How To Stain Your Deck

Instructions for Staining You DeckWhen it comes to staining your deck, you’ll want to do it at the right time to reap the most benefits. Once the days become warmer it’s the best time to consider staining or sealing your deck, before it gets super hot. If your deck is used often during the summer months you’ll want to ensure it’s protected from element exposure and frequent foot traffic. Because we understand the importance of deck protection, we’ve provided some tips that will help you achieve professional-looking results when staining your deck without paying the hefty fees that come with using a professional’s services.

Prepare the Deck

Before you can start staining, you must prepare your deck. Clean the surface and make sure it’s dry. Trying to stain over wood that is still damp or dirty won’t allow the stain to adhere properly. In addition, check for any areas that may have mildew. Using a wood cleaner, thoroughly wash the deck and pay attention to any areas that show signs of the old sealer. If you notice old sealer, you might need to clean over it with a wood stain/sealer remover.

Wood Brightener

Once you’ve cleaned the wood, it’s time to use a brightener; wood cleaners and strippers will sometimes darken the original color of a wood. When this happens, a brightener can help restore the beautiful natural color of the wood. Once you’ve applied the brightener wait several days for it to dry before you start sealing or staining the deck.

Follow Instructions

Your choice of sealer or stain will determine how the product is to be applied to the deck. Not all are the same and some require a brush, roller, stain pad or sprayer so pay attention to this when choosing a stain or sealer.

Avoid the Common Mistakes

There are many common mistakes with most home projects that can easily be avoided. One of these mistakes is applying too much product or leaving behind lap (or application) marks. You can easily avoid applying too much by back-brushing areas that weren’t completely absorbed by the wood. In addition you can use an absorbent rag to soak up any excess stain or sealer. If you don’t address this excess product you could be left with a dripping puddle or flaky spot once it’s dried. The lap marks can be avoided by coating one board at a time instead of taking on several boards, a small section at a time. Don’t start the next board unless you’ve completely finished the first board.

Additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Avoid wire brushes or steel wool when prepping your deck for stain or sealer. The metal fragments of the brush or wool could become imbedded into your wood deck, eventually leading to rust later on.
  • Make sure you’re choosing a quality product. Taking a shortcut, for instance choosing the cheapest product you can find, won’t always give you the results you desire and deserve. Not to mention it could mean frequent applications over a short period of time.
  • Dress appropriately when staining or sealing your deck; old clothes are best because you’re bound to get some on you.
  • Protect any exposed outdoor outlets when washing the deck, as well as any plants or vegetation during cleaning, staining and/or sealing.
  • Your sidewalks or paving stones should also be protected during the stain or seal application.
  • Start with vertical surfaces, like your railings, when staining. Drop cloths work great for protecting lower surfaces because drips are likely to occur. Don’t treat the deck floor until all other surfaces are done; you will need to walk on the deck floor and that’s not recommended while it’s freshly stained.
  • If your deck requires more than one gallon of stain purchase the correct amount at one time and mix them together so the proper color consistency is achieved.
  • When (if) using a sprayer to apply the stain or sealer be sure to immediately clean up any puddles or drips of excess product.
  • Don’t put your furniture back on the deck or allow anyone, including your pets, to walk across the deck until it’s completely dry.

Building Solutions is here to help you with all your deck staining needs. We know how to get the job done and are happy to answer any questions you might have regarding choosing the right product for your deck. Call or stop by and see us today!

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