How Much Does It Cost to Refinish a Deck?

Typical Range:

$600 - $1,360

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated October 21, 2022

Reviewed by Andy Kilborn, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

On average, the cost to refinish a deck is between $3 and $6.80 per square foot. Since a standard deck measures about 200 square feet, a refinishing project will cost about $600 to $1,360 or $980 on average.

Average Cost to Refinish a Deck

Average Cost High Cost Low Cost
$980 $1,360 $600

Deck Resurfacing Cost

Deck resurfacing costs $900 on average for the entire deck or $4.50 per square foot. This includes the costs of sanding down the top layer and the cost of repainting or staining the wood.

Oil-based water-repellent stains tend to be the longest lasting and soak thoroughly into wood for a deep, even stain. If you want the original wood grain to shine through, choose a semi-transparent stain.

Deck Restoration Cost

Deck restoration costs around $1,080. Most homeowners spend between $980 and $1,180. The total deck repair costs depend on the size of the deck, as well as the amount of work and materials needed to restore the deck.

Deck restoration includes an inspection for mold or rot, warped areas on the deck, and termites. It also includes the costs to sand and stain the deck.

Cost to Sand a Deck

The cost to sand a deck is $280 on average. Most homeowners spend between $210 and $350 for a 200-square-foot deck, which takes about seven hours to sand.

If you choose to sand your deck yourself, you’ll need to purchase an orbital sander, which costs $75 on average. Alternatively, you can rent a more industrial-sized sander, which will speed up the process a bit.

Talk to Local Deck Refinishers for Custom Quotes
Compare Quotes

Deck Refinishing Cost Factors

Various deck refinishing cost factors influence your final price, from the type of stain you choose to the size of your deck. Here’s how each element plays a role. 

Deck Size

The larger the coverage area, the more the project will cost. The type of wood and other materials will impact the total cost, and larger decks will require more materials. 

Larger decks may also have more steps and railings. Refinishing steps and railings add to the overall cost of the project. If you need to replace damaged or broken steps, expect to pay $20 per square foot


Labor typically costs between $350 and $650. However, this cost can vary depending on the condition of your deck, size, and the pro you hire. Get a quote from at least three pros before making a decision. 

Type of Finish

The type of stain you choose will affect your overall costs. Picking a stain that suits your deck’s wood and needs is essential to making it easy to clean and resistant to environmental conditions. Remember, the finish will protect your deck from moisture, sunlight, weather, and stains. You’ll have a choice between oil-based and water-based deck stains. 

High-quality water-based stains will cost more than oil-based options. Oil-based stains are more durable, penetrate farther into the wood, and are easier to maintain. However, they take longer to dry and can darken over time. On the other hand, water-based stains are easier to apply and will more likely show the natural wood color. Maintenance for water-based stains is more complex, though, and they aren’t as durable as oil-based stains.

Other Factors

Other factors to keep in mind include: 

  • Regional pricing trends: Deck refinishing prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year and the cost of living in a given area.

  • Cleaning: It’s advisable to clean your deck before refinishing it. Cleaning supplies cost $65.

  • Power washing: It costs $75 to rent a power washer for a day.

  • Condition of the deck: Consider required repairs that you’ll want to complete before starting a refinishing project.

DIY Deck Refinish Costs vs. Hiring a Pro

DIY deck refinishing costs less than hiring a pro, but it involves a lot of effort and you need a good understanding of carpentry and wood staining. Although hiring a local deck refinisher is more expensive, it ensures the work is done quickly and properly. You’ll also get a warranty on the work and parts.

“Refinishing a deck is a great way to refresh its look without the full price of a tear-off and reinstall,” says Andrew Kilborn, owner of Andy's Handyman Service in Des Moines, IA. “If you're up for it, it's a doable DIY.”

How to Refinish an Old Deck 

Some decks only require a minor wash with a specific deck wash applied with a hose. These methods don't require as much sanding. However, you can’t use them in all situations. Whichever method you use, you’ll need a long weekend with mild weather between 60 and 80 degrees, as well as cleaning supplies, a power washer, an orbital sander, and wood stain and supplies. Follow these steps:

  • Inspection: Examine your deck to be sure it’s still securely fastened to your house. Tighten loose screws and bolts, and replace any rusty fasteners. Check for damage and rot. If you notice structural damage or soft boards, it’s advisable to call in a deck repair pro near you to repair your deck safely.

  • Cleaning: Cover any nearby plants or landscaping with plastic sheeting. Wearing appropriate hand and eye protection, use a wood cleaner to wash the dirt and debris off your deck.

  • Power washing: Power wash your deck at the appropriate pressure level for the type of wood.

  • Sanding: Allow your deck to dry completely or for at least 48 hours. For best results, use an orbital sander with the right grit of sandpaper for your deck. Use a lower grit for the floor of your deck and a higher grit for railings.

  • Staining: Use a sprayer for quick and even application, and blend in the stain with a roller, brush, or pad.

  • Cleanup: Dispose safely of deck refinishing supplies, as finish is often flammable. Put rags, pads, and brushes in a metal can and submerge them in water. Seal the can and dispose of it along with leftover stain, solvents, and other hazardous waste materials. Never throw these items away with the regular trash or wash them down the drain.

Still Have Questions About Deck Refinishing?
Ask a Pro

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put new decking over old decking?

No, you can’t put new decking over old decking. There’s often decay beneath the decking where the fastener penetrates the joist. It’s better to cap, repair, or replace joists. Although several products exist for this purpose, they increase the risk of moisture damage and rot and can create spots for insects to live in. Additionally, they're difficult to utilize on more complex decks with several levels or stairs.

Why should you refinish a deck?

You should refinish a deck because it needs regular upkeep to maintain its appearance and functionality—especially if you live in a harsh climate. Staying on top of maintenance like refinishing will prolong the life of your deck. 

Maintaining your deck allows you to keep enjoying your outdoor living space. Additionally, it increases the resale value of your home without you having to rebuild the deck.

How can I save money on deck refinishing?

You can save money on deck refinishing by following these guidelines:

  • Get at least three estimates from local contractors and compare costs before hiring a pro.

  • Ensure that each estimate outlines every step of the deck refinishing process, including materials, delivery, preparation, labor, and cleanup.

  • Hire a deck specialist instead of a general contractor. A specialist has the experience to apply the finish correctly.

Is it best to paint or stain a deck?

It’s best to paint a deck, rather than staining it, if your goal is to create a durable layer of protection. When choosing a paint, oil-based is best for keeping out moisture, but latex-based paint is best for protection against sunlight. However, the paint will cover the natural wood. If your goal is to preserve the beauty of the wood, then a stain offers protection while allowing the grain to show through. Remember, the stain won’t last as long as paint, and you’ll need to reapply it more often.