Amateurs use shortcuts and don’t follow directions; professionals use time-tested methods and common sense. Through my experience with deck stain applications, separating the amateurs from the pros is simple. Anyone can stain a deck like a pro if you just take your time and pay attention to what you’re doing. Here are just a few items that will impact the final appearance of your deck.
Preparing a wood deck for stain takes patience and attention to detail. You can prep your deck like a pro if you take your time and pay attention. Here are a few items that separate the amateurs from the professionals that will impact the final appearance and longevity of your deck stain.
Water-based and oil-based stains have distinct differences. Your stain choice will impact the time and effort needed for application, and will determine the durability and long-term maintenance issues.
Mold can be unsightly, but more importantly, uncontrolled mold can cause heath problems. Mold is caused my microorganisms. When those spores find a suitable living environment — one with moisture and a food source — they begin to reproduce and cause discoloration and health risks. Follow these steps to minimize your mold problems.
Cleaning your deck on a regular basis protects its color and the wood itself. Using the right cleaner can make all the difference. Cleaning your deck isn’t just about appearances. It also helps protect your deck from mold, mildew, algae, dirt and the natural weathering of the wood. Different types of wood cleaners yield various results, but it’s what in the cleaner that counts.
Few things are more frustrating for a deck owner than the “inevitable” stain peeling that occurs over time. In most cases, however, if the stain adheres properly and isn't over-applied, this problem can be minimized or prevented. Simply follow these few steps.
All wood needs to be thoroughly cleaned before applying deck stain. If you don’t clean it well, you’ll have problems during application, with the deck’s final appearance, and/or in long-term durability. I’ve heard people wonder why you have to clean a new deck, when the wood already looks bright and ready to go. Others wonder why you need to clean the deck before application — the stain will just cover it up anyway, right?. The answers are simple.
Your choice of deck finish will determine how often you need to refinish your deck. Clear or transparent stains will show off the wood texture and grain, whereas solid stains provide a paint-like covering. However, clear stains are much more susceptible to damage caused by UV rays and, therefore, will need to be reapplied more frequently. Here’s a general guideline to set realistic expectations.
Getting the best look from your deck takes patience and preparation, but staining your deck doesn’t have to be difficult. Just take your time and don’t take shortcuts. Here are some tips for staining your deck that can make the difference between an adequate application and complete satisfaction.
Old deck stains can present a challenge to anyone wanting to refresh a deck, but you don’t necessarily need to completely return your deck back to “like-new” condition to refinish it. Instead, follow these steps.