Finishing your pool with a wood deck provides wonderful color and eliminates the risk of burning your feet on hot concrete, but wood does require more maintenance than the grey alternative.
Paying a carpenter or handyman to refinish your home’s wood deck could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. To save money, why not do the job yourself? Follow our simple guide to put a new finish on your wood deck that will protect it from harsh sunlight and chlorinated water. You’ll enjoy the rich hue of your deck for many more years and keep some change in your pocket while you’re at it!
The Deck Refinishing Toolset
Re-treating the wood on your pool deck is not something you do every day, so you may need to assemble a few tools that you don’t typically use. You’ll need enough plastic sheeting to cover the pool itself as well as any poolside plants you own. You’ll also need a pole sander and enough 80-grit sandpaper to sand your entire wood deck. The last specialized tool you’ll need is a long-handled garden sprayer or paint roller. Once you have these items, you should be ready to get started.
Prepping the Space
You’re going to want full access to the pool deck for this job, so any poolside plants or patio furniture should be relocated to a temporary storage area. When the job is done, consider adding some light protection to prolong the life of your deck. For example, a few large pool umbrellas make great shade for guests to enjoy and provide the added benefit of protection for your deck.
With your pool deck as bare as you can get it, cover the pool itself with plastic sheeting. You’ll want to tape the edges to keep the sheeting from falling into the pool, which could allow contaminants from the sealant or debris from sanding into your pool water. Also, cover any plants or furniture that can’t be relocated with plastic sheeting.
Sanding and Sealing
Give your deck a quick rinse down, dry it and then equip your 80-grit sandpaper on the pole sander. Use the sander to remove any old material that’s peeling up from the deck. Once you’ve sanded the entire area, do a thorough visual inspection of your deck material.
Check the fasteners to see if you have any loose boards, and look for rot, which will require you to tear up the rotting material and replace it with new wood. Make sure you understand the type of wood your deck is made of and its unique properties so that you can replace it with the appropriate material.
Once you have a fully intact, sanded deck, you can begin the work of resealing. The sealant is best applied in thin layers — avoid creating puddles, and use a paintbrush to get into nooks and crannies. If you want to add additional material, allow your first coat to dry and then apply a thorough second coat. Don’t overlap areas and apply an uneven layer of sealant, or you’ll create blemishes in your final deck surface.
When the sealant is dry, rinse everything down one final time, then remove the plastic sheeting you applied in the preparatory phase. Congratulations! You can now enjoy several years of poolside fun with your fabulous-looking wooden deck. You can expect a well-executed sealant to last you about four years before it needs attention again. All you need now is one of those drinks with an umbrella. Once you’ve got that in your hand, go sit by the pool and enjoy yourself!
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington