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Key Steps to Staining Wood Decks

Jun 8, 2008
Wood decks are a backyard institution, but they need proper care. One of the most important steps you can take to keep your wood deck looking great is staining. Staining can be costly, so you'll want to take some steps to make sure that your staining job is up to par. From choosing deck cleaners to applying the stain, there are a few key points to remember so your deck looks like it's been professionally stained.

First, it's important to prepare your deck with a proper cleaning. Deck cleaning takes a full day and can be the difference between an amateur- or professional-looking stain. Find out what type of deck cleaner you need. Different types of stains require different chemicals, so assess the damage before purchasing deck cleaners. Whether you have basic debris, old paint or severe discoloration, you'll want to make sure the deck cleaners you use will do the job.

Make sure you rinse the deck well after you use cleaning solutions. Even the seemingly harmless chemicals can resurface to wreak havoc on your deck after it's been stained. Rinse the cleaning solution off well and let the deck dry thoroughly before applying the stain.

It's a great idea to use a brightener before staining. Brighteners make the wood more porous, enabling better staining. They also help neutralize any chemicals left over from the cleaning process. They are easy to apply since they are just "spray-and-leave" products.

When choosing your staining product, remember that there are a couple of different types. Traditional oil-based products are considered to be more durable, but water-based stains are improving. Water-based stains also have no solvents to pollute the air and are much easier to clean up than oil-based products. Many of these products are synthetic, making them resistant to mold and mildew.

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and don't overdo it. Since many staining products are semi-transparent, it pays to be conservative when staining. Too much product may look great at first, but will quickly peel off and cause a terrible mess. The natural look and grain of the wood should show through the stain.

Make sure you have both a roller and a paintbrush handy. The roller is great for covering large surfaces, but a good paintbrush will enable you to make the stain perfect. When using the brush on handrails, be careful that you don't drip stain onto the deck below. This causes dark spots to appear on an otherwise perfect wood deck.

Take your time when staining wood decks. This is the one factor that will make or break the job. Even though the whole process may take a while, the end result will be worth it if you take your time. Every step of the way, check your wood deck to see if you're satisfied. If you're not happy with the deck cleaning after one pass, work in small sections and clean it again. Maintaining a wood deck requires a few days of hard work, but a beautiful finish on a clean deck is something to cherish.
About the Author
Learn more about deck staining and deck stains or contact Shane Hester at WebFirstCreations for quality blog marketing .
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