Spending time outdoors on your deck or patio is a sure sign that warmer weather has arrived! Decks are exposed to harsh conditions including rain, sunlight, and the normal wear and tear of life. Staining your deck is a step you should take to keep your deck looking good for years to come. When it comes to choosing the best deck stain, you have lots of choices. In general, the more opaque the stain, the better chance it has of against the weather. Wood decks require re-staining every few years, and it is more complicated than simply pressure washing and applying a new coat of stain. The old layer of stain will need to be stripped off before cleaning the deck and making it stain ready.
The last thing you want to is to begin your project and see rain, be sure to check your weather forecasts to choose the right weekend to stain a deck. Go slow! Take your time and be sure to go slowly to prevent over-spraying, spills, and a sloppy finish. If your deck is new, cleaning it really well requires removing the “mill scale” that would prevent the stain from penetrating the pores of the wood.
Older decks have a lot of dirt! They also undergo fading from the rays of the sun. Older decks can also be known to grow mildew in places that may not dry very easily. If you have any buildup of old stains on your deck, you will need to use a stain stripper to remove them. The chemicals involved in this process are more caustic so please be sure to follow the directions carefully. Any spots that of stain that does not come off during the cleaning process can usually be removed with a palm-type sander. This can be done pretty easily once the deck has dried. Any old spots will really be noticeable after you apply your new coat of stain so don’t cut any corners here!
After you apply your first coat of stain, sometimes a second coat is needed. Most wood stains require at least four hours to dry per 100 square feet, so be patient! House Doctors recommends waiting a full day in between staining and putting your furniture back. Remember, deck stains require time to cure!