From this point on we are presuming that you have followed our guidance in the previous post on treating your deck when it is new. Assuming that your deck has now either weathered with Seasonite for its first 6-12 months or that it has been untreated until now you should follow our simple steps to having a finished and wonderfully protected deck. If your deck has been finished in the past but the coating is damaged, faded or just generally needs replacing then read on too for information on how to get it ready for a new finish. Whatever your chosen style of finish, you can find a simple guide to achieving your look here in the next few posts.
Preparing your weathered deck for finishing
If your deck has only been treated with Seasonite or has never been treated before it is very simple to prepare the surface for your chosen finish. You need to use a wood cleaning product to remove any built up dirt and grease which will prevent your chosen finish from penetrating the wood correctly. We would recommend Owatrol’s Net-Trol wood cleaner and colour restorer which means that as well as removing any built up dirt and grease, it will also restore the wood from grey to its natural new colour.
Net-Trol is easy to use – first wet the surface of the deck and then apply the Net-Trol with a brush or roller. Leave it to work for approximately 20 minutes and then scrub the surface whilst rinsing with water from the highest power source you have available (a pressure washer is ideal but a garden hose would suffice). You then need to leave it to dry for at least 48 hours before applying a finish.
What if my deck has been finished before?
If your deck has previously been stained, painted, oiled or varnished then you will first need to strip the previous coatings. This sounds like a long and laborious process but luckily it needn’t be – and you’ll be relieved to hear that it doesn’t involve any sanding! With Owatrol products you have several options:
Aquanett is our solvent-free wood oil remover and will easily remove teak and other oils from your decking (please note you can only use Aquanett to remove wood oils – not paint, varnish, stains etc.). To use it you simply apply a generous coat, leave for 5 minutes and then apply a second coat on top. You then leave this for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with the highest powered water source you have whilst scrubbing.
For a video demonstration of how to apply Aquanett please see our product page.
Dilunett is our solvent-free paint and coatings remover which can easily and safely remove up to 8 layers of previous coatings in a single application. It is suitable for use on many previous finishes including paints, varnishes, stains, waxes and even most anti-fouling paints. To use it on your deck is simple – just apply a thick coat, leave it to work and then rinse thoroughly whilst scrubbing to remove the previous coatings. To check if it has finished working simply scrub a small area and check that all coatings are being removed – of course the time taken for it to do its thing depends on how many layers of finish you are trying to remove!
For a video demonstration of how to apply Dilunett please see our product page.
Prepdeck is our professional grade wood stripper which also serves as a remover for mill glaze and timber grade stamps. To use it to clean your deck you should work in areas which can be completed in 15-30 minutes. First apply Prepdeck to the area to be treated and allow it to work. Test a small area with a nylon scrubbing brush to see if all previous coatings have been removed. If they have, continue to scrub the area whilst rinsing with plenty of water (alternatively use a pressure washer) always working in the direction of the grain. Finally rinse with copious amounts of water.
This is a good option if you think you have many layers of coating or finish to remove or your deck is also particularly dirty as it is a powerful stripper and cleaner.
What do I do once I’ve stripped my deck?
Once you have used a stripping product such as those offered by Owatrol it is important to use a wood cleaner such as Net-Trol to neutralise the surface of the wood and prevent your stripper from remaining active on the surface and eating into any future finish you apply. You can use Net-Trol in the same way as explained above for untreated weathered wood and then leave the deck to dry for at least 48 hours before applying your chosen finish.
Now your deck is ready to be transformed with your chosen finish – next week we’ll be exploring some of the main options for protecting your deck for the years to come.
We hope you found this guide on preparing a deck for a new finish interesting.
If you have any other advice or top tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. We love hearing from you!