How to Fix Burn Marks on Your Deck

After the grilling out, sitting around the fire pit and fireworks of a 4th of July BBQ you may find that your deck acquired a burn mark or two. It may seem like a serious blemish, but there are ways to fix burn marks on wood decks.

Fixing Burn Marks on Deck

Options for Fixing Surface Burns

With the right cleaning utensils and a little elbow grease it really isn’t that difficult to remove surface burns from a wood deck. These include light burns from fire pit ashes, cigarettes and hot pots or pans that don’t go very deep.

The first step is to sweep off the deck so that you have a nice clean surface before starting the treatment. For the next step you have a few options. PLEASE NOTE: These tips are for wood decks only, not composite decking.

Lemon Oil

The most natural way to remove burn marks in wood is with pure lemon oil. It’s important that you only use pure oil, not ones that include petroleum. Dip 0-grade wool steel into the lemon oil and then move the steel wool across the wood in the direction of the grain. Be careful to not dig in too much and only remove what’s needed. Finish by removing the excess oil with a damp cloth.

Linseed Oil and Rotten Stone

Mix together linseed oil with rotten stone to create a grainy paste. Rub the mixture into the burn mark going in the direction of the grain. Wash off with clean water once done.

Liquid Dish Soap

First wet the deck down with a hose. Next, mix together one teaspoon of grease-fighting detergent with around a gallon of water. Soak a stiff-bristled brush in the detergent mix and then scrub the burn mark going in the direction of the grain. Rinse the soapy water off and allow the deck to dry.

Chisel and Epoxy Putty

For deeper surface burns you may need to chisel out the first few layers of the deck board. First follow the liquid soap directions above. Next, keeping the chisel at a low angle so that it only goes just below the surface, lightly tap the chisel bottom. This will shave off the top layer of the board. Use a wood sealer to coat the wood where the burn was removed.

After drying for about six or so hours mix up some epoxy putty according to the manufacturers directions. Using a putting knife press the epoxy putty into the area where the wood was removed so that the surface is flush. Allow the putty to dry for approximately six hours.

Fixing Burn Marks on Deck

Finish Off the Cleaning with a Good Sanding and Sealer

No matter what cleaning method you choose for the best results finish with some light sanding followed by a sealer. Use 120-grit sandpaper and gently sand the area going in the direction of the wood until the fresh wood underneath is visible. Clean the surface of sawdust using a damp cloth and allow the surface to completely dry. Next use a high-quality sealer like Sikkens SRD transparent sealer and paint over just the affected area if the rest of the deck is already stained. If not, consider doing a little maintenance by staining the entire deck.

Any wood that is charred or burned through the first layer or two needs to be replaced. No matter how much sanding and buffing you do, deeply burnt wood cannot be fixed and is a safety hazard. If you need replacement wood give Timbertown Austin a call. We have a greatly selection and our “scrap pile” is an affordable way to find a single piece of lumber.

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