How to

How to refresh your deck with stain

Spring and summer are ideal times to refresh your deck, thanks so the warmer days and more settled weather. As well as applying a smart looking stain, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to treat and remove all the moss and mould that can build up over the damp winter months. 

A nicely stained deck can make a huge difference to how your outdoor area looks and gives it a real polished, well-finished look. It can also help it to look its best for longer. Stains and oils help to protect decks from the weather, so they stay in better shape and will be less prone to drying out, splitting and causing splinters. 

In this Paint like a Pro video, Resene paint expert Jay Sharples shows you how to refresh your deck by giving it a good clean and stain, so you can enjoy entertaining friends and summer barbecues while you admire your handiwork.


Clear the decks

Before you begin your deck refresh, you’ll need to remove any furniture, plants or whatever you’ve had out on your deck to ensure you have a completely clear surface to work on. Give it a good sweep to get rid of old leaves and dirt.


Blitz the mould

Make sure you’re wearing your safety goggles and gloves and follow the dilution instructions on the back of the container.

Resene Moss & Mould Killer is a concentrated wash that works efficiently to get rid of common moulds and fungi, which can also look a lot like brown dirt on timber and paint surfaces. 

Decant it into a sprayer and spray it on your deck, paying special attention to high traffic areas and underneath your flowerpots and barbeques. Give it a good scrub and then wait 48 hours to achieve a full kill.


Wash it down

Now it’s time to clean your deck using Resene Timber and Deck Wash. Follow the dilution instructions on the container and decant it into a sprayer. 

Use a hose to thoroughly wet the deck first and then spray the surface thoroughly. Make sure it stays wet on the surface for at least 15 minutes. Then get scrubbing.

Scrubbing is a crucial step as it helps open up the grain of the timber, which allows the stain to penetrate further in. Rinse off thoroughly with fresh water. Wait for your deck to be fully dry, then you can move onto the staining. 

Top tip: Remember wood stains are semi-transparent so you can see the wood grain – and any marks – through the newly stained finish. So it pays to make sure you do the cleaning step well to get a good finish. If you have lots of marks that are impossible to remove, you could try a darker stain that can help to cover them, or you may want to consider a painted finish instead.


Apply the first coat

Jay is using Resene Woodsman Wood Oil Stain on this deck, which is tinted to the colour Resene Natural. This product is ideal for exterior timber surfaces such as weatherboards, decking and furniture, and  generally needs to be recoated every two years. 

Decant it into a large paint tray and use a PAL Deck Master Deck Brush to apply the stain so you can get a satisfying, uniform finish. It’s easy to cut in any hard-to-reach areas and you can get down into all the grooves and edges of the timber.


Stain again

Resene recommends waiting 24 hours to give the stain a chance to fully penetrate the timber. Once the first coat is dry, it’s time for round two. Again, apply it evenly across the whole deck in long, sweeping movements. Once you’re done, Resene recommends waiting seven days before you move all your furniture back on.


Good to go!

Now that your deck is looking good as new, it’s time to set it up for summer – you might even want to refresh your outdoor furniture, or try your hand at making your own DIY Adirondack chair like the one pictured here.

Points to note:

  • As a general rule, Resene recommends a deck refresh and restain around every two to three years.
  • For previously stained decking, the preparation required will depend on the type of stain and its condition. Stains will not penetrate through an existing stain layer. Splash water onto the existing stained decking – if the water beads up, the stain will need to be stripped/sanded back to bare or allowed to undergo further weathering. In most cases, if a penetrating stain was previously applied, scrubbing using Resene Timber and Deck Wash should suffice. However, the water splash test should still be used.
  • Water blasting timber can cause serious damage to the surface and is not normally recommended or needed. Water blasting can be done successfully however in the hands of a good operator. If this is the chosen method, then water blast at medium pressure (1200-2000psi) after applying the Resene Timber and Deck Wash (as above). Take care to avoid damaging the timber surface by keeping the nozzle approximately 200-250mm above the surface depending on the water pressure and spray arc used. Any timber damaged by the water blaster will require sanding to remove burrs and furry areas.  
  • To maintain your deck, spray on Resene Deep Clean every six to 12 months and leave it to work with the weather. This will help to keep your deck finish cleaner.

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