of Home Improvements
*Staining a Deck*
your deck a strong layer of protection from wear and tear. With the right
staining products, prepared and applied correctly, you can maintain and
enjoy your deck for many years to come.
Contrary to the beliefs of many builders and even some inexperienced paint store managers or employees, it is NOT advisable to let your new wood go a season or two before protecting it. Every reputable stain mfr. that I have ever talked to have all told me you need to protect your wood as soon as possible after construction to prevent the natural oils from drying out. Today's lumber is usually kiln dried which means that most of the moisture from the wood has been removed.
You should never and I mean never use a paint of any kind or a solid stain on a deck. Trust me when I tell you that you are creating more problems than you are solving. Use a semi-transparent stain. Take your pick as to oil base or water base but don't use a solid stain or paint. It will look great for several months, but it will soon start to peel and become a real maintenance headache.
is the more common approach when it comes to decks as many homeowners,
(myself included) prefer to enhance the natural look of the wood rather
than hide it beneath layers of color. If you choose to stain your deck
you should take extra care that you have pressure washed your deck and
removed dead fibers, dirt, and any mildew spots that may be present before
beginning to stain the wood.
Remove as many items as you can and cover other items with drop cloths. Examine the deck for surface wear, cracked boards, and popped nails and any other maintenance issues. Make any necessary repairs before you stain your deck.
After properly preparing the wood, select an inconspicuous place on the actual wood you will be staining and test the stain to be sure you will be pleased with the final color results.
First stain the vertical sections of the deck, such as the rails and posts, so that drips will not land on previously finished areas.
Once the vertical surfaces are completed, proceed to the deck surface. For deck boards, stain two to three boards at a time to avoid lap marks. Do not stop in the middle of a board, or you will risk developing lap marks. Make sure to wipe up any excess stain.
Do not let stain puddle on the surface of the deck. Use a brush to apply stain. This will afford better penetration. If you roll or spray, always back brush.
Stain does not stay mixed the same way paint does. You will need to stir the stain frequently during application. To ensure proper stain penetration and even drying results, avoid applying stain in direct sunlight.
If the stain is doing its job water should bead up much the way it does on a car that has just been waxed.
Staining the bottom of your deck
If you have access
to the underneath of your deck it's a good idea to seal it from below
also. This will keep the moisture from under the deck from deteriorating
the deck from below. A garden sprayer can help make this job a lot easier.