How to Maintain or Refinish Your Wood Deck

The summer sun, the elements, and foot traffic can take their toll on a wood deck. Want to restore your deck to its former glory instead of replacing it? Read our guide to know how to repair broken boards as well as clean and protect your deck.

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
1-8 hours (depending on the deck)

1
Repair All Broken or Damaged Planks

  • 1.1Check the general condition of your deck.
  • 1.2If a decking board is broken and needs to be replaced, locate the joint area.
  • 1.3Remove the board by loosening and unscrewing all screws.
  • 1.4If part of the board is still in good condition, you can cut and remove the damaged section only—this will save you money. However, make sure that the assembly is stable and solid by measuring and cutting a 2 x 4 to support the remaining piece and the new section. To better visualize the area to be solidified, you can remove some boards.
  • 1.5If you need to change the whole board, remove the broken board, then cut a new board to replace it. Make sure the assembly support is sound and solid before inserting the new board.
  • 1.6Insert the new board, then secure it using deck screws.
Damaged board unscrewed with a drill
Damaged board unscrewed with a drill
Removing a plank from a wood deck
Removing a plank from a wood deck
Measuring the plank before cutting
Measuring the plank before cutting
Cutting the wood board using a mitre saw
Cutting the wood board using a mitre saw
Building a support stand using joist hangers
Building a support stand using joist hangers
Checking the assembly support is sound and solid
Checking the assembly support is sound and solid
Securing the new boards using deck screws
Securing the new boards using deck screws

2
Clean the Deck

  • 2.1Using a hose and spray gun or a pressure washer, soak the whole deck and allow it to dry.
  • 2.2Pour the deck cleaner on the boards.
  • 2.3Rub thoroughly using a stiff-bristle deck brush.
  • 2.4Rinse the entire deck until no bubbles remain.
  • 2.5Let the deck dry thoroughly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Spray the whole deck using a hose
Spray the whole deck using a hose
Rubbing the deck with a stiff-bristle brush
Rubbing the deck with a stiff-bristle brush
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Pro Tip

Give your deck a good scrubbing with the deck cleaner to remove dirt. With this extra step, you will achieve much better penetration of the stain.

3
Apply a Finish

  • 3.1Apply the chosen finish (water sealer or stain) using a thick paint brush. Use a smaller brush for detail work if needed.
  • 3.2Allow the product to dry for at least 48 hours before using your deck.
Stain brush with a can of water sealant
Stain brush with a can of water sealant
Applying the finish with a stain brush
Applying the finish with a stain brush
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Pro Tips

Wait until the weather is just right to apply the product: there must be no rain (and none in the forecast) and it shouldn’t be too cold, hot, or sunny outside.

Saturate your brush with stain and hold it firmly, close to the bristles. Apply a generous coat all over the surface, but make sure to always finish in the direction of the wood grain.

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