How to Treat a Southern Pine Deck

What You'll Need
Sandpaper in Varying Grit Grades
Deck Cleaning Product/Oxalic Acid Crystals and Water
Pigmented Stain (Optional)
Clear Water Repellent Treatment
Brushes for Application
Wood Filler (depending on condition of deck)
Rubber Gloves
Safety Glasses
Belt Sander/Floor Sander (depending on condition of deck)

A southern pine deck makes a great exterior space where families can relax and enjoy the outdoors. Cared for properly, a southern pine deck can last for years, providing the stage on which many important events will play out and happy memories be formed. Caring for your southern pine deck begins even before installation. Choosing quality timber and ensuring it has received the best possible weather proofing and anti-pest treatments is essential to ensure a longlasting finish to this exterior feature. The desk should be made of pressure treated wood, and timber should be allowed a period of acclimation in a dry, covered area near to where the deck is to be constructed for optimum performance once in place. When a southern pine deck has been created, it is up to the homeowner to maintain the wood finish by treating it accordingly. After the initial coat of clear water repellent—either on its own or on top of a pigmented stain—a southern pine deck will need maintenance every other year. 

    Step 1 – Clear the Deck 

    Before you start, remove all furnishing from the deck and sweep the floor. This will allow you to ascertain the condition of the wood finish and identify areas that may need extra attention. 

    Step 2 – Prepare the Wood Surface 

    Check the wood for any areas that are beginning to split or splinter and treat accordingly, hand sanding rough areas and filling any areas that need it. If you apply filler, you must allow it to set properly before proceeding any further.

    Next, ready the deck by sanding any rough areas or areas of stain buildup from past applications. A belt sander will suffice for small areas, but you can use a floor sander for larger areas to save time. Wear safety glasses when sanding to protect the eyes.

    Step 3 – Brighten the Deck

    Revive a tired looking deck with a prepackaged deck cleaning product according to the manufacturers instructions. Alternatively, you can make a mixture of 1 ounce of oxalic acid crystals per 1 liter warm water. Wearing rubber gloves, apply this to brighten the deck with a brush. Allow to dry thoroughly.

    Step 4 – Refinish the Deck 

    The final stage is to refinish the deck using, at least, a cleat waterproof finish. You may wish to apply a pigmented stain first to even out the color of the southern pine timber and give a cosmetically superior finish. Allow each product to dry before applying the next. When the deck is treated and dried, you can replace the furniture, and the deck is ready to use again for another couple of years.