How to Stain a Wooden Deck to Extend its Lifespan
Your wooden deck takes a lot of beating from harsh weather, regular footfall, and the occasional spills from summer barbecue parties and evening cocktails. To extend the lifespan of the wood and strengthen it against damage, you may want to understand how to stain a wooden deck. While you can find several websites online that explain the process to you, it is advisable that you rely on expert consultants like the ones at the Benjamin Moore store to direct you on how to go about the project and the perfect stains to choose for your deck. Undertake this project at least once in a couple of years and you can prolong the life of your deck and have it looking new for a good long while.
Check the Deck for the Need for Sealer and Repair Damage
The grains of wooden decks are susceptible from damage from the harsh UV rays of the sun and rainwater. But, by applying a good quality sealer, you’ll apply a protective coat that can protect the wood. The best way to test it is to pour a little water on the deck. If the water soaks into the wood, it needs to be treated, but if it remains in tiny droplets on the surface, you can safely move on to the staining. If you need more information about how to choose sealers, read the details on How Stuff Works.
When learning about how to stain a wooden deck, you’ll understand that the first step involves undertaking any repairs the deck may need. These can include checking for splintering, broken boards, and displaced nails. In case the wood has become warped, you may need to replace some of the planks. Once you’ve taken care of the repairs, check for dry, sunny weather in the next week or so and move on to the next step.
Clean the Deck Thoroughly
Before staining the deck, you may want to remove all dirt and debris carefully. Sweep up the deck and check for any oil stains that may need a special cleansing solution. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply the solution, allow it to work, and remove by rinsing the deck. Dirt and all kinds of debris can get lodged in the grains of the wood making the staining uneven and ineffective. Possibly, the most effective method is to try pressure cleaning. However, you may want to call in the experts to handle the cleaning for you. That’s because excessive and uneven pressure can gouge out dents in the wood damaging it beyond repair. You’ll also need to use the equipment with extreme caution like this feature on Consumer Reports recommends.
Prepare the Deck for the Staining
Once the cleaning is complete, the next step in the how to stain a wooden deck manual is to let the wood dry entirely. For this reason, it is recommended that you choose dry, sunny weather for the project. You may also want to choose a shady time of the day or shade the area with tarp to prevent direct sunlight from hitting the deck. When staining wood, you need to color to dry slowly so that you can avoid overlap and brush marks that show uneven strokes. Next, choose 80-grit sandpaper and sand down the planks for smoothness. Like the folks at the DIY Network advise, you may want to use a dry brush to remove any dust or dirt caught between the boards and you’re ready to begin.
Choose the Right Stain Color
When exploring how to stain a wooden deck, you’ll learn that there is a wide variety of staining colors available in the market starting with lighter finishes that show off the wood’s natural grains to darker hues. However, do keep in mind that darker colors are more opaque and prevent sun and weather damage to the wood. If you would like to stain your deck a specific color, you can opt for the solid and vibrant or semi-transparent shades that allow you to change the natural color of the wood. Such shades are available in browns, reds, greens, and even, bluish tones.
Collect the Materials and Get Started
Should you walk into a store and say that you want to know how to stain a wooden deck; the consultants will likely help you with the supplies and all other information. Here are some of the typical materials you’ll need for a DIY project.
- Pressure washing equipment in case you intend to clean the deck yourself
- Painter’s tape to cover the siding of the walls around the deck to prevent accidental stains
- High-grade deck stain (check with the store for directions on how much you’ll need according to the area of your deck)
- Paint stirring paddle
- Paintbrush measuring 3” preferably made with natural bristles
- Paint pad attached to a pole and tray
- Paint roller
- Drop cloth
The experts at HGTV explaining to you on how to stain a wooden deck will tell you to plan your project so you know exactly where you’ll begin and the point where the staining ends. Since you can’t walk on wet stain, it is advisable to back away off the deck into a doorway or down the stairs.
The Actual Process
Find a good spot to set up your supplies where you can reach them easily and spread out a drop cloth to catch any spills. Pour out the stain into the paint tray and stir it up well. Dip the paint pad and begin staining the deck using even motions. You can also use a roller, but know that a brush is the most effective tool since it can get between the boards and into the grains better. Take care to work on one vertical section at a time so you don’t leave splotches because of spilling. You can also consider making one pass with the roller and then going over the section with a paint brush for more effective results. You’ll need to give the stain at least 24 hours to dry before you can move the patio or deck furniture back.
Stand back and admire your handiwork. With this project, you’ll have given the wood a protective covering that will prolong its durability by at least 15 to 20. Give it a fresh coat regularly and love the finish you get.