Maintenance, Cleaning & Refinishing Guidelines

A new KAYU® exotic hardwood deck provides natural warmth and offers a nice relaxing place to sit and socialize outside with family and friends, yet still serve as part of the house.

Like any exterior wood product, KAYU® Hardwoods will gradually fade to a soft silver-gray patina color over time. The rate at which this will occur depends largely on the degree of exposure to direct sunlight, the climatic conditions and the frequency at which any preservative treatments are applied.

For Enhanced Outdoor Family Time, Build a KAYU® Deck

hardwood deck maintenance Smith Family example before picture
hardwood deck maintenance Smith Family example after picture

Before and After Pictures – Smith Family KAYU® Hardwood Deck

It’s Your Choice

An amazing benefit of KAYU® International’s 100% real wood is the minimal maintenance required for optimum performance. You can leave your deck a soft silver-grey patina color for years and at any time, bring it back to looking like a new hardwood deck.
Regardless, decks take a lot of abuse; both from use and through continual exposure to the weather. After a few years, without care, they become weathered.

Clean, Wash and Oil, That’s It!
Bring Back the Warmth and Beauty to Your KAYU® Deck

After building their KAYU Batu deck almost five years ago and minimally maintaining it, the Smith’s decided they were ready for the look of a new deck again. We followed them through their process and outlined some guidelines to assist you.

Let’s get started!

Methods and Materials

Before you get started, here is a list of some items to gather.

A pump-action sprayer to apply cleaning solution
A broom
A stiff bristle brush on a long handle for scrubbing. (Don’t use one with metal bristles because it may damage the wood)
A paint roller on a long handle for spreading stain or sealer. Look for a ½ inch or ¾ inch nap or sponge
Paintbrushes made to apply the stain
Plastic tarps to protect nearby plants from overspray
Sandpaper to smooth any rough surfaces
Protective gear such as rubber gloves and eye protection
Garden hose or mop for cleaning and rinsing
Pressure washer to quickly remove dirt, mold and mildew with more power than a garden hose
Soft clean cloths to wipe up spilled or dripping oil

Time for Inspecting the Deck

Fortunately, most deck surface problems are cosmetic not structural, because KAYU® exotic hardwood decks from Indonesia and Malaysia are built with woods of high density; they are more reliable for their longevity, durability and relatively low-maintenance requirements. One of the hardest, strongest and most durable of all woods, naturally resistant to any rotting and almost impervious to the effects of hot sun, rain, frost or snow.

Never less, every deck refinishing project should start with a structural inspection. Check for exposed nail and screw heads and loose deck boards, steps, railing and benches. Many times simply resetting nails and screws will fix the problem. Periodically, you’ll need to replace them.

photo example of hardwood deck structure testing on maintenance page

Stripping the Old Finish

A Great Finish Begins with the Right Start

A mild stain / sealer stripper works best on oil-based finishes and on horizontal surfaces. If you need to remove a heavy, full-color stain, latex or oil, a stain-stripper would be a better choice. A wood stripper will give your wood surface a new lease on life by stripping away old stains and finishes. This allows your new coating to penetrate the wood and achieve long lasting durability.
Although, the Smith family didn’t need the stain stripper, we recommend using Messmer’s Stain Stripper and follow the directions if needed for your deck. Messmer’s wood and deck stain stripper is a ready to use solution designed to remove semitransparent stains, wood sealers and coating from exterior wood. Messmer’s stain stripper dissolves and removes most wood stains and finishes. Typically one gallon will cover 100 to 200 square feet.

Before applying strippers, thoroughly wet the vegetation around the deck and cover any grass or flower beds with a tarp.

Sweep deck thoroughly and use a garden sprayer or thick-nap roller to apply a heavy layer of the stripper. Allow the stripper to set for 15 to 30 minutes. Next use a stiff-bristle brush to scour the surface. It is recommended to work on smaller areas at a time and to wear protective rubber gloves.

Cleaning the Smith's hardwood deck example
Cleaning the Smith’s KAYU® Hardwood Deck

Cleaning and Brightening the Deck – Pressure Washing (part a)

To clean a deck, we recommend using Messmer’s Wood u0026amp; Deck Cleaner (part a) and follow the directions.
Use a leaf blower or a broom to clean all the debris off the deck’s surface and then wet and wash the deck.
Mix and apply the cleaner solution with hot water using a garden sprayer or mop. Let sit fifteen (15) minutes while keeping the deck wet. Typically this will require scrubbing and rinsing. The process may need to be repeated.

Messmer’s Wood Cleaner (part a) will clean up to 500 square feet of wood surface per 16 oz. jar. One container makes up to five gallons of cleaning solution. The cleaner is a detergent, which will remove dirt and dust from the wood’s surface.

Suggestion: The Smith family added one scoop of Oxyclean to the Messmer’s cleaning solution. This powdered product when mixed with water releases non-toxic oxygen ions that kill mildew and algae. In addition, the foaming oxygen bleach loosens grey weathered wood fibers and dirt from the deck surface. In the process, it does not remove natural wood color, nor does it hurt nails and joist hangers. Possibly one of oxygen bleach’s best attributes is that it will not harm plants, vegetation or you.

before example hardwood deck brightening
Before (Smith Family | Cleaning and Brightening their KAYU® Hardwood Deck)
after example of hardwood deck brightening
After (Smith Family | Cleaning and Brightening their KAYU® Hardwood Deck)

Cleaning and Brightening the Deck – Pressure Washing (part b)

To clean a deck, we recommend using Messmer’s Wood u0026amp; Deck Brightener (part b) and follow the directions. Mix and apply the brightener solution wearing protective gloves and using a garden sprayer or mop. Let sit thirty (30) minutes while keeping the deck wet.

Messmer’s Wood Brightener (part b) will clean up to 500 square feet of wood surface per 16 oz. jar. One container makes up to five gallons of brightening solution. The brightener is a solution, which will remove tannin and rust stains from the wood’s surface.

Rinse using a garden hose and with water.

Another alternative method to rinsing is to gently pressure wash the deck surface. Pressure washing removes the deep down dirt.

If you decide to use a pressure washer, it is strongly advised to use the proper and lowest possible PSI (pounds per square inch) for the species of wood you are cleaning that will remove dirt and debris. A maximum of 1200 PSI is suggested. Ensuring the fan tip applicator for pressure is kept at least 12”-18” away from wood on a light setting. We suggest testing an inconspicuous area while using the wand in even strokes. We highly recommend for you to be careful – the powerful spray can damage the wood if used too closely.
After thoroughly rinsing, let your deck dry for a minimum of 24 hours until it is completely dry.
Before getting started, please watch the informative video; using the link below, which demonstrates the process for cleaning and brightening using Messmer’s products.

cleaning and brightening kayu deck
Cleaning and Brightening – KAYU® Batu Deck
cleaning and brightening hardwood deck example 2
Smith Family | KAYU® Batu Deck

Sealing and Staining (part c)

One of the best ways to protect your outdoor wood surfaces is to use a high-quality; oil based wood preservative. Using an oil-based wood preservative with ultraviolet inhibitors keeps your deck surfaces looking newer longer. To keep the wood color as long as possible, it is recommended that you treat the deck with a high quality U.V. hardwood decking oil approximately every 6-12 months depending on your climate conditions.

After cleaning (part a) and brightening (part b) your deck, it is important to wait a minimum of 24 hours before applying any sealing and staining solution. Check to ensure your deck is dry and free of dirt and dust. The deck must be completely dry before adding the UV Plus or any oil based product. Wood that may appear to be dry or dry at the surface can still have a high moisture content that may cause the oil that has been applied to back out of the wood once exposed to heat.

Staining and sealing hardwood deck example
Smith Family | Staining and Sealing – KAYU® Batu Deck

To Seal and Stain a deck, we recommend using Messmer’s UV Plus – Deck Stain, Wood Stain and follow the directions. The solution is designed to seal and stain at the same time. The UV plus is a penetrating deck stain, wood stain and oil finishing that beautifies and protects your KAYU® deck, providing a natural appearance.

While applying the solution, is important to ensure the solution penetrates but is not overly applied. Apply using a roller or a sponge and promptly remove any excess solution with a soft clean cloth. Dispose of clean-up material according to local, state and federal regulations.
Once the Sealing and Staining process is completed, wait twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours for your deck to dry before putting your deck furniture and accessories back on the deck.

Before getting started, please watch the informative video; using the link below, which demonstrates the process for sealing and staining using Messmer’s products.

example finished hardwood deck after refinishing
Smith Family |Their beautiful, warm and inviting refinished KAYU® Hardwood Deck
is now ready for relaxing, dining and socializing with family and friends.

Enjoy Your KAYU® Deck for a Lifetime and Future Generations

[pl_button type=”inverse” size=”large” link=”” target=”_self”]Download Brochure (PDF) [/pl_button]