Decks are a great place to relax and entertain. But unlike indoor rooms, decks are subjected to more elements. They experience a lot of foot traffic, and weather elements such as rain and harsh sun can always take away their glory. Deck staining can be of great help in keeping the deck look like new. If done correctly, the deck will not just look good, but the looks will last longer.
To help homeowners get the process right, here is list of useful tips:
Prepare Wood Surface before Staining
Whether it’s a brand new deck or an older one that needs re-staining, the surface needs to be cleaned thoroughly. New lumber will have mill scale, residue from the milling process, which needs to be cleaned otherwise it may prevent wood stains from evenly penetrating into the wood.
Old decks may have dirt and mildew, which needs to be cleaned. The sun may have turned it gray over time, and if the surface shows signs of chipping, it needs to clear before a fresh layer of stain is applied over the surface. Sodium percarbonate wood cleaners are considered ideal for effective results.
Use Wood Brighteners
The most skipped out step, wood brighteners are easy to use and open the surface for better penetration of stains. They will help in neutralizing the impact of stain strippers, and restore weathered looks of old decks. Just spray them onto the surface, leave it there for a few minutes and rinse it off. No scrubbing and no elbow greasing.
Rinsing Is Very Important
Rinsing off any chemicals used during cleaning is an essential step in preparing the surface. Residues of chemicals left on the surface can resurface over time and begin to attack and break down new stains.
Say No to Cheap Stuff
You may be on strict budget, but that does not mean you should settle for cheap products. Premium results come at a premium prices. The quality of stains depends upon their composition, some are resin based, and others have pigments and mildewcides. Talk to an expert before buying any specific stains.
Try Water Borne Stains
Water borne stains are rapidly replacing oil-based alternatives. They offer some distinct advantages over other stains. Firstly, good water based stains can be cleaned with soap and water and have no nasty solvents to breathe. Secondly, they are highly resistant to weathering and can be used on wet wood as well. They dry quickly and are much easier on the environment.
Every product comes with an instruction manual, which enlists the steps of using the product. Don’t ignore this little instruction book. It will teach you how to apply stains, clean the deck after application of stains, and also have tips on regular maintenance.
Don’t Layer Too Much
Semi-transparent wood stains look the best as they allow the natural grain of the wood to show through. You may be tempted to layer it with more stain, but chances are it will peel off over time. More layers will prevent the wood from breathing, which will in turn, peel it off.
Don’t Forget the Paint Brush
Two popular modes of staining include pump-up garden sprayer and rolling. But, using a paint brush ensures that the stain penetrates deeper into the pores of the board. The friction caused by the brush helps the wood to absorb more stain.