Though the weathered wood aesthetic is on-trend for interior design, weathered wood outside your home is not a good look.
Whether it’s your siding, fence, or deck, weathered wood is a sign of damage and decay. This unattractive wood can also reduce the value of your property!
Many people take the wrong approach and try to apply new stain over old, weathered boards. They’re surprised to find that fixing the weathered wood is not so simple.
Luckily, it’s not rocket science, but restoring your weathered deck back to its former glory will take a little work. For many homeowners, this work is worth it as rejuvenation can cost less than one-third of what it would cost to rip out a dilapidated deck and install a replacement.
Today, we’ll drill down on what you need to do to repair and restore your deck.
We’ll also be covering our top 3 picks for the best deck stain for weathered wood.
Read on and find out how to breathe new life into your tired old deck the easy way.
Rot and Repairs
First things first, you need to find and address any major damage to the deck.
Get the whole family involved and inspect the entire deck from the ground up.
Check any beams attached to the house, looking for any loose bolts or screws. Tighten as required and replace any that are missing.
Look at where the posts meet the ground and check for any signs of rot or decay.
Inspect the surface of the deck, looking for any nails that need to be tapped back in and any boards that have worked loose.
Depending on the age of the deck, it’s highly likely some decking boards are beyond repair. If you find rot or severely splintered wood on any boards, you’ll need to remove and replace them.
Decks that have been neglected for a while may be full of rough spots. Not only are these rough spots prone to splintering, but they are also more susceptible to water damage. To prevent further damage and to make sure no one catches a splinter, you should sand these areas of your deck. Sanding will smooth the surface of the deck, allowing it to absorb stain better while also making it safer to walk on.
Assuming the deck hasn’t been cleaned for some time, you’ll need to put in a little effort.
Since the goal here is to fully revive the weathered wood, a simple rinse won’t cut it. You’ll need to break out the power washer to rid the deck of all dirt and debris before you can move on.
There are many deck cleaners available, and investing in one of will help you with cleaning and prepping. Consider using a safe, oxygenated bleach deck cleaner like DEFY Wood Cleaner. This comes in powdered form that you mix with water. It tends to clean the wood more thoroughly than with power washing alone.
If necessary, use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the wood and clean the deck as much as possible, then rinse everything off with a power washer after the cleaner has had some time to work.
If the wood deck has a finish still on the surface that won’t come off, you’ll need to use a stain stripper instead of a wood cleaner. Use a high quality stain stripper to strip any remaining finish from the surface of the wood before you can progress to the next step.
You can use one of several deck stain strippers which are very effective in removing old stain. Keep in mind, these products can be dangerous since the chemical ingredients are caustic. Be very careful and be certain to remove any residual stain or paint from your boards thoroughly.
If the deck has been painted with house paint, it may be necessary to sand the deck with a commercial drum sander to remove all the paint, as typical stain strippers won’t remove paint.
Once the stain or paint has been removed, use a wood brightener to restore the pH balance of the wood on your deck so that it’s fully primed for staining.
If your deck doesn’t have stain or paint, using a wood cleaner and brightener is still a good idea to remove any graying, dirt and debris, and keep the deck wood’s pH balance in check.
Once you’re through with cleaning, stripping, and brightening, allow the deck to dry for a day or two before moving on. Don’t wait more than a week or two, or the weathering process will kick in again.
Staining Weathered Wood
When you are done repairing, cleaning and stripping the deck, it’s finally time to stain that weathered wood.
Remember staining is not a miracle cure and does come with limitations. Even the best deck stain for weathered wood won’t revive a damaged deck.
If you were staining a brand-new deck, you could opt for a clear sealer or a translucent stain. However, since the deck you’re working on is older and the wood has seen some damage, we don’t recommend this. Using clear or translucent stains on weathered wood will result in a splotchy, uneven look.
Instead, the best deck stain for weathered wood will have at least some pigment. A semi-transparent stain will impart a little color to the deck wood while still allowing the grain to show through. If you need to replace boards in the decking, you could opt for a solid stain. This will better camouflage the different boards.
Weathered Wood Deck Stain Reviews
DEFY Extreme provides a water-based stain that is semi-transparent and will add some great color to the weathered deck. This stain also protects your deck from UV rays, mold, and mildew. It is a winner across the board. It penetrates the wood effectively with semi-transparent color and will help restore your weathered deck and help it last for many years to come.
- Semi-transparent with added color
- Added uv and mildew resistance
- Easy to apply
- Exceptional penetration
- Must clean and brighten the wood first
From #1 Deck, this stain is water based and is available in semi-transparent with just the right amount of added color for your weathered deck. This stain has been formulated to deeply penetrate the wood and protect from water damage and UV rays.
Providing excellent wood protection and maximum lifespan, this fence stain has been formulated to deeply penetrate the wood and keep it safe from water damage and UV rays.
This stain is safe to use, and it’s remarkably easy to clean up once you’re done.
- Simple to use
- Beautiful color tones
- Almost no odor
- Semi-transparent has a very watery consistency
Restore-a-Deck makes a fantastic product that is ideal for staining weathered decks as well as other household projects.
One of the best features of this stain is the ability to clean and stain your deck in the same day. This semi-transparent stain will add a nice color to your weathered deck and ensure your deck stays looking its best for years to come. The odor isn’t too bad either.
Restore-A-Deck stain is easy to apply, and it penetrates the wood pretty thoroughly.
- Looks great and lasts
- Doesn’t peel or attract mold
- Easy to clean up
- Limited color selection