How to restore a deck


How do I prepare a weathered deck?

The type of preparation you need to do depends on the condition of your existing deck – the type of coating it already has on it and the look you’re going for.  

Bare timber 

If the timber is in pretty good condition and has just gone grey, give it a clean with a deck-cleaning product. This will remove the weathered wood fibres, any oils or tannins and bring your deck back to its natural colour. Badly weathered timber should be sanded back to a solid surface before cleaning.

Previously oiled or stained timber 

The old coating needs to be sufficiently weathered to accept the new finish. The best way to find this out is to use the water bead test. Sprinkle some water on the deck and wait a few minutes. If the water still beads then the timber won’t be able to accept a new coating and you’ll have to sand it off before going through the cleaning process.

Jacquie Way /

Painted timber 

If you’re just looking to give it a fresh coat of paint, then standard paint recoating rules apply. Remove loose or flaking paint, give it a light sand and clean it before repainting. If you want to change the colour with a stain or oil then the paint will need to be removed by sanding or stripping.

Derek Swalwell /

How to choose deck finish 

There are three options when it comes to deciding which finish to use on your deck.


If you want to preserve the timber colour of your decking, use a natural oil. There are semi-transparent finishes that penetrate into the timber for added protection. Oils are also available in tints to match your type of timber decking. As well as protecting, tinted oils deepen the colour of the timber to make it last longer.


If you want to change the colour of the timber but still see the grain showing through, a stain is the product to use. It’s particularly suited for use on treated pine decks or on weathered timber that has lost its colour. As well as traditional timber hues, there is also a wide range of other colours such as blues, greens and greys to make your deck something a bit out of the ordinary.


Use a paint to go over a previously painted surface or if you want to match your deck with other painted features. There are paints available that are specifically designed for decking that are more durable than regular exterior paints. 

With a little bit of TLC, you can make your deck the standout feature of your home season-round!

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