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Deck Staining Tips

As the days start getting warmer it becomes quite apparent that summer will be here before you know it. If you’ve decided that your deck needs to be stained or sealed, then it is very important for you to take the time now and learn how to do it right as well as the best stains or sealants available to you that will work with the decking material you have so you can enjoy your deck with all it’s beautiful features. With all of the activity your deck will see this summer, you will want to make sure that it is properly protected from the foot traffic, barbecues and harsh elements it can be exposed to. Check out these helpful tips that will ensure that you will be able to stain your deck and achieve professional-looking results, without paying professional-looking fees.

#1 Rule When Staining Your Deck: Start With a Clean Deck

The wood must be clean, dry and free of contaminants. If you try to apply stain or sealer over damp or dirty wood, then it won’t adhere properly and will have to be redone. Make sure there is no mildew as well. To achieve this, use a wood cleaner and thoroughly wash and scrub your deck. If there is still residual signs of old sealer, then you may need to wash your deck with a wood stain/sealer remover. The next step is to use a wood deck brightener, since wood cleaners and strippers can cause wood to darken. Let your deck dry thoroughly for a few days before you begin staining or sealing. Depending on the type of stain or sealer you choose, it is important to follow the application instructions. Some are designed to be applied with a brush while others can be applied with a roller, stain pad, or a sprayer. Pick the method that is best for your deck and its surroundings.

Some of the most common staining and sealing mistakes are applying too much and leaving marks. Avoid over-application by back-brushing any stain or sealer that has not been absorbed by the wood over the span of a few minutes. A swipe with an absorbent rag will work as well. Otherwise, the excess stain or sealer will leave a puddle that will drip or eventually leave a shiny spot that can flake off. To avoid marks, coat one complete board at a time, only moving on to the next board once the previous has been finished.

Some other helpful tips to keep in mind are:

  • During the prep phase, never use wire brushes or steel wool. This could imbed metal fragments into the wood which could rust and stain in the future.
  • Choose a quality product. Why take shortcuts in quality that can result in you having to repeat the process all over again?
  • Wear old clothes that you don’t mind ruining.
  • When washing your deck, protect any outdoor outlets you may have.
  • Protect surrounding plants and bushes with a breathable tarp during the cleaning and staining process.
  • Protect any paving stones and concrete around the deck from getting stain on them. It may not be possible to remove the stain if he gets on them.
  • Stain any vertical surfaces like railings first and floor surfaces last so you won’t have to walk over it to try and stain anything else and can just leave it alone to dry.
  • If you will need to use more than 1 gallon of stain, mix them all together before staining to make sure you will have a good color consistency.
  • Allow your deck finish to dry completely before replacing the deck furniture or allowing anyone to walk on it.
  • If you aren’t completely sure about adding a stain to your deck remember that there are some hardwoods like Red Balau Kit and Red Balau Batu that when left unstained age to a beautiful silver finish so you don’t always have to add a stain to your deck.

Staining your deck is a fairly simple task and it can keep your deck looking vibrant year after year. If your deck needs to be stained there are plenty of resources available to show you the proper technique and the best products to use. There are video tutorials as well as online articles available. You can even go down to your local home improvement store and see if they are offering any classes that will show you the proper technique to use. The quickest and most straightforward way to stain your deck is by first taking all your furniture and anything that can be moved on your deck off of your deck and pressure washing it. Once it is bone-dry you can apply your stain, making sure you don’t apply too much. Then simply sitting back and relaxing while your stain dries leaving you with a beautiful, shiny finish making your deck look brand new.

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