Making your Deck or Dock Shine (Again!)

Your deck or dock takes a real beating here in the Peterborough area – damage from extreme heat fluctuations, ranging from freezing cold winters to blistering summer heat, can dramatically impact its life. Add in the impacts of snow and rain, causing the wood to go through many soaking/drying cycles in a year – and it’s easy to see how our weather can take its toll. The best way to combat the damage our weather can play on your investment is by refinishing your deck with protective stain.

The Good News? Refinishing your deck has become much easier than in the past with the advancements of environmentally-friendly cleaners, including Home Hardware’s own Activox. It’s a simple, two-part oxygen activation system that is super effective at preparing your deck or dock for staining. You simply spray it on to lift stains including mildew, dirt and algae. Made right here in Canada, it’s the perfect way to prepare your deck for staining without fear that you’ll damage your gardens, lawn or the lake at the cottage! You can even use it on concrete, brick and stone!

Here’s how to refinish your deck or dock in three simple steps:

Step 1 – Apply the Activox Cleaner

You’ll need a hand sprayer and a stiff bristle brush. Follow the mixing instructions on the package and spray your dock evenly, ensuring you apply a generous amount. It’s best to apply in the morning or later afternoon, ensuring the deck does not dry while applying the mix. A quick brush will help activate the cleaner while working it into the grains of the wood. You’ll notice it’s bubbling action as it pulls out the dirt to the surface. Re-apply in areas that are noticeably dirtier, ensuring the surface remains wet with the cleaner.

Step 2 – Hose off Your Deck or Dock

After a few minutes of letting Activox loosen dirt and grime, you simply use a garden hose to wash it off. No need for using a pressure washer, but you can use one if you like. Be sure to work the surface area evenly, ensuring a good cleaning before applying the stain.

You don’t need to worry about your lawn, plants, or the cleaner running into your lake as it’s completely safe and environmentally-friendly! The key is to not let the cleaner dry before washing it off. After completing the wash, let your deck dry for 24-48 hours before staining (dry conditions).

Step 3 – Apply Stain

There are many variations in stains, both in finish (Transparent and Semi-Transparent) and quality. At Merrett Home Hardware Building Centre, we carry 3 grades of stain (Good, Better, Best). Each product differs in their use and performance – without getting into a chemistry lesson, some stains are acrylic-based versus others that are oil-based.

Our staff can help you select the right stain product for your job and budget as well as explain the differences and options in brushes, some specifically designed for staining decks or docks. The key is that a good coat of stain will help to enhance the natural beauty of your wood while providing added protection to ensure your deck or dock lasts for years. Be sure to use a brush to help push the stain directly into the grains of the wood – a roller often applies the finish only to the surface which is not ideal.

You can choose whether you wish to apply a single coat or add a second coat for better coverage.

And it’s that simple – your deck or dock now looks great and it’s ready to endure the beauty (and harshness) of the seasons in Peterborough and the Kawartha’s!

For more tips on refinishing your deck or any other project visit Merrett Home Hardware Building Centre at 1460 Lansdowne St., West. We’ve been helping homeowners and cottagers for over 20 years, and we’re ready to help you.