Choosing a Deck
There are basically three types of
deck stains, or deck sealers you can choose from. There are clear deck stains,
a.k.a. deck water sealers, solid stains or paints, and opaque or
semi-transparent deck stains.
Clear deck stains allow the color of
the wood decking to show through, but need to be reapplied every year or two.
Solid stains or paints can hide
uneven wood grains and stains, however they wear poorly and should be applied
Opaque or semi-transparent deck
stains include some level of tint, however allow the deck wood grain to still
show through. These types of stains have oils that penetrate into the wood
decking and thus last longer before re-application is required. In addition,
they fade, versus crack and peel, as is the case with solid stains and paints.
Deck stain preparation involves
cleaning the deck surface, repairing sections of damaged decking, sinking all
nails that may have popped up, and in some cases sanding the entire deck.
To clean a deck surface it is best to
apply a special deck cleaner solution that you spray onto the deck using a
garden sprayer. These types of solutions are designed to remove mold and mildew
as well as other types of dirt and stains.
After applying the deck cleaner
solution, allow it to sit on the surface of the deck for 5-10 minutes then
simply rinse it off with water. You may also want to use a broom to help
clean hard spots. Use of a power washer can damage the wood grains of deck
boards and thus is not recommended.
Next check the deck boards for any
rot or loose nails. Replace the rotted deck boards and re-sink the deck nails.
You may also want to apply new deck nails adjacent to the popped nails.
If cleaning the deck does not remove
all of the stains, or the deck previously had a solid stain, paint or deck water
sealer on it that has peeled, then you may have to sand the entire deck. Use an
orbital floor sander to sand the bulk of the deck. A small palm sander can also
help in corners or along the edges of the deck.
Once the deck has been prepared for
stain, it is now time to apply the deck stain.
I find it best to use a thin napped
roller or Lambís wool pad, along with a 4 inch and a 2 inch wide brush to apply
the stain. The 4 inch brush is helpful for working the applied stain into the
deck boards, and the 2 inch brush is helpful for getting into tight spaces.
You can also use a sprayer to apply
stain, however the roller or pad method works fairly fast, and I am not so sure
it is worth the setup and clean up time of using a sprayer.
When staining a wood deck it is
important to keep it going. You do not want to stop in the middle of the
process. If you do you will end up seeing lap lines. In addition, you should
only do 3 or 4 boards at a time.
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Also, after applying stain to a new
small section of the deck (e.g. 1 to 2 feet of linear deck board surface), back
brush the area to help the deck stain blend in with the previously stained deck
section. Again, this will help to get a solid blend of the stain. Back brushing
is very important to do when using a roller, as a roller tends not to push the
stain into the deck as well as a pad. In addition, a roller has the tendency to
not apply the deck stain evenly.
It is also important to work quickly
when staining a deck and to make sure the weather forecast is expected to be
clear and dry for at least 24 hours after applying the deck stain. You should
also make sure the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and that the
relatively humidity is low.
Stain the deck edges first, before
applying deck stain to the main deck area.
When staining the deck boards it is
important to not apply the deck stain too thick. If you do, make sure to brush
the stain around so that it does not pool in areas or leave dark spots. If you
apply the deck stain too thick you could wind up with areas of the deck that
conclude, if you follow the three key steps in staining a deck as I have
outlined you should be able to restore your deck surface to its original and
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Deck Installation Bid Sheet.
Deck Installation Bid Sheet
will teach your how to hire the right deck contractor, and help to ensure that your
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How to Finance your Deck Project -
can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if financing is
Additional Deck Information