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Do-It-Yourself Deck Staining Steps

Aug 23, 2008
Perhaps you don't consider yourself a "do-it-yourselfer." That's okay: deck staining can usually be accomplished even by greenhorns. All it takes is the right tools, a good deck staining product and following some basic advice.

Step #1: Choosing your deck staining product. What you'll choose will depend on the type and age of your wood. There are four major choices when it comes to deck stain: transparent/clear, wood-toned, semi-transparent and solid/opaque. If your deck is older, the wood will probably be fairly weathered. In this case, you may need a solid stain to cover up flaws. Conversely, if it is currently stained opaque, you'll probably need to continue on a similar course. Newer decks can be treated with just about any type of stain. Clear stains will simply enhance the natural look of the wood. Darker stains will change the look. For example, pine may be passed off as oak with the right color deck staining product.

Like many other products, you get what you pay for. Don't skimp on deck staining products. Better-quality ingredients cost more, but they'll protect your investment from rot. You may extend the life of your deck by several years simply by choosing a high-quality stain.

Step #2: Stripping your wood. You'll need to strip the entire deck and remove the old stain. Stripping accomplishes two important things. First, it evens out the surface of the wood. This makes applying the new product much easier. Second, stripping is essential if you are changing deck staining colors. If traces of the old stain are left behind, it will affect the way the new color looks. Stripping away the old stain is vital to achieve a clean and even look.

Step #3: Cleaning. Now that you've removed all traces of the old deck staining, it's time to clean. Don't assume that stripping has gotten rid of dirt. Take the time that is necessary to really scrub away blemishes, plus the dust left behind from stripping. A wide-angle pressure washer is much more effective than a garden hose. It is recommended in order to ensure that the new stain adheres properly. If you need to get rid of mold or mildew, use chlorine bleach. Just be sure that the concentration isn't too strong, since this can eat away at the wood. Bleach alone may not get rid of dirt and grime. In this case, follow up bleach with a deck cleaner containing oxalic acid. Be sure to let your deck dry out thoroughly before applying new deck staining.

Step #4: Apply the stain. There are a few ways to do this (i.e. roller, sprayer). However, the good old-fashioned paint brush is still the best way. It may take longer, but the results will be unbeatable. A paintbrush does a more thorough job of getting the stain deep into the cracks and crevices of the wood. The better the penetration, the more protection you'll get. Rain water is adept at finding breaches, and that's where deck rot begins. So cover your deck thoroughly and evenly to prevent water damage. Follow the manufacturer's directions when it comes to the number of coats recommended. Don't stop with one if the label says to coat it twice.

Step #5: Let it cure. Ideally you should wait days before opening your deck up to foot traffic or moving furniture. Following the manufacturer's directions regarding drying/curing time ensures that your hard work won't be wasted. Your deck staining job will look great, and will protect your home from the ravages of weather.
About the Author
Find out more about deck staining and deck cleaners or contact Shane Hester at WebFirstCreations for quality website marketing .
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