The countdown to summer is on. As the weather continues to become milder and warmer, you can finally start brushing off your patio furniture and get ready for meals on the porch and evenings sipping cocktails on your deck. Better yet – take advantage of the longer evenings and warm air by inviting your friends and family over for a cookout or picnic. As the weather improves, family begins to utilize outdoor living spaces and loving life on the deck or patio.
But what if your wood deck doesn’t seem quite ready for your idyllic summer? If your deck is weathered, splintering, or discolored after a harsh winter, it is time for you to consider getting ready for the best deck coating project possible. Read on for some tips and tricks to breathe new life into a wood deck that might not be quite ready to tackle summer.
First: Repair the deck for the best deck coating possible
In order to get the best deck coating possible, you need to make sure that your deck is in good order. This means making any repairs necessary to make sure your deck is both functional and safe.
Begin by carefully inspecting the deck, especially the posts and structural elements that are close to or touching the ground, as these areas may weather more quickly than others. Check to make sure none of the wood is rotting or unstable, which may indicate a need for a more major renovation. If the deck seems structurally sound, look for cosmetic repairs: nailing down any nails that have popped out, or scraping away wood that may be chipped or flaking its old coat of paint or stain. It may be possible that boards could warp or twist, in which case you should consider simply replacing the damaged boards and then staining them to match.
Step 2: Clean the deck
Once you’re sure the deck is safe and sound, it’s time to clean the deck. A clean deck will hold the stain, paint, or coating better than a dirty, crusty one. And even if you’re not planning on recoating your deck one particular season, a good deck will last longer with an annual cleaning.
There are many different types of deck cleaners – some that are mixed in a bucket, and some that can be hooked up to your hose – that you can apply manually and then scrub into the wood with a stiff-bristled brush. It takes some elbow grease, but will be worth it in the long run. If you don’t want to spend money on a commercial deck cleaner, you can combine bleach with soap and warm water and work that into the wood for an equally effective cleaning.
Step 3: Recoat the deck (stain, paint, acrylic coating)
Give your deck 24 hours in the sun to dry in order to best prepare it to be recoated. Recoating the deck will protect it from the elements of the coming summer (and then fall and winter!) season. When you are ready to recoat your deck, you can choose between stain, paint, and acrylic coating to beautify your outdoor living space.
Wood stain is great for adding rich, saturated, but still natural color that allows the wood grain of your deck to shine through. Wood stains are absorbed into the top layer of the wood, so they don’t form a seal on top of the wood deck, though they do fortify the wood and protect it from warping and weathering. In order to best protect your deck, a final coat of varnish is recommended.
The application process is simple: use a stain pad to apply a thin layer of stain to the wood. Allow a full 24 hours for the stain to dry before applying a second coat or replacing your furniture on the surface of the deck.
If you choose paint over stain, you need to spend extra time preparing your surface to make sure the paint takes properly.
Because paint sits on top of the wood instead of being absorbed into it, it hides imperfections better; this also means, however, that any obstructions on the surface of the wood will prevent the paint from properly sticking. Make sure you purchase specified deck paint, as it is designed to withstand foot traffic and the outdoor elements.
Once you have swept, scrubbed, and smoothed your deck surface, it’s easy to apply paint. You can use either a roller or a traditional paint brush to apply a smooth, even layer of paint to each wood plank. Allow it to fully dry before adding a second coat or replacing your deck furniture. Keep in mind that oil-based paints dry more slowly than acrylic ones.
Using Acrylic Coating
Another way to restore your wooden deck is to use a deck coating product to fill in cracks, add beautiful color, and restore tired wood. Coatings can smooth out your rough wood deck and are resistant to UV rays. This means that they can last much longer than traditional stains or paints. Additionally, coatings can fill in and repair cracks and holes up to one quarter of an inch deep.
Some consumers may complain that deck coatings are hot to walk on and too fully cover nails and screws (making minor repairs sometimes more difficult), but these drawbacks are minor compared to the advantages that deck coatings boast. With these steps for the best deck coating, you are more fully protecting the wood, and – in the long run – you are saving yourself time and money because your deck will need to be touched up far less frequently.
You can apply deck coatings in much the same way as you apply paint, though please be sure to carefully read each manufacturer’s instructions. Of course, you can always hire an expert to refurbish your deck for the summer as well.
Get your deck in ship shape for summer by giving it new life with the best deck coating possible. Look it over for minor (and major) repairs, give it a good deep clean, and then brighten it up with these tips for the best deck coating, be it stain, paint, or an acrylic deck coating. Then you’ll be able to sit back, kick up your feet, and enjoy that summer sunshine in your outdoor living area!