5 TIPS ON HOW TO STAIN YOUR DECK
Did you know there are several common staining mistakes that can leave your deck vulnerable to damage costing you more down the road? Prolong the life of your most precious summertime investment and stain your deck the RIGHT way with these tips!
1. PREP THE DECK: Start by removing all furnishings from your deck and inspecting the wood. Repair any imperfections, replace nails, and sand splintered areas with 80-grit paper using a belt or pole sander. Next, sweep away dust and debris, including in-between deck boards, and be sure to cover plants alongside your deck with a trap to keep chemicals off of them.
2. GIVE THE DECK A BATH: The prep is done, now you need to deep clean the deck boards to be free of dirt or mildew before finishing so the wood stain doesn’t trap any imperfections. Use a dedicated deck cleaner and scrub the wood surface with a brush while wet and allow the wet cleaner to soak into the wood for about 10 minutes before rinsing with a pressure washer. Allow two days to dry before applying the stain.
3. MATCH THE STAIN: Match the stain to your deck’s type of wood. If your deck has been previously stained, note that oil-based stain can go over water-based stain, but water-based stain cannot go over oil-based stain. For best results, use oil-based stains over old oil-based stain and water-based stains over old water-based stain. You’ll want to find exterior wood stain formulated to repel water, preserve wood, and protect against harmful UV rays.
4. STAIN RAILINGS FIRST: Before applying the stain, use painter’s tape to protect areas like the house’s siding, if needed. Stir stain thoroughly before applying and pour into a paint tray before applying the stain to a test patch of wood to confirm that you’re satisfied with its color and appearance. Begin by staining the deck’s highest wood features, such as the railings, posts, and balusters, and make your way down. Make sure to stain when there is no rain in the forecast for a few days!
5. STAIN THE REST: Stain the deck boards using a paint pad applicator, which is easier than brushing a large deck by hand and more accurate than using a pressurized sprayer. Apply one coat of stain in long, even strokes and use a paintbrush to stain between cracks and in problem areas. Allow it to sit for 24 hours!