How Often do You Need to Refinish a Deck

A well-designed deck won’t only allow you to enjoy the warm summer nights, but it will also improve the overall value of your property. However, in order for you to ensure that it keeps its value, as well as that it remains visually appealing, you’ll have to refinish it from time to time.

If you never had to go through such a process before, you might be wondering – how frequently do I have to refinish my deck? Luckily for all homeowners that are asking themselves the same thing, the article below will shed some light on the entire topic. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at what you should know:

Firstly, Know That There Are Different Types of Timber

The very first thing that you should know is that this is something that’ll completely depend on the type of structure you opted for, the wood it was constructed from, as well as the initial coating you opted for. Hence, in order for you to know when you should refinish it, you’ll need to learn more about the ones you can find out there, which includes the following:

1. Timber That Was Pressure-Treated


If your deck was constructed from pressure-treated logs, you need to know that it’ll have to air-dry for at least half a year before you could apply a product or any other treatment to it. To determine whether or not it needs to be recoated, you could pour some water over a portion of the surface.

If it starts beading up, it means that it’s too wet, which means that you need to wait until you can start the entire process. On the other hand, if the water gets soaked in relatively quickly – and entirely – it’s time to varnish it. Keep in mind, the product you use is also important, so ensure that you opt for the right one.

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2. Kiln-Dried Wood


Almost all timber that you can purchase at a hardwood shop is kiln-dried. If so, you should remember that it’ll need at least 2 months before you could work on it or paint it, and in some situations, it might need a little bit longer to dry, but this will depend on the region you live in.

Keep in mind, kiln-dried timber will need to be treated with special products, which is why you might want to opt for hiring a professional building company such as, mostly because they’ll know exactly what they need to do, but more importantly, what products they’ll have to use.

3. Green Wood


If it’s relatively new, which means that it could be constructed from green lumber – which is raw logs. Now, you shouldn’t confuse this with green-treated wood, which is a material that has gone through an anti-rot treatment. This type of lumber isn’t the most suitable material out there for building these constructions, mostly because it’ll crack, but it’s available everywhere, which is why people choose it.

Since it’s freshly cut and raw, it needs to be given at least a year to dry, but this will rely on the thickness of the boards, nonetheless, the more it dries, the better. If you noticed any gray areas on the material, you can use a light pressure washer for cleaning it before staining.

So, How Frequently Should I Paint it?

Now that you’ve learned what types of wood your deck might be built of, you can decide how often should you stain it. In most situations, you have to paint it as soon as you notice different signs such as bubbling on the exterior, stripping, as well as flaking. Keep in mind, although the paint is perfect for maintaining wood and vertical areas, you shouldn’t use paint on the surface.

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Why shouldn’t you use paint? Well, no matter how dry the lumber is, it’ll always contract and expand depending on the weather elements – heat will expand it and cold will shrink it – hence, the paint you use won’t be able to keep up with the material changing, which is exactly why it’ll quickly start peeling.

This is why you need to choose a product that’ll keep the structure visually appealing for a lot of years. To answer your question from the beginning of this article, you should work on it every 2 to 3 years. However, you might need to do it more often if you notice some signs.

Hence, if you notice that there is mold and/or mildew building on or between the boards, you’ll have to properly clean it and then refinish it. Also, if you pour water on the board and it doesn’t bead up, instead they soak it up, you should stain, and lastly, if the color is completely wearing off, grab your gear and start varnishing!

Now, keep in mind, it’ll be difficult for you to get that uniform look that you might be striving for, especially if you don’t recoat it at the same time. If it, for example, started wearing off in certain areas, you must refinish the entire structure. Of course, if the color differences don’t bother you, you can only stain the areas that are showing peeling.


If there are horizontal surfaces on the structure or the top of the railings you have, you’ll have to reapply the stain every year to every three years, but this will again on the weather conditions in the area you live in. Additionally, you’ll want to know what brand and type of stain you used, mostly because you’ll want to ensure that you match the colors. When you start noticing the peeling, wearing, and fading of the colors, it’s time to restain it.

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On the other hand, if there are vertical surfaces on the material or top of the railing, it will, in most cases last twice as long as the aforementioned surface, which is why you won’t need to coat it as often. In fact, with this type of surface, you’ll have to take care of it every 3 to seven years.


If you’re planning on refinishing your deck, you’ll have to take a lot of things into account, such as the surfaces of it, how much wear and tear it’s experiencing, as well as whether or not it has dried enough. Additionally, it might be better to opt for a professional deck staining company, mostly because they’ll know exactly what they have to do.

So, now that you’ve learned what you need to know about refinishing your deck, you shouldn’t lose any more of your time. Instead, go outside, and examine the deck in order to see whether or not there is any peeling or bubbling – which are good signs that your deck is ready for staining!