The Great Expectations Painting Deck Staining Primer!
Part 3 (of several, deck staining properly takes a lot of work)
Our 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!
Make 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!
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!