Now Is The Ideal Time For Deck Sanding & Coating

The fierce Australian climate can be devastating to wooden decking, with the summer sun and rain causing it to crack, peel, and fade over time. As we come into the final few weeks of autumn, now is the ideal time for sanding and coating your deck, so that you can restore it to its former glory.

Here’s six reasons why now is the ideal time for deck sanding and coating.

1. It’s the right temperature

The right temperature for applying a deck coating is between 10° to 32°C, which makes Australia’s cooler months a better time to complete the job. During summer, high temperatures can make the coat evaporate before it’s had a chance to penetrate the wood, and you may find that the job needs to be done sooner than you expected.

Also, if your deck is exposed to direct summer sunlight, the coat could dry too quickly and leave water marks, with the job needing to be redone.

2. We’re getting less rain

When applying a coat to your decking, it must be clean and dry. Penetrative coating will need one to two days to dry properly, and because most of Australia’s rain comes in spring and summer, now is the ideal time to sand and coat your deck. You’ll need to keep a wary eye on the weather forecast, and try to plan the job during an extended dry period with low humidity (at least three days), to ensure that a ferocious thunderstorm doesn’t come along and destroy your hard work.

3. It’s less humid

Wood absorbs moisture and keeps hold of it for a long time, so if you’re looking to re-sand and coat your deck, it’s important to give it time to dry after it’s been pounded with summer rain and humidity. If you apply a coat to wood that is saturated with water, it’ll fail to absorb it, and lead to peeling or cracking.

By the time winter rolls around, your deck should be dry enough to be re-sanded and coated. Most coating manufacturers recommend a moisture content of 15% or less, so if you really want to be sure that your deck meets this standard, you can use a moisture meter to measure the amount of water in the wood.

4. Social distancing

Social distancing is our main defense against the spread of coronavirus, and for most of us, this means locking ourselves in our homes until the government changes its policy. If your deck looks like it’s seen better days, now is a good time to take advantage of social distancing and give it a thorough sanding and coating, or have the job completed by a professional while you watch and learn.

5. We have more time on our hands

With 88% of Australian organisations encouraging employees to work from home, millions of hours are being recouped every day by not having to commute. It’s tempting to whittle away all of that spare time on idle entertainment, but there’s much more productive ways to use your time, like finally getting around to sanding and coating your weather-beaten back deck. Not only will your deck look beautiful again, you’ll also have a gratifying sense of achievement, which social media can never give you.

6. It’s a better temperature for entertaining

If you’re living in a hotter part of Australia, outdoor entertaining is made possible again with the arrival of autumn and winter, and to impress your friends, you’ll want your deck to be a gleaming rich brown which looks like you could slide across it with ease.

Deck sanding and coating should be repeated every two to three years on average, but can change depending on the temperature, rainfall, and whether the deck is receiving direct sunlight. If your deck is starting to look a little shabby, now is the ideal time of year for a re-sand and coat, so that you can enhance its longevity, and restore its magnificence.


  1. Vanessa Mitchell, 2020, Report: Most Australian employees to work from home
  2. Jen S, 2010, How Long Does Exterior Wood Stain Take to Dry?
  3. 2020, Moisture Content of Deck When Applying Stain | Best Deck Stain Reviews Ratings

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