Home Restoration & Finishing Tip

Maintaining outdoor fencing and decking can be quite the challenge, particularly for those of us living in areas where there’s seasonal snowfall. Similarly, decks overlooking pools can be difficult to keep up because of the constant chlorine damage.

It can become quite habitual to seasonally stain and re-stain a deck the same color it was previously, without properly removing the last coat. Let’s face it, doing all that work by hand is a pain, but with the right tools, it can be quicker than you think.

The proper way to really get your deck looking the way you want it is to buy a premier stripping formula and power washer. This is really all you need. And the steps to bringing your deck back to its original natural looking tone are as simple as:

1) Apply the stripping formula to all areas where the old coat has been applied.
2) Let this sit for 15-20 minutes just to be safe.
3) Proceed to remove the old stain with a power washer
4) Apply the new semi-transparent or solid stain

It’s as easy at that! In four simple steps and bout 3 – 10 hours, depending on how big your deck/fence is, you’ll be all set. You’ll find a plethora of videos and tutorials of how to properly remove/reseal your outdoor decking, but these are the steps at their core. Stripping off any existing material by hand with a scraper might be necessary as well, but the remover/washer should do most of the work.

Remember to be careful with the power washer as these can actually do more damage if you wash against the grain of the wood. Similarly, they can be harmful to your body.

And lastly, saving money is important, so before you go out and buy a power washer ask around your neighborhood to see who already has one!

It’s certainly ok to go over an old semi-transparent coat with a new solid finish, but it’s strongly recommended to remove any old coats before pursuing a new one. This is the best way to keep your deck or fence looking exactly how you’d like it.

By Erik of Douglas Elliman, New York City Condo Realtors.

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