How to Clean and Refinish Redwood Decks


Redwood decks are one of the most rewarding and enjoyable do-it-yourself projects for homeowners. Redwood decks add beauty, warmth, and usefulness to any backyard, making them ideal for social gatherings or outdoor relaxation. Humboldt Redwood is an excellent deck building material because it is so durable, easy to work with, and attractive. However, over the lifetime of a deck, day-to-day surface-level dirt, grime, and wear are to be expected. As uncomplicated as redwood decks are to build, cleaning and refinishing them is not difficult either. A few tips and tools are all you need to get started.

After an afternoon gathering of friends and family, or an entire season of exposure to the elements, dirt and grime may collect and build up on your redwood deck. In many cases, cleaning your deck simply requires a garden hose to wash away surface-level grime. However, sometimes rinsing is not enough to remove months of built up dirt. If this is the case, a bucket of warm soapy water, a stiff-bristled brush and a bit of elbow grease will have your deck back to its natural beauty in no time. In many climates, you may begin to see dark mildew spots develop on the surface of the wood. Detergent, a brush and warm water will help clean away mildew as well. However, after scrubbing, it’s best to rinse the affected area with a household bleach solution and then rinse with clean water.

Over time, use and exposure to the outdoors can wear on any material. While redwood is no exception, with a few redwood finishing tips, your redwood deck can practically look brand new. When it comes to refinishing, redwood readily accepts paint and stains. Before applying a finish, it’s very important to first prepare your deck for refinishing. Be sure to begin by stripping away the old layers of paint or sealant with a power washer, paint remover or by sanding. Ideally, you should opt for wind-free days with stable weather and an outdoor temperature somewhere between 50 and 70 degrees. Always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions for all refinishing products.

While building the backyard experience of your dreams requires little more than planning, preparation, and a good set of redwood deck plans, keeping your deck looking stunning is simple. For more information on how to clean and refinish your redwood deck, see our redwood maintenance page.

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