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Sanding & Refinishing Your Deck for Summer Fun

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As April rolls in with springtime in tow, most of us will begin dreaming of the warm weather atmosphere and activities we’ve been missing since the leaves fell last fall.

For many of us, the best summertime moments happen right at home, in our own backyards. Perhaps this is the reason why we spend countless hours each year on backyard projects that aim to perfect our outdoor environments—because there is nothing like enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds of the summer season from the comfort of your back deck. It’s where your family gathers to relax and spend time together—to grill, to talk, or to watch a backyard game of softball unfolding beyond the rail.

Now that we’ve got you dreaming of those summer BBQs around the bend, take a moment to ponder the state of your deck space. This season’s backyard projects might include:

Backyard Projects: Prepping Your Deck

If the deck out back has been looking a little old and worn these past few seasons, you can start the coming summer off with a bang by sanding and refinishing this outdoor gathering space. Remember: your deck is an extension of your home itself. In that case, you’ll want to make a good impression from the outside!

Deck Stripping

The first step to revitalizing your worn out deck is to strip it of its dull surface. Start the deck stripping process by completely clearing the area of all items. If you have loose paint in places, the project may require a bit of scraping.

Wash the deck with a pressure washer, then apply a deck stripper that’s water-based. Let the stripper sit for 15 – 20 minutes, and then remove with the power washer.

Deck Sanding

Outdoor decks vary in size; yet deck sanding by hand would be difficult and time-consuming with even the smallest space. Rent a 15’ floor polisher/sander to get the stripped surface smoothed over quickly and efficiently. Let the area thoroughly dry, then power sand the surface of your deck until a fresh layer of clean looking wood is all that shows on exposed surfaces. Start with a 20-grit to level; from there, you can switch to a 60-grit and call it “good,” or continue on with a 100-grit.

Deck Refinishing

Once the old finish has been completely removed from the surface of your deck, it’s time for refinishing the deck planks to make them look brand new. First things first: measure you’re deck to calculate how much finish you’ll need. When choosing your stain, keep in mind that clear is good for showing the natural wood, but colored finishes result in backyard projects that last longer.

When applying stain, “cut in” the edges and use a roller to fill in. After the first coat dries, apply a second coat to complete the deck refinishing process.

Make sure the finish is completely dry before refilling your deck space with grills, patio furniture, fire pits, etc. The entire process can be completed over a single spring weekend, and the results will last you through the warm summer months to come.

If you love a good summertime BBQ, make sure that deck sanding and refinishing are on your list of backyard projects to complete this spring!

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