Applying Stain to Decks; Easy as 1 – 2 – 3

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When you put in a deck, you should plan to apply stain as well. Stains help keep decks from deteriorating as quickly, and they add a touch of color and beauty as well. Applying stain is a fairly simple process, but it does require a certain amount of care and precision.

Step 1: Clean ‘er Up

The first thing you need to do is make sure that your deck surface is clean and ready to accept the stain you have chosen. Cleaning can be a several step process, since it means more than just running a hose over the surface.

Sweep off any leaves or debris off the deck. Apply a sodium per-carbonate cleaner according to the directions on the container. This is appropriate regardless of the age of the deck, since it will work on both new and older lumber to remove undesirable substance. If there is a layer of old stains on the wood, you may need to apply a stain stripper as well.

Finish off with a wood brightener and you will find the effect dramatic and beautiful. Then, rinse for all you are worth. Use lots of water and a bit of pressure, rinsing until all the chemicals have washed off. Let the wood dry thoroughly.

Step 2: Picking and Applying your Stain

Your options include water and oil based stain. Each has specific advantages. Water based stain dries faster, is less flammable, and maintains its color for a longer period. Oil based stain protects better against the elements, dries more slowly allowing for a more even application of color, and is more durable, meaning you have to apply it less often.

No matter which you choose, oil, water or hybrid stain, make sure you get a good quality product. There are certainly off brand, cheaper options, but you will regret saving a few dollar when you see the results.

Stain can be applied with a brush, roller or even a sprayer, depending upon the viscosity of the material. Most people will use a brush, but if you have a large deck, you may want to consider the roller. Start in the far corner and work your way towards the door or stairs. Once you start, you don’t want to stop or take breaks so make sure you have enough time for the whole project.

Place a small amount of stain in a pan or cup and brush or roll it on the wood. Work a couple of boards at a time. You want to have a wet edge to work with when you move to the next board. Therefore, how many boards you work on at a time depends on how long they are and how humid the weather. Plan to cover all the board ends, fancy work and support members as well.

Step Three: Planning for the Next Time

Let the deck dry thoroughly before you use it. Once the stain is completely dry, you will be able to enjoy your beautiful deck year round, if the weather allows. Now, sit back and relax.

FYI: Different stains last for different amounts of time. You are better off anticipating that your stain will need to be reapplied in the shortest time mentioned by the manufacturer, usually a year or two. Avoid making unsightly stains upon your deck by grilling on the surface or leaving planters directly on the wood.

This is a piece taken from the DIY Only ebook. Get your free copy today.

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