Deck Staining

Deck Staining Archives from Great Expectations Painting

We get asked all the time for Deck Staining tips and tricks, however its difficult to put them all in one place! This archive covers our articles about deck staining, including deck repair, and deck care.

Deck Staining

When property looking to stain a deck, using the proper products and tools is our biggest secret. You need to make sure to use high quality stain or paint. While it make feel cheaper in the short term to use inferior products, you will regret it just a few years down the road!

Deck Repair

Sometimes rot just gets the better of your deck. We provide helpful tips for replacing and repairing your damaged deck portions. We also keep an archive of useful products that we use whenever performing any deck maintenance.

Deck Care

The best way to avoid unnecessary repairs to your deck is with proper maintenance. Great Expectations Painting often blogs about the best way to take care of your deck’s stain, structure, and weather resistance, ensuring you a beautiful, long lasting finish.

One last thing about decks.
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One last thing about decks.

One last thing about decks.Okay, I know we ended the Deck primer last week, but we have one last thing about decks: How to maintain them! After all the work we just put in to making it spotless and beautiful, you need to make sure it stays shiny! Proper deck maintenance drastically improves the amount of time your stain and sealant will keep looking new, so don’t skip the maintenance!

  1. Washing the Deck Early in the Year. Before the sun starts to pound down in the summer months, make sure you wash the deck thoroughly in early spring. It will help rinse off winters late blech (all the junk that sticks to the snow will now stick to your deck) and make sure you don’t develop any stains from debris. Without a proper washing, your deck can start to develop mold and mildew, resulting in rotting wood and a huge problem thats easily avoided! After you have washed the gunk off your deck, make sure the spaces between the wood are clear of debris. Its easiest to use a putty knife stuffed in the end of a PVC pipe so you don’t thrash your knees. By keeping the spacing between the wood clean, it will avoid rot and discoloration. An early spring deck washing is great for your deck, make sure and add it to your spring cleaning! PRO TIP: If you have bushes and plants surrounding your deck, make sure to cover them in plastic. You don’t want to wash all the gunk directly on to your lovely floral friends!
  2. One last thing about decks.Use some cleaning product. Last year, when you did all that deck work you originally cleaned it with product. You need to do that again to remove the scum/stains from the winter. Make sure the cleaner is SAFE for your stain! Even using diluted dish soap works well, basically anything that will remove grime will work. Don’t break the budget on some “name brand deck cleaner.” After you have chosen you product, put it into a 5 gallon bucket with the correct amount of water. Then apply to your deck with an “abrasive” application pad. The DIY-er in me says to just use anything: an old brush, mob, or broom, should do the trick. Make sure and use some old junk around the home rather then buying something. Thats for sissies. Don’t forget that your railings will need cleaned too! After cleaning, allow the deck time to completely dry.
  3. One last thing about decks.Replace missing screws/nails. Nobody has ever identified where they go, but nails and screws always come out of decks. When it is super clean is a great time to find the missing ones and replace them. Unless you are a stickler for details, any screws that are coated for outdoor use will work. You can also insert them directly into the missing screw holes, just use a slightly larger screw gauge.
  4. Check your ledger! The most important part of the deck, rotted ledger cause 90% of deck accidents. It is the piece of wood that connects your home to the deck (yes you will have to crawl under the deck to check it. We promise its worth it). If their is any gunk or signs or wear make sure and clean it while you’re down there! Since your already a mess and under your deck, feel free to check all the joists and connecters for any signs of damage. Because of the exposure outdoors, damage is always obvious (except with the ledger) so this should be easy to assess.

That should about cover it! Keeping it clean is easily the cheapest, most effective way to keep your deck looking great! A Good proper cleaning a few times a year will keep your deck happy and healthy!

Trust us, we’re professionals. To read our other deck care articles, click here!

Deck Staining Primer
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Deck Staining Primer: Clean-up

The Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer!

Part 4 (and…were done!)

deck staining primerOur deck staining primer will cover everything you need to know to have your deck looking amazing! Most DIY-ers and even contractors don’t take the steps to properly prep, coat, and seal your deck. With most things there is the “right” way to do the job, and thats what our deck staining primer will teach you! This week will cover clean-up!

By this point you have prepped, cleaned, and stained your beautiful deck. Now its time to carefully clean your deck. There are several key tips to ensuring your deck shows the beautiful work you’ve put into it! This will conclude our primer, and your deck will look flawless!

Step Four: Clean-Up and Disposal

deck staining primerBy this point (if you kept your yard clean) you have a fair amount of trash to throw away. Some of that trash is empty paint or stain cans and you need to properly dispose of harsh chemicals. DO NOT pour the stain down a storm drain or your own drain! There are tons of icky chemicals that will damage your plumbing system and the environment! You can always check with a local painting store (our favorite is Sherwin Williams). Most of the time they will take empty cans and dispose of them properly.

When you have left over stain (often kept for touch-up) make sure to store it properly. It needs to be sealed, stored below 90 degrees, and saved from freezing. Also, make sure your kiddos can’t find the stain! You can also donate the stain to charitable organizations. One of them is Freecycle. They will take your donation and put it to good use! Another great charity is PaintCare. They will take your paint and dispose of it properly and safely for the environment.

After you have parted ways with (or stored) your old stain, you can finish the deck job! After it has had enough time to dry, simply wash off your deck with water out of the hose! It will show the beautiful grain of the wood, quality of your stain, and it feels great under the feet!

This concludes the Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer! If you’re looking for an expert, drop us a line! We can’t wait to hear from you! To read our other deck care articles, click here!

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Deck Staining Primer: Application

The Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer!

Part 3 (of several, deck staining properly takes a lot of work)

Deck StainingOur deck staining primer will cover everything you need to know to have your deck looking amazing! Most DIY-ers and even contractors don’t take the steps to properly prep, coat, and seal your deck. With most things there is the “right” way to do the job, and thats what our deck staining primer will teach you! This week will cover choosing stain!

Once you have chosen the perfect stain and carefully cleaned the deck, you’re ready to start the application! Careful application of stain, and using techniques appropriately will help your stain last longer and look better!

Step Three: Stain Application

Once your stain is chosen, you’re ready to start the application! Applying stain the same day as you have cleaned  is a no-no. The deck needs the opportunity to separate from the cleaning supplies. A great way to test if your deck is ready for stain is the “water droplet test.” If you sprinkle a few droplets of water on the deck surface. If little droplets form, your deck still has sealant and won’t hold the new stain. Clean it again! If the droplets sink into the wood the deck is ready for application!

Deck Staining PrimerMake sure you apply the stain with the wood grain! Wood primarily absorbs stain with the wood grain, and this ensures proper coating. You will often be able to see tiny bubbles form on the wood when it is absorbing the stain. Don’t worry, your going to be back over the wood in a few minutes!

There are two schools of thought when applying stain: Brushed on and Sprayed. Spraying is always better then brushing, but a professional paint sprayer costs some serious cash. Its one of the reasons to hire a professional contractor!

When you start applying the stain, make sure and liberally coat your brush, then apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain. You need to leave enough stain on the wood to allow some absorption (and you will be back to remove excess stain). A little to much is better then not enough! Don’t worry to much about getting down the cracks between the boards, the stain will work its way down there without you. After each board is coated, allow them to “rest” for about 10 minutes, then back brush over the wood again, removing any excess stain from the wood. Work steadily, and apply the stain in the same manner to avoid any mistakes or blotted stain. Once you have fully back brushed the deck, allow to dry!

You’re done with the application!Deck Staining Primer

A few more tips from the professionals:

Avoid staining in direct sunlight/mid day. Cooler temperatures will help the stain to adhere to your deck, and will look better. Direct sunlight can also dry up the stain before it can be absorbed by the wood, resulting in color blotting. A beautiful cloudy day between 60-80 will be best for your deck stain!

Make sure to let the stain dry for 48 hours. You will be very tempted to get out the furniture and start grilling! Avoid the temptation and wait! You can damage the stain by putting furniture and foot oils on it before it dries!

Once the staining is done, the last step is clean up. We will cover clean up next week as we bring our deck staining primer to a close! To read our other deck care articles, click here!

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Deck Staining Primer: Stain.

The Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer!

Part 2 (of several, deck staining properly takes a lot of work)

Deck StainingOur deck staining primer will cover everything you need to know to have your deck looking amazing! Most DIY-ers and even contractors don’t take the steps to properly prep, coat, and seal your deck. With most things there is the “right” way to do the job, and thats what our deck staining primer will teach you! This week will cover choosing stain!

Deck stain is what gives color or “pop” to your deck. In addition to color and personality, stain also seals and protects your deck from the elements giving you longevity, and a custom deck look! The market is saturated with different choices for colors, finishes, and qualities. In this post we will go over some of the different types of stains, and which to choose for your particular deck!

Step two: Deck Stain

http://www.homedepot.com/b/Paint-Deck-Patio-Restoration/BEHR-Premium-DeckOver/N-5yc1vZc7gvZc4xThere are a million choices for deck staining! Different products, finishes, colors,…the list is literally endless! There are a few crucial choices you will want to make that help to identify the best stain for YOU.

First, identify what is most important to you: “color or protection.” If the natural look of wood is most important, they make clear stains that preserve the natural appearance of the wood. On the flip side, they also offer the least UV protection and longevity. Solid color stains completely change the color of your deck, but provide amazing protection and longevity for the stain. There are also several middle ground products (called semi-transparent stains and toners) that offer a mix of clear and solid stain downsides/benefits. Once you identify what is most important, you can choose which type of stain is best for your deck!

deck stainingThe other large consideration to make is how the deck interacts with your house color! When choosing a deep color stain, you need to make sure it will compliment your house color, instead of conflict! Deep color stained decks do not compliment neutral home colors! In contrast, natural wood does not complement deeply hued home colors! Make sure your deck staining complements the home as a whole!

Last consideration for this weeks post on deck staining: texture.

Recently, technology in deck stain has jumped dramatically forward. There are now some amazing products for decks that can allow you to add a fully textured product to your deck surface! This can change the color, and footing of your deck for the better! They come in a huge variety of colors, and are easy to apply. If you have an older deck with aging wood, or want to have a colored easy footing deck, gritted paint will work incredibly well for you! Home Depot offers many of these products, and we would recommend any but the cheapest (the grit is to small to notice).

Thats all for this weeks post! Tune in next week for more of our deck staining primer! To read our other deck care articles, click here!

Deck Staining Primer
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Deck Staining Primer: Cleaning.

The Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer!

Part 1 (of several, deck staining properly takes a lot of work)

Deck Staining PrimerOur deck staining primer will cover everything you need to know to have your deck looking amazing! Most DIY-ers and even contractors don’t take the steps to properly prep, coat, and seal your deck. With most things there is the “right” way to do the job, and thats what our deck staining primer will teach you! This week will cover deck staining preparation!

Arguably the most important part of any deck staining project, you must properly prep the deck for staining. This includes choosing the correct cleaning products, stain, and tools. Starting your deck stain correctly insures you will get the maximum amount of life from the products possible. By doing careful preparation, you are actively saving money!

We all like saving money, right?

Step one: Cleaning products.

Deck Staining PrimerThere are tons of cleaning products on the market. After a huge amount of trial and error, you’ll find you only need 2 things: a stain remover, and a finish remover. Stain remover pulls the chemicals from your last stain off the deck, allowing for better penetration of the new stain. If you don’t power wash and apply stain remover, you won’t get proper adhesion from your new stain. This will cost you half the life of the new stain. The specific product you choose doesn’t matter as much as you think, just apply liberally and power wash thoroughly.

Equally important is a finish remover. Finish remover basically “restores” your deck to how it looked when you installed it. It pulls all the surface coating from the wood, and allows you to “start from scratch.” Often overlooked (who wants to clean a deck twice) this will extend the life of the new stain, AND get you a more consistent stain color! There are a few products on the market for finish remover, but we typically use Sherwin William’s offering revive. Its great for the money, and does a fantastic job. Keep in mind that saving money is entirely up to you! There isn’t a specific product you must use, so feel free to “coupon cut” and find the best deal! Just make sure you use both stages and your deck will look great!

Deck Staining PrimerNotice: If your deck is composite or untreated pressure-treated wood!

Make sure and use a deck wash product instead of the above listed products. Composite and untreated wood typically isn’t coated with the same types of products, and the remover products are overkill! If you have a composite deck just buy a deck wash, and pressure wash thoroughly! Your deck will look amazing and be fully prepped for the staining!

That takes care of step on in our deck staining primer! Stay tuned for next weeks post on choosing your stain! To read our other deck care articles, click here!