Refinishing a Deck Part 1: How to Resurface Cracked & Splintered Wood Decks
If your deck is cracked and splintered, you will want to refinish your deck as soon as possible. A cracked and splintered deck is a dangerous one. When there are cracks, rain and debris can get down in the wood and cause it to rot and be unsafe. Splinters can also become embedded in pets and people, so you will want to learn how to refinish your deck quickly. To fix splintered and cracked wood, you will have to sand it and then stain or paint it to ensure that the same issues do not happen again. Proper deck maintenance is imperative to make sure that your deck lasts for many years.
Putting a great sanding job on your wood deck can bring it back to life. However, in some cases, you may find that your deck still looks lackluster. There is a solution called deck restoration coatings that will fill in the cracks in your deck and create a surface that is both weather-resistant and smooth.
You may think about just cutting off the worn boards and getting new ones, but this can be very expensive, especially with the cost of lumber these days. So if you want to save money, you need to learn how to preserve your deck or have someone come out and do it for you.
Power Washing Your Deck
Your first step to refinishing your deck is to go ahead, and power wash it. You might think that this will worsen the problem if your deck is already splintered, but the truth is that there is no better way to clean it off. If you do not clean your deck off before attempting to refinish your deck, you may clog up your sander and miss areas where the wood is splintering. For example, if you live near pine trees, their sap may be on your deck. The sap may make your sander not work well, and it may also cover areas where splintering may occur. Pressure wash your deck thoroughly. You do not have to use a strong setting on your pressure washer, just enough to clean it well. After you have pressure washed your deck, you will need to let it dry for three to four days before you sand.
Sanding the Deck
Once the deck has dried, you are now ready to sand the deck. You can use a belt sander for refinishing, or if you want to use one of the best deck refinishing tools, you will get a flooring orbital sander. Generally, you can find one of these at your local equipment rental store. You will also want to make sure that you have plenty of sandpaper on hand. You will want to have 120 grit sandpaper unless you have a strong finish on your deck. If you have a strong finish, you will need 100 grit sandpaper.
Once you have all your deck refinishing tools gathered, you will want to go through your deck and make sure that you have hammered down any nails that may be sticking up. If there are any nails, they could tear your sandpaper and cause you to have to replace the paper multiple times. Once you have done this, you are now ready to sand the wood. You should try to sand along the wood grain no matter what kind of sander you have. Generally, one pass on each board should be sufficient. If you are seeing that some of the wood is still splintered or looks rough, go over it again. You should make sure that the last pass you make on the wood is with 120 grit sandpaper.
Protecting Your Deck
After you have finished sanding, you will want to clean the deck again. Sweep it first, and then spray it off with a water hose or your pressure washer. You will need to let it dry for a couple of days to ensure that when you stain it or paint it, the wood will accept it well. After the deck has dried, you will want to determine what you want to do as far as painting or staining. Both are great options, and will all depend on your personal preference, the wood you are using, and what look you want.
You may also choose to do a restoration coating, but it is important to note that restoration coatings only cover about twenty square feet per gallon. To fully protect your deck, you will want to apply two coats, so you will want to make sure that you purchase enough to do that. You will have to apply one coat and then wait another twenty-four hours before applying another coat, and you will need to wait two days before you can use your deck. With this information, when it comes to deck restoration, you will need to take your time to determine whether or not you would rather paint or stain your old deck.
If you take a look at your deck and decide that refinishing it is too much hassle or you do not want to take on a refinishing deck project at the moment, consider calling Hetrick Painting today. They can come out and refinish your old deck in no time and ensure that it looks great and is well protected from the elements.