The Double-Edged Approach Details for Every Deck We Service:
Aesthetic Renewal Structural Reinforcement
our deck service is designed to enhance visual appeal & preserve structural integrity
Deck Refinishing by CraftPro: Restoring Your Existing Wood Deck or Porch & Extending the Life of the Deck to Postpone the Need for a Costly Deck Rebuild
THE BIG THREE: Below are Details of 3 Critical Deck Refinishing Preparatory Practices that Clean, Revive, and Renew Your Deck’s Wood. They Increase Longevity While Also Creating a Substrate that is Prepared for a Beautiful Finished Result:
PowerWash & Cleaning
- Power-Washing with Bleach or Other Mold/Mildew Cleaning Solution
A powerwash is critical to any exterior paint, stain or refinishing project. For deck refinishing it’s especially important because mold and mildew can very easily grow on horizontal surfaces. That’s where the bleach-water solution comes into play. To be sure, there are other deck-specific cleaning solutions available. We usually stick to the time-tested, proven method of soaking every inch of the deck in a bleach-water solution before washing it at high pressure. When the bleach is allowed to soak for around 15 or 20 minutes it not only kills the mold and mildew, providing a clean enironment outside your home, but it also will help to brighten any stone or cement walkways, steps, siding, etc….
- We make sure to include a good amount of the surrounding structure in the power-washing step of our deck refinishing service. Let’s say that your deck is located in the backyard with a paved walkway leading to it and surrounded on two sides by the home’s siding (and windows and doors). And let’s also say you have a nice flowerbed lining the deck perimeter. Looks great, right? To begin the deck refinishing: First we remove all furniture and other items from the deck and put any bleach-sensitive furniture far away. We wet down all surrounding plantlife, including your flowerbed. If something needs to be covered in plastic then that gets done. Then we begin soaking the deck, the siding, the paved walkway and doors & windows with the bleach-water solution. In moderation, the solution will not harm your lawn, flowers or other plantlife. When applied liberally, it will give most masonry work – like a paved path – a brand new look, and it will kill even the most stubborn mold. This allows it to be blasted away at higher pressure later. Once the appropriate vertical and horizontal surfaces are all soaked we allow time so the bleach can do its job and kill mold/mildew.
- After allowing a 15-to-20 minute soak, we blast every square inch at 3,000psi with clean fresh water. We get close enough to remove mildew and expose & lift failed coatings, but not so close that the wood gets scarred. We’re also careful to not blast away any of the paint on your home’s siding if you aren’t planning on painting it yet. Instead, we carefully rinse. As for the stone path/walkway: we blast it clean and leave it looking brand new. We then carefully rinse everything, including plants and shrubs, with fresh water.
- RESULT: Clean Surfaces, Better-Looking Surroundings, and Mold/Mildew-Free Wood that’s Properly & Thoroughly Prepared for the Next Deck Refinishing Step
- Stain & Sealant Stripping, Wood Tannin Cleaning, Wood Repairs (optional)
When it is necessary, as it was in some of our deck refinishing examples below, existing stain needs to be stripped with chemicals. For example, if your deck is currently stained with a very dark-colored stain and you want any and all stain transparency & color options to be available to you. In that case, your deck stain needs to be stripped and every surface needs to be restored to bare wood.
- Essentially starting from scratch, the best way to achieve a bare-wood deck is to chemically strip it, then treat it with a product that neutralizes the tannins that naturally occur in specific wood species, and finally power-sand it thoroughly (see #3 below).
- Our preferred line of products is Sherwin Williams brand “SuperDeck” deck refinishing system. For stain stripping we like “SuperDeck Stain & Sealer Remover”. It’s applied to all stained areas and, after some scrubbing, it strips most types of existing stains and sealants/clear-coats.
- It does, however, result in an expedition of and increase in the extractive bleeding of wood tannins. These naturally-occuring, acidic tannins are present in certain species of wood like Cedar, Redwood, Cyprus and others. These also happen to be the most common wood species used for decking lumber.
- After application of the SuperDeck Stain & Sealer Remover you’ll be left with a virtually stain-free deck, but you’ll notice that the product darkened the wood significantly. That is the result of the tannins rising to the surface through a process called “extractive bleeding”. In order to neutralize the tannin and restore the wood to its naturally bright, raw/bare look we like to use Sherwin Williams brand “SuperDeck Revive”. This product is specifically intended to be used after the Stain & Sealer Remover in order to reverse the accelerated extractive bleeding of the wood tannin caused by the stripping and removal of the existing stain.
- We also check for spots where wood may have rotted and areas that could use structural repairs: spindles are often replaced, particularly warped or rotten floor boards are replaced, isolated rot spots are patched with a two-part epoxy wood filler that’s stain-ready. Shaky railings are repaired either with metal “L-brackets” or with the addition of new lumber to bare the weight, etc.
- RESULT: Removal of Existing Stain, Brightened & Restored Bare Wood with Neutralized Tannins, Patched or Replaced Rot, Structural Reinforcement, and a Virtual “Fresh Start”
- Power-Sanding in Order to Remove Existing Failed Coating & to Smooth Wood Surfaces
Even the simplest deck refinishing project should involve at least light power-sanding. So many contractors skip important preparatory work like sanding. Sanding is not a corner that can be cut without consequence. As with interior prep, power-sanding in deck refinishing projects is critical for creating a substrate that will not only adhere to stains and other coatings better and for longer, but sanding is also crucial for removing failed coatings, smoothing raised nap in wood, removing any leftover contaminents, smoothing the grain while simultaneously opening it to make it more absorbant. And the list goes on.
- Simply put, some degree of labor-intensive and detail-oriented power-sanding is a necessary step to prepare a deck’s wood for staining or any other coating. Make sure your contractor remembers to sand.
- We like to use circular sanders and random-orbital. Usually we start with coarse sanding discs (24- or 36-grit) – especially when we’re smoothing out old deck flooring. Then we finish with finer sanding, like 60- or 80-grit.
You can go as smooth as p100-150 on railings and other surfaces that get touched a lot. When sanding THAT smoothly we usually do it by hand, paying close attention to consistently rounded edges and evenly-shaped moldings/sconces/etc.
- RESULT: Smoothed Nap, More Absorbant Wood for Better Stain/Sealer Adhesion, A Surface that Allows for a More Durable and Better-Looking Finish
Below are examples of and links to some of our preferred brands of stains: the ones we frequently use in our deck refinishing projects. There are a lot of coatings – including specialty coatings – that are not listed below. The stains below are what our customers like the best and are produced by manufacturers we trust…
Painting a horizontal surface is rarely a good idea. Heavy foot traffic and abuse from sun and rain will quickly cause failure of paint adhesion. Stain, on the other hand, penetrates the substrate as opposed to paint, which coats the surface. Solid stain provides the opaque look that’s similar to paint, but it still shows some of the wood grain – a favorable trait for most people. It’s almost always advisable to stain horizontal surfaces rather than paint them. In our deck refinishing projects we almost always use stain. Solid stain seens to be the most popular. It’s important to use a quality stain that lasts, or all our deck refinishing preparation efforts would be wasted…
Deck Refinishing with the Incomparable & Superior SuperDeck® Product Line from Sherwin Williams
Our go-to line of stains is the SuperDeck® Deck Care System by Sherwin Williams. They not only offer stains, they offer deck refinishing preparatory products like the Stain & Sealer Remover and the Revive wood brightener. Additionally, their 100% waterborne solid stain features superior coverage and a great finish. It can be tinted to virtually any color. Not into the opaque look? Superdeck® comes in both semi-solid and semi-transparent stains (oil- or water-based) that are available in a plethora of colors. Many SuperDeck stains are available in a specially-formulated heat-resistant version that reflect solar rays, keeping deck surfaces cool. The range of stain types and colors offered by Sherwin Williams’ SuperDeck line is hard to match, both in terms of quality and versatility.
Some Photos of Our Deck Refinishing Projects are Displayed in the Slideshow Below, but there is Much More…
- Deck Refinishing by CraftPro in Parsippany, NJ 07054 Involving Deck Stain Stripping to go from Dark to Bare Wood to a Brand New Color in Semi-Transparent Stain
- We Completely Restored this Historic Victorian-Style Deck in Boonton, NJ 07050 with Carpenty Repairs, Structural Reinforcement, Staining, etc.
- This Deck in Madison, NJ was Previously Painted, so We Sanded it to Bare Wood and Thoroghly Coated it with Solid-Color Stain
- We Refinished this Chatham, NJ 07930 Deck with Sanding & Restaining