The horizontal design of wood decking ensures that rain, snow and melted and refrozen ice will penetrate the surface through the cracks that are created when the wood gets extremely dry. This is the start of deterioration to the finish and then the wood itself over time. This is a simplified version of what happens to wood decks in our area and why most finishes don’t last as long as they do on other surfaces.
Like most painting or staining projects, preparation is crucial to success and knowing the right tools and products for the particular deck is incredibly important as there are so many. Here are some of the tools at our disposal for removing the old finish and preparing the deck for a new finish: chemical stripper, neutralizer, brightener, drum sanding, square pad sanding and random orbital hand sanding. These can be used separately or in conjunction with others depending on the situation. Each has its pros and cons and it’s the condition of the old finish and wood that determine the best approach. Product knowledge and experience are invaluable here and are often the difference between an end result that is beautiful or just okay.
Setting nails, repairing and replacing wood are all typical steps in preparation for the finish.
Finishes run the gamut from clear, slightly toned, semi transparent, semi solid and solid stains to deck and elastomeric paints, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. This is some of the information we share with our customers to help them choose the right finish and type of maintenance they prefer.