you identify wood rot, check the surrounding wood boards to determine if the decay has spread. As wood rot spreads easily, you want to ensure that you address any rot issues before spending time refinishing other parts of your deck. Boards that are damaged by insects and decay should be removed and replaced with fresh wood.
Clean & Prep
For dirt, stains, and mildew, we carry an environmentally friendly exterior cleaner that is great for decks and other hard surfaces like brick. Grab a firm scrub brush and a garden hose, and you’ll be ready to go. Avoid pressure washing your deck, as it can damage the soft fibers of your wood, making it susceptible to rot and resulting in an uneven finish for your final coats of stain.
If your deck was previously finished with paint or wood stain, you’ll first need to strip the coating. You will need to sand off the old finish, or use WOCA Exterior Cleaner and hard bristle scrub brush to remove the old finish. This will ensure your new coat of stain absorbs well into the wood. When diluted, WOCA Exterior Cleaner will not harm your plants or flowers.
After cleaning, wait a full day to apply a primer and prep for oil stain. Make sure to assess the type of wood that your deck is made of, as the type of wood will determine whether you need a primer. Some woods are softer and more absorbent than others and require different stain applications. For example, softwood like untreated pine requires a primer like WOCA Outdoor Wood Primer to increase the adhesion of the stain.
Stain & Seal
Now it’s time for your final coat of stain. Whether you’re cleaning or staining, the best days to work on your deck are overcast days. Direct sunlight will dry up the moisture in your products, making them patchy and less effective.
Apply the exterior oil after cleaning to ensure wood fibers can absorb the oil fully. You can use an oil applicator sponge, brush, or paint roller. This exterior oil hardens from the inside out, protecting wood from UV damage and outdoor elements. Wait 24 hours for the oil to dry completely.
Using a high-quality oil stain is crucial. All of our oil stains are environmentally friendly, low VOC, and safe to use around your family and your plants. Our WOCA Exterior Oil comes in 14 colors that transform your outdoor space into a bright, inviting extension of your home.
When you’re done, select furniture that complements the new space. Remember to clean your deck regularly to avoid build-up of dirt, green growth, and stains. When the elements wear on your deck, don’t fret! These steps will have your deck ready to enjoy in no time. After all, warm days are meant to be spent outdoors. WOCA helps you enjoy your time in the sun with an array of planet-friendly products that keep your wood beautiful and functional. Try a subscription to your favorite WOCA cleaning products to receive them as often as you need them. Learn more about our subscription program here.