Refinishing Wood After Winter: Get Your Decks and Patios Back

March 27th, 2017 Susan Gillis

1) Revitalize your deck.

Although spending time outside was the last thought on your mind over winter, with spring on its way, you’ll want to begin utilizing your outdoor spaces.

To freshen them up for spring start with cleaning porch ceilings and walls. Sweep up cobwebs, bird droppings and debris with a broom and discard. Then wash walls with your hose, or wipe down using a rag dipped in all-purpose cleaner. You’ll want to do the walls and ceilings first so the dirt doesn’t fall after you’ve cleaned it or during any treatment process you decide to carry out.

After you’ve removed dust and dirt from walls and ceilings, scrub decks carefully with a cleaner. Like your driveway, your patio can also have extensive damage from salt, chemicals and shovels used for winter snow removal.

Repair damaged wood with new planks and sand down if needed before you re-stain or treat your decks to look refreshed for spring.

2) Left your wooden patio furniture outside to weather the storm?

It’s not ideal to expose them to elements- that’s where furniture covers can be helpful - but it’s a common occurrence if you are lacking indoor storage space, a shed or garage.

While it depends on the specific wood and damage, most discoloration and damage can be taken care of simply by following a few DIY pointers! Wooden furniture is functional and aesthetically pleasing, however it is also more susceptible to winter wear than synthetics. You’ll want to sand, stain and wax any wood furniture to take care of the wood and have it looking (and feeling!) nice for spring.

First, sand down any rough patches or splintered areas so you have a smooth surface to work with. Then, wipe surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid to remove any remaining buildup. If you are restraining, speak with a hardware store professional as to what color and brand is best for the specific wood your furniture is made from. If you are just waxing, you can apply any paste wax with a rag. Let it soak in and then buff out. Doing this every year will help ensure longevity in your patio furniture!

3) Freshen up wood with new paint/stains.

Paint and stains are the first-line of defense for wooden exteriors and panels against the elements - rain, sleet, snow, hail and wind-debris - which makes them the first to show signs of breakdown from weather.

You’ll want to address any cracking, peeling, or bubbles in the paint or any discoloration in stains as soon as winter is over. The longer you wait the more damage and discoloration sets in, resulting in more extensive repairs. After you’ve ensured you have the right color match and quality, paint the exterior panels as needed. Keep in mind that even using the same color paint or stains you initially used may no longer be a match if the original areas have faded from exposure to the elements.

As you work, pay attention to wooden trim around windows and garage doors, as well as any areas that were especially exposed to snow banks. Not only will tackling this job yourself cut down on maintenance and panel replacement in the long run, but a fresh coat of paint will spruce up any exterior that’s looking shabby after a storm and increase curb appeal!

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