Many people may think they know how to stain a deck. In fact, they may have even gone through the process one or more times. But in order to get results that not only look nice, but also last, there are a few tips that everyone should know.
Tip#1: Preparation is the real key to the overall, final result
If a homeowner puts stain on wood that is not prepared, that stain might look nice for awhile, but it will not last long. The wood on any deck needs to be thoroughly cleaned and prepared, even if the deck is brand new. New lumber will need cleaning so that the mill scale can be removed. This mill scale is the crushing that takes place during the milling process. If new lumber is not cleaned, the wood stain might not get through the surface of the wood. Older decks likely have dirt, mildew, stains, and even graying from sunlight that need to be removed before they can be stained. Homeowners can use power washers for the tough portions, but sodium percarbonate wood cleaners are also good for cleaning. This material can effectively clean wood, but it also will not hurt plants that are around the deck. On decks that are really tough, stain strippers might also be in order. This material needs to be applied carefully following all directions. It can help remove old stain as well as dirt and grime.
Tip#2: Follow directions, more is not always better
Every deck staining material is slightly different. In order to get the best results, it is imperative to follow the directions on the label precisely. Even if a homeowner thinks he knows how to stain a deck, simply take a few minutes to read the directions so all of the right information has been gathered before beginning. Take a look at how many coats are needed and how long one coat needs to sit before another is added. Also take note of how long one needs to wait between cleaning and staining and how long the stain takes to fully dry. After reading directions, homeowners may automatically understand that more stain is not always better in terms of how to stain a deck to perfection. Decks are best stained when the homeowner can still see the grains in the wood and enjoy its natural beauty. The wood needs to breathe, so never apply too much of any product.
Tip#3: Maintenance equals longevity
Once a homeowner understands how to stain a deck, the key to keeping the area nice is maintenance. Washing the deck down on a regular basis will keep the damage to the finish at bay. When the deck needs to be re-stained, it will be easier.