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Refinishing a Natural Deck: Step by Step

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

With summer just around the corner and COVID restrictions starting to lighten up, it's time to start thinking about summer entertaining! Wooden decks are often neglected due to weather, foot traffic, and daily wear and tear. If you're finding that your deck is falling victim to chipping paint, scratches, and/or fading color, there is good news! With a few days, a trip to your local hardware store, some elbow grease and this how-to post, you will be able to restore your deck to it's former glory.

5-piece sectional @

What You Will Need:

* Pressure Washer - If you do not have one you can purchase or rent one from Home Depot or another local hardware store

* Pump sprayer - These sprayers can be found at mostly all local hardware stores for around $20

* Nylon Brush - make sure that the bristles on your nylon brush are stiff

* Moisture Test Tool (optional)

* Orbital Sander

* Benjamin Moore Remove - This product is designed for the removal of peeling oil or latex stain, varnish, and clear-coat wood finishes. It will also remove damaged and discolored wood fiber from all exterior wood surfaces: decking, siding, shingles and furniture. Restores wood to its natural tone and prepares the surface for re-coating

* Benjamin Moore Brightener - This product is used for exterior use on wood decking, siding, shingles and furniture. Removes tannin and rust stains. Rinses easily with water, and is safe for all coatings and treated lumber. Removes the factory “mill glaze” which can interfere with the adhesion of paints and stains to smooth planed lumber, clapboards, or siding.

* 150 Grit Sandpaper

* Latex Gloves

* Staining Pad

* Brush

* Rags

* Empty bucket

* 5 gallon bucket with water


1. Wet entire and vegetation around decking with pressure washer

This will help preserve any vegetation that may get chemicals on them

2. Apply Benjamin Moore Remove with pump sprayer following the directions on bottle

3. With a stiff nylon brush, work the chemical into the decking until it starts to thicken

This will start the process of removing all of the dead wood, mold, dirt, and grime from your decking

4. Once you have done the whole deck, wash the entire deck down with a pressure washer to remove all dead wood, mold, dirt, and grime

If the decking is very worn, this process may need to be done twice

5. Next, use the pump sprayer to apply Benjamin Moore Brightener over the entire deck and work it in with your stiff nylon brush. When complete, pressure wash all decking again

This process will neutralize and brighten the decking.

6. Let your decking dry for at least a day

You can use a moisture test tool to see if it is ready for stain. The test should read no higher than 18% before applying the stain

7. Sand all decking down with your orbital sander and 150 grit sandpaper

8. After sanding, vacuum all of the deck to remove all dust and debris

9. To start the staining process, gather your latex gloves, staining pad, bucket, brush, rags, and your 5 gallon bucket with water

10. Put on latex gloves and mix your stain thoroughly before applying

11. Apply the stain with the grain of the decking doing only a couple boards at a time. We recommend using a staining pad and brush for this

12. After you have applied the stain to a few boards, use your rag to wipe off all of the stain that did not soak into the wood. This will insure that the finish comes out even

13. Complete the rest of the deck using this process

14. Let the deck dry for 24 hours before walking on and 72 hours before placing any furniture on your deck

As always, if the DIY style is not for you, feel free to contact us and let us handle the work. Our craftsmen are precise and dedicated to providing the best work for all of our clients. Be sure to check out our gallery to see some of our projects!

Thank you for reading, stay tuned for our next blog post! Feel free to comment any questions/comments/suggestions.

Phone: (1) 855-PAINT-11

Or Click Here to request a FREE estimate online!

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