The Crucial Step: Preparing Your Deck for Coating The Essentials for Lasting Beauty and Durability

17 July 2023

The Crucial Step: Preparing Your Deck for Coating The Essentials for Lasting Beauty and Durability

A beautiful and well-maintained deck is a source of pride for any homeowner. It’s a space where you can relax, entertain guests, and enjoy the outdoors. To keep your deck looking its best and protected from the elements, proper coating is essential. However, before applying any wood coating, it’s crucial to focus on the often overlooked but vitally important step of preparing your decking. In this article, we will delve into the significance of preparing your decking for coating and explore the key steps involved in ensuring a long-lasting and visually appealing finish.

Decking finished in Aqualis H2Oil proudly supplied by throughout Australia by Superior Timber Coatings

Preparation Essentials

  1. Cleaning: The first step in preparing your decking for coating is thorough cleaning. Over time, decks accumulate dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and other contaminants that can interfere with the adhesion and performance of the coating. Use a deck cleaner or a mild detergent along with a stiff-bristle brush or power washer to remove these unwanted elements. Cleaning not only enhances the appearance of your deck but also creates a clean and smooth surface for the coating to adhere to.
  2. Sanding: Sanding is an essential step in preparing your deck for coating, especially if the wood surface is weathered, splintered, or has an existing coating that has degraded. Sanding helps to smooth out rough areas, removes loose fibers, and allows for better penetration and adhesion of the coating. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grits to achieve a smooth finish. Remember to sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid creating visible scratches.
  3. Repairing and replacing: Inspect your decking thoroughly for any signs of damage, such as loose boards, protruding nails, or cracks. Repair or replace any damaged components to ensure the structural integrity of your deck and prevent further deterioration. It’s crucial to address these issues before applying a coating to ensure a seamless and long-lasting finish.
  4. Drying: After cleaning, sanding, and repairing, allow your decking sufficient time to dry completely. Moisture trapped within the wood can lead to adhesion issues and premature coating failure. Ideally, wait for a few consecutive dry days to ensure the wood is moisture-free. Check the moisture content using a moisture meter before proceeding with the coating application.

Choose The Right Coating

Preparing your decking for coating is a critical step that should never be overlooked. It sets the foundation for a durable and visually appealing finish while prolonging the life of your deck. By investing time and effort into cleaning, sanding, repairing, and selecting the right coating, you can enjoy a stunning and well-protected deck for years to come.  When selecting the appropriate wood coating for your decking timber consider factors such as the deck’s exposure to sunlight, foot traffic, and desired aesthetic. Options range from transparent and semi-transparent coatings in matt, satin and gloss.  Be aware that transparent coatings are somewhat more susceptible to the effects of U.V. light than semi transparent coatings.