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How To Resurface Wooden Deck for a Longer-Lasting, More Appealing Appearance


If you have a wooden deck, you probably take great pride in it. You want to do as much as possible to keep it looking its best for as long as possible. Keeping your deck properly cared for and maintained is one way to do that. 

However, weather and sun exposure can take their toll on your deck’s appearance.  So your instinct might be to hire an expensive contractor to completely rebuild it from the ground up.

Fortunately, this isn’t your only option. There is another way – resurfacing the existing deck with a new finish that simultaneously protects it from the elements and improves its appearance. 

You are reducing maintenance requirements while increasing curb appeal at the same time – what could be better than that? Read on for details about how you can update your existing wooden deck by resurfacing it.

What Is Deck Resurfacing?

Resurfacing a deck is removing the old deck boards, applying a new finish, and then replacing the boards.

This process can be done any time of year and is an excellent solution if you want to increase your home’s deck's longevity without starting from scratch.

Resurfacing a deck adds a protective barrier between the wood and the environment, which helps the board retain its appearance for longer. It also allows you to choose a finish (or stain) designed for outdoor environments.

A deck resurfacing job is cost-effective compared to building a new deck from scratch. It’s also much less time-consuming, making it a great choice for people who don’t have the time to rebuild their deck from the ground up.

You'll need a deck cleaner and a stain to resurface a wood deck. This will ensure that your deck is properly cleaned and sealed before you add the new finish.

Why Should You Resurface A Wooden Deck?

Wooden decks last long, but they will eventually need to be resurfaced. Decks are deck boards attached to a frame using nails, screws, or both.

Pressure from foot traffic and the weather can eventually wear down the finish on the boards and cause the nails or screws to loosen. Once this happens, water will start to seep into the deck, causing the boards to rot.

You’ll want to resurface your deck as soon as possible to prevent that. Here are a few reasons why you should resurface your deck:New call-to-action

Extend The Life Of The Deck

Decks are built to last many years, but the finish needs to be appropriately maintained. As time passes, the finish will wear down. Once it becomes too weathered, it won’t be able to protect the wood from the elements. Resurfacing the deck will extend its life.


Strengthens The Old Wood Deck

Decks are meant to support the weight of people and furniture, but they won’t be able to do that forever. Resurfacing your deck will help strengthen the boards to support more weight.



Improves The Look Of The Deck

The finish on the boards will start to wear away with time. Resurfacing will give your deck a fresh look. No one wants to sit on a deck that looks old and weathered.


It Prevents Rot From Setting In

Rot is caused by water seeping into the boards. Rotting boards can cause the entire deck to collapse, so it’s important to prevent it.



Enhance The Value Of Your Home

A beautifully maintained deck can significantly increase the value of your home. A newly resurfaced wooden deck will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

What Materials Do You Need To Resurface A Wooden Deck?

To resurface your deck, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Power washer or a garden hose with a nozzle
  • Putty knife
  • Stiff brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Chalk line
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Earplugs (optional)
  • Dust mask (optional)
  • An orbital sander
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Paintbrush or a roller
  • New finish (stain, sealer, or both)

How To Resurface A Wood Deck

If you decide to resurface your deck, you can expect the process to take a few weeks. You can also hire a contractor to do the work for you or do it yourself. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

First and foremost, safety gear is a must. You’ll be working with power tools and climbing up and down a ladder, so you’ll need to wear gloves, goggles, and a dust mask.

Mark the boards that you plan to remove and mark the boards that you plan to replace. Use a carpenter’s pencil to mark the boards so you don’t accidentally damage them. Deck cleaning is the next step in resurfacing a wood deck. Be sure to read the instructions on the power washer before using it.

Begin by power washing the deck surface to remove any dirt, grime, or debris. You can also use a pressure washer on the deck railings and stairs. Be sure to let the wood dry completely before proceeding.

Alternatively, a garden hose can be used to clean the deck. Deck cleaners are also helpful in removing debris and dirt. You can buy these cleaners at most home improvement stores.

Inspect the boards for damage and make a plan to replace the damaged boards. If more than 20% of the boards are damaged, you may want to consider replacing the entire deck. Use a saw to remove the old boards. Be sure to wear gloves and a dust mask while doing.

Next, use a hand sander or floor sander to sand down the surface of the wood. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the wood. Once the surface is sanded smooth, apply a coat of primer. Let the primer dry completely before proceeding.

Finally, apply the wood stain as desired. Be sure to apply several coats for maximum protection against weathering and wear and tear. Wood fibers that are raised due to sanding need to be pushed down with a brush after the final coat of stain is applied.

After the stain has dried, apply a sealer to the main deck surface. This will protect the wood from moisture damage. Let the sealer dry completely before using the deck.

Which Type Of Resurfacing Is Best For Wooden Decks?

There are a few ways to resurface a deck. You can use a traditional resurfacing method, a sanding and staining method, or a fiber-coated composite board method.

The traditional resurfacing method uses a finish designed to protect outdoor wood from the elements. The sanding and staining method is similar to traditional resurfacing.

The only difference is that you’ll use a rotary sander to remove the finish from the boards. The fiber-coated composite board method uses a coating similar to the boards commonly used in outdoor decks.

The wood grain should be visible after the resurfacing process is complete.

Pros Of Deck Resurfacing

Extends the deck's life: Resurfacing a deck will extend its life. You won’t have to worry about the deck rotting or being damaged by termites.

Improved strength: A new finish will be stronger than a deck with an old, weathered finish. You’ll be able to support more weight on the deck without breaking.

Improved aesthetics: A new finish will give your deck a fresh look that will complement the rest of your home.

Increased curb appeal: A deck that needs repair can be unattractive. A newly resurfaced deck will improve the overall appearance of your home.

Prevention of water damage: Rot and water damage can destroy a deck. Resurfacing a deck will prevent water from seeping in.

Protection from damage from the weather: A new finish will protect the deck from sunlight, damage from rain, and extreme temperatures.

Cons Of Deck Resurfacing

Time-consuming: Resurfacing a deck is a time-consuming process. Depending on your deck size and how many boards you want to replace, it can take several days to finish the job.

Expensive: Resurfacing a deck is an expensive project. It can cost a few thousand dollars to resurface a deck completely.

Requires maintenance: Once the resurfacing job is complete, you’ll have to continue to maintain the deck. You’ll have to clean it, add a sealant and remove any mold or mildew that might grow. Resurfacing a deck is a project you’ll have to do every few years. You’ll have to pay the contractor back to do the work again.

Requires a lot of time: Resurfacing a deck isn’t a project you can finish on the weekend. It’s a project that will take a few weeks to complete. Plan to spend a lot of time on the deck while the work is being done.

3 Tips For Finding The Right Contractor To Resurface Your Deck

Get multiple quotes: Don’t just hire the first contractor you find. Get multiple quotes from different contractors to compare prices.

Check references: Make sure to check references before hiring a contractor. Call the references and ask if they were satisfied with the work done.

Ask for pictures: Ask the contractor to show you pictures of previous jobs they’ve done. This will give you an idea of their craft.

When it comes time to resurface your deck, follow these tips to ensure the job is done correctly.

Bottom Line

Resurfacing a deck is a great way to extend its life and improve its appearance. It’s important to hire a qualified contractor to do the job. And be prepared to spend a lot of time and money on the project.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to find the right contractor to resurface your deck. And your deck will look better than ever. Thanks for reading!


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