Once your old railings have gone through a few summers, they may look worn and in need of some maintenance. The sun and elements will naturally break down not only the finish, but the wood itself. If left untreated then your deck will not only look worse, but will have a severely shortened lifespan. Luckily its quite a simple process to lengthen the life and look of your deck.
This week myself and our new apprentice took on a fun little refurbishing job in Kitsilano. The Cedar railings were beginning to look a little old and worn and in need of a little love and attention. The finish had nearly completely broken down and was flaking off. Not only that, but after a few years of use, some scratches and chips were present throughout the high traffic areas.
Once all the furniture is moved into the centre of the deck, the maintenance process can begin. We start by removing sections of the railings and sanding with a coarse grit sandpaper. Starting with a coarse grit helps remove the damaged surface and old stain very quickly. Especially in the more problem areas of the railings. Once everything has been buzzed back to a 50 grit, then we move onto a finer grit. We removed the deeper scratches with 80 grit paper and left a nice smooth finish all round.
After all the surfaces are prepared and cleaned, they are reattached. We try to replace the railings in a better fashion than we took them off. Over the years the railings can become out of alignment making them weak at the joints. Some of the screws had snapped and were no longer holding the railings strong. With the fasteners replaced and the rails wiped down and cleaned, they are ready for stain.
We used Messmer’s UV Plus Cedar Oil to treat these railings. The customer chose Cape Cod Grey as the colour. This is a premium deck stain and natural wood finish that has excellent resistance to UV degradation. Easy application of wipe on, wipe off, the deck was treated and finished in no time. The railings look great and will last many more years to come.