Deck Staining Tips
Decks are a wonderful place to gather, whether it is for a family dinner or a backyard barbeque. In order to get the maximum use out of them, decks must be treated with care. The stain on a deck can be as important as the deck itself. Staining a deck protects the wood from moisture and UV rays. A good stain will make your deck stay beautiful, longer. Allow Storm System to offer some helpful deck staining tips for deck-owners everywhere:
- Wait! – When was your deck built? If the answer is very recently, you may need to wait a few months for the wood to dry out before staining it. If you applied a stain stripper, you must wait for the product to break down the previous stain before you wash the deck down. Patience is a virtue during this process. (Do the water absorption test…Pour a little water on the deck and if it absorbs it can accept a coating…if it beads up or does not absorb the deck will wood will need to be properly prepared.)
- Rain, Rain, Go away – It is essential that you check the forecasts before you begin and ensure that it will be a week with good weather. Stain requires multiple days to fully absorb into the wood and dry. A downpour or a layer of snow can ruin all of your hard work. Choose your week carefully!
- Power Wash – The first step in your deck staining process should be to power wash. A pressure washer will remove leftover paint, mold, dirt, and other grime from the surface of your deck. The better you strip your deck of these materials, the longer your stain will last and the more beautiful it will remain.
- Eenie, meenie, minie, mo! – When picking a stain, one must consider the type of wood, the desired color, and the geographic location of the deck. Someone living in Boston during the winter needs a different stain than someone living in Arizona in the summer. Make sure that you are choosing your stain based on the level of opacity, the degree of UV protection, and the typical longevity of the finish.
- Testing 1, 2, 3 – Test your stain in a small area and allow it to dry before applying it to the rest of the deck in order to ensure that you have picked a color that you like.
- Brush strokes – While there are many ways to apply deck stain, you always want to have a paintbrush handy. This brush will allow you to work the stain deep into the porous wood and reach holes that your stain pad, garden sprayer or other staining applicators may not reach.
- Less is more – When staining, over-application can slow the drying process and cause the stain to crack or peel when exposed to inclement weather conditions. You do not want to under-apply, as this will not protect the wood, but over-application can be just as dangerous!
- Nobody puts baby in a corner – Apply stain from the back of your deck to the front and do not change directions in order to avoid painting yourself into a corner!
- Upkeep – After you are done staining, consider what your particular deck will require to maintain its current look. Washing the deck down every few months, removing debris, and applying a wood brightener will keep your deck looking immaculate all year long.
- Enjoy! – Having a deck is a wonderful thing. All of this work will pay off when you and your loved ones are able to congregate on your masterpiece and enjoy a meal or bask in the sunshine together. Make sure to appreciate your deck by using it as often as possible!