How Much Does It Cost to Refinish a Deck?

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How Much Does It Cost to Refinish a Deck

Owning a deck in Southern California has many perks. The weather is almost always beautiful, so you can enjoy your deck practically year-round. Additionally, a deck can add substantial value to your home and maximize your space for living and entertaining.

Still, like any other part of your home, your deck needs to be properly maintained. Otherwise, it can begin to show signs of wear and tear quickly.

One of the best ways to keep your deck looking shiny and fresh is to refinish or maintain it at least every 1 to 2 years. Refinishing a deck adds a new level of protection against outdoor elements and restores your wood deck’s original color.

The question is, how much does deck refinishing cost? Well, there are several factors that can impact the total price. Here are four to consider:

1) The Initial Inspection (and Its Findings)

Wood deck inspection

Before you dive into budgeting for your deck refinish, you need to consider what you’re working with. After all, the condition of your deck will have a significant impact on the overall deck refinishing cost.

If your deck is in decent shape, you can probably get away with some light sanding and fresh coats of sealing and stain. On the other hand, if your deck is weathered, cracked, or damaged, you may need repairs before refinishing it.

During the initial inspection before a refinish, a deck technician will look for:

  • Cracks in the wood
  • Splitting or warping boards
  • Missing or damaged boards
  • Nails or screws that are popping up
  • Mold and mildew

To get a true sense of the cost to refinish your deck, have a professional look at it. Many deck refinishing companies offer free consultations and estimates, and it’s worth taking advantage of these services.

2) The Labor Expenses

Average labor cost to refinish a deck

The cost of labor will be one of the biggest factors in the overall cost of refinishing your deck.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of labor from a professional deck refinishing company is between $550 and $950. This cost can vary depending on a number of factors, including the size and condition of your deck and the company you hire.

Some homeowners opt to refinish their deck themselves to save money. However, this is usually not recommended unless you have experience refinishing decks. If you rush into this project headlong with minimal knowledge, you run the risk of doing more harm than good.

How Much Does It Cost to Refinish a Deck Yourself?

Cost of diy deck refinishing

If you do decide to refinish your deck yourself, you’ll need to budget for the cost of supplies. The exact price will vary depending on the size and material of your deck, as well as the tools you already have on hand.

To do the job right, you’ll need:

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Deck cleaning solution
  • Deck brightening solution
  • Deck scrub brushes
  • Orbital sanders
  • Sanding Discs (coarse, medium, and fine)
  • Paint rollers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Staining pads
  • Stain and sealer

According to Angie’s List, the cost of these materials is between $250 to $350. Keep in mind that this does not include the cost of renting any equipment you may need, such as a power washer or paint sprayer. Renting these items can add a couple of hundred dollars to your overall budget.

Another cost to consider is your time. A DIY deck refinishing is a major time commitment. You’ll need to factor in the opportunity cost of working on your deck instead of other activities. If you make any mistakes, it could end up costing you even more in the long run.

How Much Does It Cost to Have Your Deck Professionally Refinished?

Professional deck refinishing cost

At first glance, a professional deck refinishing project may seem far more expensive than a DIY refinish. Most professional teams will charge between $750 and $1,500, depending on the complexity and size of the job.

However, these professionals will also:

  • Work faster and more efficiently than you can alone.
  • Avoid mistakes that cost you valuable time and money. 
  • Bring their own tools so you don’t have to obtain them. 
  • Use high-quality finishes that truly last.

You don’t want to wind up refinishing your deck again in less than a year because you applied a coat incorrectly or used an inferior technique. If you really want to ensure your refinishing job is smooth, beautiful, and long-lasting, you’re better off turning to the professionals.

3) The Size of the Deck

Average refinishing cost per size of deck

The size of your deck will also have a significant impact on the overall refinishing cost. Naturally, the larger your deck, the more it will cost to refinish.

The average deck refinishing cost is between $3 and $6 per square foot. Of course, this is just an average. Other factors, such as the condition of your deck, the type of wood it is made of, and the type of stain or sealer you use, can also affect the price.

Nonetheless, understanding the scale of the refinish job gives you a general idea of how much you can expect to spend on your project.

4) The Type of Finish

Choose the right type of wood deck finish

There are many different types of deck finishes available on the market today – some of which will be better suited for your deck’s material, local weather conditions, and desired style.

When selecting your finish, it’s important to understand the difference between oil-based and water-based stains. Knowing what each type offers will help you choose the right finish for your project.

Oil-Based Deck Stains

Oil-based stains typically cost $30 to $50 per gallon. Depending on the brand, one gallon of oil-based stain will cover about 400 square feet. 

Oil-based stains work best on decks made of wood that do not have natural, rot-resistant oils, such as pine and spruce. It penetrates deep into the wood and provides a long-lasting finish. They’re also great for protecting your deck from harsh weather conditions and UV rays and are easier to maintain on an ongoing basis.

However, oil-based stains do take longer to dry than water-based stains and can be challenging to apply evenly. They also can darken the wood with time if not applied correctly. That’s why we often recommend turning to professionals if you choose an oil-based finish. 

Water-Based Deck Stains

Water-based stains typically cost $25 to $60 per gallon. One gallon of water-based stain will cover about 600 square feet, depending on the brand.

These stains work best on decks made of wood with natural, rot-resistant oils, such as cedar and redwood. They also don’t penetrate as deeply into the wood as oil-based stains, which doesn’t always allow the wood’s natural grain and beauty to show through.

Water-based stains are easier to apply evenly and have little odor. In addition, they dry quickly and retain the wood’s color better. However, they’re not as durable as oil-based stains and are more difficult to maintain when the time comes.

If you’re not sure if you would benefit from using water or oil-based stain, contact our refinishing team. We’ll help you understand which is the better fit for your deck.

Why Does Using a High-Quality Deck Finish Matter?

Why use high-quality deck finish

It’s important to use a high-quality finish on your deck to protect the wood from moisture, UV rays, and other environmental factors. A good quality finish can also make your deck easier to clean and help it resist stains.

When choosing a deck finish, read the labels carefully. Some products claim to be a “stain and sealer in one” but only offer a very thin layer of protection. Others may claim to be waterproof but only provide water resistance for a short period of time.

You should also choose a finish that is compatible with the type of wood your deck is made from. Applying the wrong kind of finish to your deck can cause peeling, flaking, and other damage.

Learn More About Our Deck Refinishing Services

As you can see, the cost to refinish your deck depends on several factors. This includes the size of your deck, labor costs, and the type of finish you choose to use.

To obtain an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to refinish your deck, contact us today. Teak & Deck Professionals has over 20 years of experience in refinishing and sealing all types of decks in San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles. Our team of experts will work with you to find the best solution for your project.


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