How to Repair Splintered Wood Deck (EASY Fix!) 

Ever stepped on a splintered deck and winced in pain? Discover the ultimate guide to transform that rugged surface into a smooth, inviting space. Curious? Let’s dive in!

How to Repair Splintered Wood Deck

Does your deck appear unsightly and unsafe over time due to pesky splintered wood?

The same problem was there for me 10 years ago and it prompted me to learn how to address this issue through extensive research. 

And now as an expert in the woodworking field, I can give you more trustful solutions based on my experience and data collected from professionals.

So, let’s find out, how to repair splintered wood deck?

To repair a splintered wood deck, power wash and bleach the surface. Repair cracks with epoxy wood filler and hammer down protruding nails. Sand the deck using 100-grit then 120-grit sandpaper. Finally, apply a protective layer of stain or restoration coating for a renewed, smooth finish. Regular maintenance helps prevent future splinters.

But there’s a lot more to know!

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    So, in this article, I’ll explore how to repair a splintered wood deck stepwise in detail, the reasons for splintering, and how to identify splintering to enable you to enjoy your outdoor space comfortably and securely.

    Plus, I’ll share some tips with you that I’ve learned over the past decade with this ultimate DIY guide!

    Let’s dive in!

    Splinters on wood decks
    Splinters on wood decks

    Why Does Your Deck Keep Giving Splinters?

    The following are some typical causes of deck wood splitting.

    Natural Wood Characteristics

    In this case, different species act differently. Splinters are more prone to form on softer wood species or wood of lower grade.

    Natural Aging

    Wood may become more prone to cracking and splitting as it ages. This occurs naturally as part of the lifetime of wood.

    Exposure to the Elements

    Since decks are constantly exposed to the weather, fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause the wood to expand and contract. 

    Over time, the wood may split due to this constant stress.

    Splinteres on wood deck
    Splintered wood deck

    UV Exposure

    Wood can become more brittle and susceptible to splitting when exposed to sunlight, which contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation

    UV can degrade the lignin in wood. If your decks are not routinely sealed or stained, they might be damaged by UV radiation.

    Moisture and Drying

    Wood absorbs moisture when it rains, and it dries out when it is exposed to heat and sunlight.

    They may expand and contract as a result of these cycles of moisture absorption and drying, which may cause splitting.

    Improper Installation

    If your deck boards aren’t positioned correctly with the right amount of space between them, they may press against one another and cause splits or cracks.

    Did you know fact about wood splintering
    Did you know fact about wood splintering

    Can You Repair Splintered Wood Deck?

    Yes, you can repair a splintered wood deck. Repairing a splintered wood deck is a DIY task that can regain its previous appearance.

    The extent of the repair needed depends on the severity of the splintering and the condition of the wood.

    Now it’s time for you to get ready to repair your splintered wood deck.

    Things to consider when repairing splintered wood deck
    Things to consider when repairing a splintered wood deck

    Supplies You Will Need To Repair Splintered Wood Deck

    First of all, gather all the tools and materials listed below.


    • Safety gear (safety glasses, leather gloves, dust mask, closed-toe shoes)
    • Epoxy wood filler
    • Sandpapers (100-120)
    • Paint or stain
    • Bleach


    • Large orbital floor sander
    • Paintbrush or applicator
    • Deck screws
    • Hammer
    • Pry bar
    • Putty knife

    Make sure to purchase the above tools and supplies from quality manufacturers!

    How to Repair Splintered Wood Deck?

    Repairing a splintered wood deck is a common maintenance task that can help extend the lifespan of your deck and make it safer to use.

    Simply you can sand thoroughly to fix a less splintered deck. 

    If your case is more severe, you may need to go for deck restoration coatings that will patch up the cracks and produce a smooth, weather-resistant surface.

    Tip for repairing a splintered wood deck
    Tip for repairing a splintered wood deck

    Here are the steps you need to follow when repairing splintered wood on your deck.

    1. Safety First

    Working with wood can create fine dust and debris, so be sure to use the proper safety equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask, and wear closed-toe shoes                                                                 

    2. Power Wash the Splintered Deck

    This is the first step of the wood deck restoration process. To begin with, carefully inspect your deck to find out the places where the wood has splintered and damaged.

    It is much better if you have a power washer since the pressure and forces it generates help remove the mold and mildew because it has a regulator that controls the sprayer pressure and a slanted nozzle to wipe out different types of debris and get rid of deck mold.

    Don’t exceed the pressure of 2000 psi to avoid damage on wood and better to adjust the nozzle in between 25 to 40-degree angle.

    If you don’t have one, however, you can use a pipe hose with an attachment or a garden pump sprayer as well.

    Test the pressure in a small, discrete region while standing a few steps away from the deck.

    Gradually get closer until you discover the ideal distance where the pressure cleans the wood thoroughly without doing any harm.

    Work along the direction of the wood grain. For even cleaning and to avoid etching the wood, keep the nozzle moving continuously while keeping the same distance.

    After pressure washing your deck, you must wait three to four days for it to dry completely before moving to the next step.

    The use of a power sprayer significantly cuts down on the time spent manually using a scrub brush to clean the deck boards.

    Splintered wood deck
    Splintered wood deck

    3. Bleach the Dry Deck

    Bleach is used to remove stains from wood without affecting its original color.

    Bleach is also used to neutralize the red color and orange colors of wood

    Another benefit is that it aids in eliminating any further existing bacteria and fungus growth which is one of the main causes of splintered wood.

    Plus, it prevents wood from rotting as well.

    Prepare the bleach solution by mixing equal amounts of bleach and water into a larger bucket.

    Use your power washer to spray down the entire decking board with this solution and completely dry the deck.

    4. Repair Gaps and Cracks

    This step is very important before moving into the sanding step.

    • Hammer back down all of the protruding nails and replace any rusted or deformed nails with fresh ones. In case there are any nails, they may rip your sandpaper, requiring you to change it more than once.
    • If there are any lifted deck boards, drill fresh screws into them to secure it.
    • If there are any rotted areas, replace the board. Use a jigsaw to repair the damaged section, or a pry bar to lift the item.
    • You need to determine the type of board and measure its length. After acquiring new deck boards, trim them to the required size and use a screw or a nail to secure them.
    • Remove any sharp splinters from the surface using a chisel. If that causes a surface fracture, you can fix it by using an epoxy wood filler.
    • Use wood filler to close up any holes or cracks on the deck. Make sure the surface feels even and flat with the rest of the deck by smoothing it out with a putty knife.

    As an alternative to commercial wood filler, you can quickly make some homemade wood filler, apply and scrape off excess with a putty knife. 

    Then, wait until it has dried before starting to sand your deck.

    Best woods for wood deck
    Best woods for wood deck

    5. Sand the Deck

    It’s time to sand the splintered deck after the repair is complete. You can rent an orbital floor sander from the nearest rental outlet if you don’t already own one.

    It is preferable to begin sanding a splintered deck with coarse-grit sandpaper (about 100 grit) to eliminate rough fragmented regions quickly. 

    Change to fine-grit sandpaper (120 grit) once the surface is more uniformly smooth to produce a smoother finish.

    Wood deck with no splintering
    Wood deck with no splintering

    How To Attach The Sandpaper To The Orbital Sander?

    1. Lay the orbital sander on its side first. It should be possible to access the sand plate at an angle.
    2. Additionally, if there is ever debris on its surface, clean it.
    3. After that, take off the adhesive’s cover from the sandpaper. Stick that carefully to the plate.
    4. They should be flattened equally by pressing them together.

    Then, use the power washer or a pipe hose to wash away the dust from the surface of the deck in a sweeping motion, once it is smooth and splinter-free.

    Hold off until the deck is entirely dry. It will take a day or two to dry.

    Splintered wood deck
    Splintered wood deck

    6. Protect Your Deck

    It’s time to apply a protective finish to increase its appearance and extend the lifetime of your deck.

    Depending on your preferences and the particular requirements of your deck, you can choose between a stain and a sealant.

    It is preferable to apply a repair coating, such as a protective acrylic-based finish if your deck has noticeable cracks that you want to smooth out. 

    It covers around twenty square feet per gallon and is roughly ten times thicker than normal paint.

    You may apply this coating yourself using a roller and suitable applicator as directed by the manufacturer.

    However, make sure to give the first and second coats at least 24 hours to dry.

    If you like the wood’s natural appearance and prefer to leave it, your best option is a deck stain.

    Select a semi-transparent deck stain that has enough pigment to protect the wood from sun damage.

    Your deck will be more resistant to sun and water damage after staining. For a more consistent appearance, always apply the finish against the direction of the wood grain.

    Wait two to three days before using your deck again after treating it with a protective coating.

    Read to know, How to Use Linseed Oil on Decks (EASY Guide!)

    Wood deck with no splinters
    Wood deck with no splinters

    How To Check The Effectiveness?

    Sprinkle some water on the surface to assess the efficacy of the deck sealant. Droplets of water should bead up to indicate that the surface is impenetrable

    How to repair splintered wood deck
    How to repair splintered wood deck

    Is It Normal for Deck Wood to Split?

    It is typical for deck wood to crack or split over time. 

    Since wood is a natural material, its behavior is influenced by various environmental factors such as Sunlight, rain, and other weather conditions that are coming into contact with your deck resulting in problems like splintering.

    Maintenance tips for wood deck
    Maintenance tips for wood deck

    How Do You Splinter Proof a Deck?

    You may take precautions to reduce splintering and make your deck safer, even though it’s difficult to entirely “splinter-proof” a wood deck.

    For your deck, pick species of high-quality, long-lasting wood like cedar, redwood, or hardwoods like ipe which are less likely to splinter.

    Your deck should be frequently treated with a high-quality wood sealer, stain, or waterproofing agent to protect the wood from moisture and UV damage.

    Clean your deck frequently to get rid of organic matter and dirt. This stops the development of mold and mildew, which can hasten the deterioration and splintering of wood.

    Make sure the deck boards are installed with the appropriate distance between them. This stops them from rubbing against one another and exerting excessive pressure that could result in splinters.

    Sand the corners and edges of the deck boards to smooth them off and reduce the possibility of splinters from sharp edges.

    Place outdoor rugs or mats in high-traffic areas for a safer, splinter-free surface for walking and sitting. 

    Furthermore, you can place rubber caps on the feet of deck furniture to protect the deck from being scratched and splintered.

    It is important to check your deck frequently for signs of splintering or damage and take immediate action if necessary.

    How to keep wood deck from splintering
    How to keep wood deck from splintering

    Tips for Repairing Splintered Wood Deck 

    Here are some tips to follow for better caring for your deck that I learned over the past decade.

    • It can be difficult to totally remove the risk of splinters on a wood deck and with regular care and maintenance can greatly minimize their frequency and severity of splintering.
    • It’s time to update and renovate your deck if it is more than 15-20 years old and exhibits wear indicators other than simple splinters. The warning indicators to watch out for include termites, rusty hardware, huge holes, unsecured railings, unstable posts, and wood rot.
    • Do not forget about the deck’s structural support system that supports the deck floor. Due to the wetness, this area is particularly susceptible to wood rot, and it may also be sensitive to insect infestations that harm the wood. So, make sure to treat it as well.

    That’s it folks! Now you know how to repair splintered wood deck easily without messing things up with the right techniques.

    Tip for repairing a splintered wood decks
    Tip for repairing a splintered wood decks

    So, let’s answer some

    frequently asked questions.


    What causes wood decks to splinter?

    Wood decks splinter due to exposure to various environmental factors, including UV rays, rain, and fluctuations in temperature and humidity, as well as natural aging and improper installation.

    Can I repair a splintered wood deck on my own?

    Yes, repairing a splintered wood deck can be a DIY task involving cleaning, bleaching, repairing gaps and cracks, sanding, and applying a protective layer to restore its appearance and safety.

    How often should I maintain my wood deck to prevent splintering?

    It’s advisable to stain your wooden deck every two to three years and regularly check for mold, mildew, and signs of moisture to prevent splintering and other damages.

    What tools and materials do I need to fix a splintered wood deck?

    Essential tools and materials include a power washer, bleach, epoxy wood filler, sandpaper, a large orbital floor sander or belt sander, paintbrush or applicator, and safety gear.

    How do I repair minor splinters on my deck?

    For minor splinters, gently pull up the edge of the splinter, apply some wood glue, weight it down until dry, and sand the area smooth, or use epoxy filler and sand it if the splinter is detached.

    Is sealing the deck effective in preventing splinters?

    Yes, sealing a deck helps in protecting the wood from environmental elements like water and UV rays, reducing the likelihood of splintering if maintained regularly.

    How can I test the effectiveness of the deck sealant?

    Sprinkle some water on the sealed deck surface; the formation of water droplets or beading indicates that the sealant is effective and the surface is impenetrable.

    When is it time to consider replacing my wood deck?

    Consider replacing your deck if it’s over 15-20 years old and exhibits signs of significant wear, such as wood rot, large holes, unstable posts, or extensive splintering beyond simple repairs.

    What’s the best treatment for an old wood deck to prevent splintering?

    Regularly applying a high-quality exterior penetrating wood sealer with a UV filter and conducting consistent cleaning and maintenance can effectively prevent splintering and extend the deck’s lifespan.

    What are the steps to repair a splintered wood deck?

    Steps include power washing the deck, bleaching to eliminate mold and mildew, repairing cracks and gaps with epoxy wood filler, sanding the deck smooth, and applying a protective coating or stain to shield against environmental elements.

    Did I cover all you wanted to know about:  How To Repair Splintered Wood Deck?

    In this article, I discussed how to repair splintered wood deck properly using 6 easy steps. 

    To fix your splintered wood deck, first pressure wash the deck to remove any dust and dirt, bleach the deck, repair any damage on deck, fill cracked area with epoxy wood filler, sand the deck, clean and apply a protective layer on it. Make sure to keep regular maintenance on your deck.

    Furthermore, I’ve answered some frequently asked questions as well.

    I hope you learned everything you wanted to know about, how to repair a splintered wood deck including experts’ tips and tricks.

    Now it’s time for you the go through this article again, collect the supplies, and follow the provided DIY guide carefully to get your wood deck back to life. 

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    Walter Parker is a woodworking enthusiast. He is passionate about woodworking projects & plays with woodworking tools having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Woodworking Planet. He wants to make people love woodworking! Read More About Him! Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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