A great-looking wood deck increases your home's curb appeal and adds valuable living space to its exterior. Since decks must endure the elements constantly, they require a finish to protect them. As sealant gradually deteriorates, decks become vulnerable to damage from UV rays, splitting, warping, rot and termites. If your deck is showing signs of wear or looks dull and discolored, it's time to refinish it. In general, you should refinish a wood deck every two years, but this varies according to climate, wood type, sealing products and other factors. It's crtical to find an expert in deck refinishing. There are many contractors and tradesman that claim to to be experts, but can cause everlasting damage to your valuable deck. We have been peforming deck refinishing in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego for over 18 years. It's in our blood and we are widely considered the industry experts and best in class. Our team is based in Southern California and we will come to your home to do a free evaluation and estimate.
Deck Master's Process
- Before starting the project, be sure that you'll have mild, rain-free weather for several days.
- Relocate all furniture and objects on the deck to a safe, dry place.
- Prep your deck. First, clean it thoroughly. You can scrub it by hand using an oxygen-based cleaner, or use a pressure washer.
- If the wood has a buildup of old product, use a chemical stripper to remove it.
- Allow your deck to dry thoroughly before applying any new treatments.
- Make any necessary repairs. Reset popped nails, replace warped boards, and sand uneven surface areas with sandpaper or a power sander. Work in the direction of the grain.
- Apply your stain, finish or sealer according to the manufacturer's directions. You may use paintbrushes, rollers or paint sprayers. Work in small sections, and allow each coat to dry completely.
- Clear sealers can be oil-based or water-based. They provide some protection from moisture, UV light and mold growth, but they only last one or two years.
- Semi-transparent sealers last up to three years. They contain light-blocking pigments that add rich color and offer better protection from UV rays.
- Semi-solid stains contain finely ground particles of pigment and provide rich color, but they may hide the wood's natural color and grain. They offer excellent protection against UV rays and harsh weather, and they last up to five years.
- Penetrating deck stains and sealers are absorbed into the wood's pores to create a barrier against moisture and dirt.
- Clear sealers provide protection without altering the color of the wood. They may contain epoxy resin, oil or latex.
Wood Type Considerations
Some wood decks have special refinishing needs. For example, teak decks respond best to treatment with tung or linseed oil before sealing. Mangaris decks are made from Red Balau and Yellow Balau woods. Since Mangaris is softer than some other products, it accepts more sealer and may not require as frequent refinishing. Cumaru or Brazilian teak is an exotic hardwood that is less porous and requires less surface maintenance. Cedar is more vulnerable to sun damage and must be refinished regularly to perform its best. Before refinishing your deck, determine its wood type and any specific product recommendations or special processing requirements.
Avoid Common Pitfalls
It is critical to choose your products carefully. Make sure they're appropriate for your deck's wood type and your area's climate. Avoid inferior and low-quality products; they won't perform well and may leave your wood unprotected. If your deck has advanced damage such as extensive grey oxidation, severe mold growth or rot, consult a contractor. Before hiring a professional refinishing service, be sure that they have both experience and credentials. Unqualified contractors could cause irreversible damage to your deck.