Deck Refinishing and Deck Stain
As in interior design, the colour of the moment can change from year to year. When finishing your deck remember it will take many hours of work to change the colour if you decide it’s not in fashion any more, so choose the colour carefully. A simple stained oil or clear preservative is often the best choice and easy to reapply every year.
As with other aspects of the deck you have a choice that is almost endless. The important factors to consider are the type of wood, the deck’s designed use and the amount of traffic across it; all these will affect the type of finish you should use. If the deck is in an exposed position a long-lasting finish will be required to prevent excess weathering. Even if the weathered look is preferred, a clear sealant will have to be used on less expensive woods. However, with high quality, pressure-treated timber the weathered look can be realized by simply leaving the timber alone.
The final colour of the deck will vary depending on different timber species and the strength of sunlight. In time most timbers will lighten to an ash grey. If the ‘just built’ look is desired, apply a coloured stain to the timber — it will need to be reapplied each year since the colour will wear off with use.
The other option is to paint the deck. This will completely cover the underlying wood so is an ideal finish if you are using a budget timber. Although painting takes longer it is easy to apply and areas of deck that will be difficult to reach can be painted before assembly. On the deck’s surface you will have to make sure the finish will be slip-resistant. For this and advice on the paint to use, speak to a paint specialist.
There are two basic stains you can apply to the deck. The first is a semitransparent or low-pigmented stain which will show the wood to its best effect but will require more frequent restaining. The second is a solid or heavy pigmented stain, which is best if wood defects need to be hidden. It is longer lasting and easier to apply, so a good choice for lower grade timber.
Before You Paint
Before you rush out and buy the paint consider the following:
- The deck will have to be repainted every year.
- Heavy wear can make painted surfaces look shabby very quickly.
- It’s very difficult to remove the paint or stain once it’s been applied.
- A strong, non-neutral deck shade may restrict your ability to try different colour schemes.
With the deck cleaned and swept, remove all the loose. Depending on the you may need to sand the surface to get a better key. Then paint on the required number of coats.
This is to make the ends of beams and joists less of an eyesore. Paint the ends with a dark colour to make them less obvious. Make sure the paint can cover the preservative used on the timber.
Re-painting the deck
As decks weather it may be necessary to repaint the surface. Use a good quality outdoor timber paint or coloured preservative, and follow the recommendations for application.