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Preparing Your Dock or Deck for Refinishing in Naples

Preparing Your Naples, Florida-Area Dock or Deck for Refinishing

Given their vertical exposure to the elements, southwest Florida-area docks and decks tend to need refinishing more often than other exterior surfaces. Constant exposure to the sun, rainfall, sea air, and other elements discolors the wood. While this might only be an aesthetic concern, nature and time will eventually spur mold and mildew growth. This can cause cracking and warping, promote wood rot, and cause other forms of deterioration.

Prolong the Lifespan of Your Dock or Deck

The professionals at Naples-based FCI Painting will tell you that the easiest way to boost the lifespan of your dock or deck. Keep it clean and reapply stain, paint or other sealants annually. Absent such basic maintenance, dock and deck refinishing can often make your dock or deck’s weathered surface look like new. If there is significant deterioration or damage, you may need to replace some wood or otherwise fix problem areas. Typical problems and their fixes include:

  • Wood rot—While docks tend to be more susceptible to this than decks, no matter where it’s found, remove it and replace it with new lumber. At best, trying to refinish such areas will only mask the problem, which will continue to expand.
  • Warping and bending—You can try to fix warped boards by using a bar clamp and pounding in more nails. It’s generally easier to replace any affected boards.
  • Splitting and Splintering— You’ll need to replace any splitting or splintering boards. Such boards will continue to degrade and can also prove hazardous.
  • Foundation damage—Seawater makes this a more significant problem with docks. Deck posts can also deteriorate at and below ground level. For safety and to prolong the life of your structure, always replace support beams and posts at the first sign of damage.
  • Rust stains—These will inevitably arise wherever metal meets the wood. If home-based remedies that use vinegar or other cleaners don’t work, consider cleaning it with a commercial rust removal product.
  • Loose screws, nails, or other hardware—remove and replace.  

Steps for Prepping your Dock or Deck for Refinishing

You’ve already taken the first steps for prepping your dock or deck for refinishing by addressing the potential damage listed above, right? Well, with a few more steps, you will be ready to begin refinishing.

First, strip and remove any old peeling, chipped sealants and then clean the dock or deck surfaces with a scrub brush and soap. Alternatively, you can tackle this job using a pressure washer but use a fan-tip nozzle and keep the pressurized spray at least a foot away from the surface to avoid damaging the wood. You should also keep the pressure below 600 psi if the wood is made from softwood like pine or cedar.

To ensure optimal penetration and adhesion of your chosen stain or sealant, lightly sand surfaces of any newly installed wood, rough patches, or areas still showing staining or other residues. Your last step should be removing any wood dust from the sanding by using a shop-vac, leaf blower or broom.

You’re Now Ready to Apply the Stain, Paint or Sealant

With the prep work steps concluded, you’ll now turn to the actual refinishing.

While you can certainly paint your dock or deck, FCI Painting would recommend a stain instead. This holds especially true for docks, which typically endure more weathering. The weathering will be more noticeable over time with paint than a stain. Additionally, not only do stains hold up much better to foot traffic, but they can highlight the beauty of the wood used for your dock or deck. If you do decide to go with paint, make sure you choose one marketed as a “deck” or “porch” paint. These are tougher than regular paints and should provide some level of slip resistance. Deck sealers are clear and used primarily for extending the wood’s life span rather than for aesthetic reasons.

Whichever refinishing product you choose, carefully read the instructions for applying it. Drying and curing times vary widely. Some products should not be applied in direct sunlight as it dries before proper penetration. Instructions also provide other tips for ensuring the best application for the particular paint, stain, or sealant.

Or Consult with a Professional Naples, FL Painting Company

If this dock/deck refinishing prep work seems like too much effort and you would like to secure the most professional-looking results possible, consult with FCI Painting. We have more than 25 years of professional experience helping Naples, Florida-area residents refinish their docks, decks and other outside structures. To learn more, contact FCI Painting online or give us a call at (239) 435-1001.

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6 Stars

The entire process from start to finish was professional. They did a great job and left everything clean. Ryan wouldn’t leave until everything was perfect. The entire team was so responsive. I would recommend FCI to anyone. I would give them 6 stars if I could.

Bruce G

Reasonably Priced & Very Detailed

We have a three unit, two story condo building that needed an exterior painting job we awarded to FCI Painting. Their proposal was reasonably priced and very detailed. Richard Foden’s came to estimate the job and took the time to explain the process, answer questions and provide recommendations (that help us in our process). We received four proposals and FCI’s stood out making our decision straight forward. FCI crew was professional and the foreman ‘Eduardo’ exceptional. On a daily basis’s he communicated what to expect, what they would be achieving and the crews next steps. Crew was courteous and cleaned up the grounds every evening. We highly recommend FCI Painting company. Thanks

Leo G

Incredible Service

I honestly cannot recommend this company enough. I was attempting to find painters in Naples while I was still in Canada. Richard and his team were so helpful in the process, going above and beyond what I could have ever imagined. They were thorough, professional, and one of the best prices I found in the area. Incredible service.

Jeremy S

Definitely Use Them Again

Richard and his team were great to work with. They were polite, cleaned up and did an awesome job! I have already recommended them to people and would definitely use them again.

Helen R

Ahead of schedule

Very professional, prompt… even ahead of schedule. I will always use them from now on.

Brittany K

Can’t Recommend FCI Painting enough

I can’t recommend FCI Painting enough! Owner Richard Foden runs one of the finest painting companies I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. When my business moved into our new office, we started researching painters in Naples, FL and FCI came highly recommended. The commercial painters that Richard works with are prompt, thorough and professional. After working with them in a business setting, I’ll be certain to give Richard a call next time I’m in need of house painters as well.

Martin V

Professional & Friendly

Had my condo painted by FCI Painting and they did an outstanding job! They were professional and friendly.

Eileen F

Competitive & Fair

FCI Painting did an outstanding job for us and we are more than pleased with the results. We found the pricing to be competitive and fair. Our painter, Chris, was an expert craftsman, patched several areas of drywall that needed attention and helped us work through a problem we had with one of the colors we chose. We would definitely recommend FCI painting for anyone looking for a quality job at a fair price.

Donna C

Way Above Expectation

Big thanks to FCI, I had them paint my house inside and out and they did a fantastic job, way above my expectations, there employees were punctual and polite, and the work was completed 2 days before the scheduled completion date. Would not hesitate to recommend A++++++++++

Neil S

Highly Suggest Their Work

FCI Painting did a fantastic job on my driveway. They were swift, neat, and very sharp eye on quality. I would highly suggest there work and I would call them again.

Tom D

Pleasure to Deal With

FCI did a great job painting our home! Job was done on time & on budget, no surprises! Rich was a pleasure to deal with & was very prompt when responding to a question or request. Chris, our painter, was on-time each day, always prepared, cleaned up every afternoon, worked at a good pace & super friendly. Would definitely use them again & recommend them highly!

Christine C

Always an Outstanding Job

My family has used FCI in our homes and businesses. They have always done an outstanding job, neat and clean and Richard is wonderful accommodating owner to work with. I would highly recommend this company to anyone.

Valerie G

Great Company, Great Results

Great Company, Great Results! We use FCI whenever we can!


Easy to Deal With

Pleasant and easy to deal with. Did exactly what they said they would, when they said they would do it. Would highly recommend.

Christopher G

Beautiful Work

Beautiful work and very friendly respectful employees. Couldn’t be happier.

Tiffany K