How to Refinish a Deck like a Pro

Refinishing a deck can be a rewarding DIY project that can instantly boost your outdoor space’s aesthetic appeal and add value to your home. A well-refinished deck not only looks great, but it also protects the wood from weather damage and extends the life of your deck. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps on how to refinish your deck like a pro.

Preparing Your Deck for Refinishing

Before you start the refinishing process, it’s important to properly prepare your deck. This includes cleaning, sanding, and repairing any damage to the wood.

Cleaning Your Deck

Start by removing all furniture, rugs, and other items from the deck. Then, sweep the deck to remove dirt, debris, and cobwebs. Next, use a pressure washer to remove any remaining dirt and grime. Allow the deck to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Sanding Your Deck

Once the deck has dried, use a power sander or sandpaper to remove the existing finish and smooth the surface of the wood. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and work your way to a finer grit to achieve a smooth surface. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the wood.

Repairing Any Damage

If there are any cracks, holes, or missing boards, repair them with wood filler. Allow the filler to dry completely, then sand the repair smooth with the rest of the deck.

Applying the Finish

Now that your deck is clean, sanded, and repaired, it’s time to apply the finish. Choose a high-quality deck stain or sealer that is appropriate for the type of wood your deck is made of.

Applying the First Coat

Start by stirring the deck finish thoroughly to ensure even coverage. Using a paintbrush or roller, apply the finish in the direction of the grain. Be sure to apply an even and generous coat, covering all surface areas of the deck. Allow the first coat to dry completely, which usually takes 24-48 hours.

Applying the Second Coat

Once the first coat has dried, apply a second coat in the same manner. It’s important to apply a second coat to ensure complete coverage and protection of the wood. Allow the second coat to dry completely before using the deck.

Maintenance and Upkeep

To keep your deck looking great and protected, it’s important to maintain and upkeep it regularly. This includes cleaning, re-staining, and sealing as needed.


Refinishing a deck may seem like a daunting task, but with the proper tools, techniques, and steps, anyone can do it. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can refinish your deck like a pro and enjoy a beautiful and protected outdoor space for years to come.

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