How you can Clean and Refinish a Wooden Deck

A beautifully refinished wooden deck is a valuable part of your outdoor landscape. It does not just look good; it extends and protects the life of the wood and enhances the resale value of your house as well. Refinishing the deck involves the following basic steps.

  1. Deck inspection
  2. Cleaning
  3. Sanding of the deck
  4. Staining and sealing
  5. Stain application
Each step is described below  in some detail for your benefit.

Deck inspection

Deck inspection is the first step in wooden deck refinishing. Look for structural problems like severely split or rotting wood, and mend them first.  If the deck paint or varnish looks old and faded, strip the varnish or paint off the surface of the deck, using a paint stripper. If you wish to repaint it, just sand it.

If you locate a wood stain or clear finish, you should clean it with the help of a wood deck cleaner. Experts recommend oxygen-based wood cleaner for removing graying caused due to ultraviolet sun exposure and mildew stains. It works great in cleaning the wood of any deposits and dirt.

Deck cleaning

Power washing the deck can either deep clean the deck quickly, or ruin the wooden deck boards. With too much pressure from the water jet, you end up etching the wood and ruining deck boards. With too little pressure, you end up getting the deck wet and no deep cleaning at all.

Power washers can be used for stripping paint or etching bricks. They are available in a range of different styles and powers. Experts recommend the following selections for cleaning the wood: pressure on soft wood such as pine or cedar must be around 500 to 600 PSI, while harder woods can stand up to 1200-1500 PSI.


After power washing the wooden deck, it is extremely likely that the fibers of the wood will rise, as they start to expand with water. Even after drying, wooden fibers may remain raised and cause splinters.

It is important to sand the wooden deck before starting the process of staining. Sanding will ensure that the final look is professional.

You should be careful about the grit of sandpaper for use. Using a very fine grit will limit the stain from soaking in into the wood.

Staining and sealing

An important decision you will have to make is choosing the right stain. Application of the stain is easy. However, choosing an ineffective or cheap staining material will only be a waste of money and labor you have to put in to the project; furthermore, it will warrant additional rework sooner than later.

Experts recommend the use of quality oil-based stain. You will find the best products at professional paint stores.

Stain application                                  

For applying the oil-based stain, use a natural bristle brush.

With proper techniques of preparation and application along with good quality materials you will surely have a beautiful and durable end product. The final outcome of your hard work will be a beautiful wooden deck, probably the pride of your outdoor landscape!