I having spent my entire adult life working with paints and stains and I’ve seen my share homeowners who end up dissatisfied with their deck staining projects. Either it didn’t look as good as they wanted it to, or the Denver weather deteriorates their finish in just a couple of seasons. Here is a guide to help guarantee a great looking, long-lasting result.
Take your time to allow new pressure treated lumber to weather for a few months and dry out before staining it. Allow stain strippers to be left on the surface long enough to break down old finishes before you rinse it off. Take your time to prevent overspray and spills on non-target surfaces and wait to start your project until the weather forecast is favorable. With every step of the staining process, take your time. When the project is completed and your tools are cleaned and put away, nothing will have had a greater impact on the quality of the job.
The preparation of the deck is just as important as the staining!
Preparation is key to a long lasting stain finish. Wood must be cleaned thoroughly before applying any type of coating. New lumber needs to be cleaned to remove mill scale. Mill scale is a crushing of the grain that takes place during the milling process. If left un-cleaned, it will prevent wood stains from penetrating into the wood surface.
With older decks dirt, graying from the sun, mildew and old stains all need to be removed prior to staining. Sodium Percarbonate wood cleaners, also known as oxygen bleach wood cleaners, is the preferred choice for this step. They are highly effective at cleaning the deck, yet won’t harm plant life and vegetation.
If the deck has a build up of old stains the job gets a little tougher but not impossible. But a sodium percarbonate cleaner will not do the job. You will need to use a stain stripper. Strippers are a little more caustic so be sure to follow the instructions carefully. They will work great and remove most weathered stains in a single application.
If there are small spots of stain that won’t come off during the cleaning process, they should sand off easily using a palm-type sander after the deck has dried. If those spots of stain are left on the deck, they will show through the new finish and detract from the deck’s final appearance. Whether your deck is brand new, or an older deck that’s been out in the weather and needs to be re-stained, preparation is crucial to the end results.
Brighteners work wonders.
This is the step I see missed more than any other when homeowner stain their deck themselves and it is by far the easiest step to do. Using a wood brightener will have a dramatic effect on the final results. A wood brightener is extremely easy to apply. Using a wood brightener opens up the surface of the wood ans will improve penetration. Wood brighteners also help to neutralize any stain strippers that were used as well as restore the appearance of old, weathered wood to like new again. this step accomplishes a lot of things for one step.
Cheap products are cheap for a reason!
Now that you have spent all this time and effort preparing the deck, don’t skimp when you purchase your stain. Before you decide which stain to buy, bare in mind you always get what you pay for. Better ingredients cost more money. If you want premium results you will need to buy a premium product. There are different qualities when it comes to resins, pigments, mildewcides and many other materials that make up a gallon of wood stain. So stay away from the cheap stuff if you want it to last.
Follow the instructions.
Every staining product is a different. Always read the label for directions. It only takes a few minutes and it will ensure that you have all of the right information before you get start your project. It is important to pay attention to how many coats of stain to apply, how long to wait between coats, how long to wait after cleaning and how long to allow wood to weather. Reading the label first will help you get it right the first time!
DOWD RESTORATION is a trusted and knowledgeable contractor in the Denver area. If you have questions about your deck staining project, Give us a call.
Call Us – 303-522-8730