STAINING YOUR DECK
Decks are a great place to relax and entertain—they really are like outdoor rooms. But, because decks are exposed to the elements, as well as a lot of foot traffic, they require maintenance to keep them protected. Properly staining your deck can help maintain its beauty through years of barbecues.
These easy-to-follow simple steps will help you learn how to stain deck and avoid deck problems and get professional-looking results you’’ll be proud of.
PREPARE THE DECK SURFACE
Before staining your deck, be sure the wood is dry and free of contaminants. Stain that’s applied to damp surfaces won’t adhere well and can crack or peel.
A FEW TIPS BEFORE YOU GET STARTED STAINING YOUR DECK
Apply stain when air and wood surface temperatures are between 50°—90°F. Avoid applying in direct sunlight.
Don’t apply stain if rain is in the forecast over the next 12—24 hours.
Test a small area first and let it dry to make sure you’re pleased with the result.
If you’re covering a large area and using multiple gallons, mix them together to ensure color consistency.
HOW TO APPLY STAIN
Natural bristle brushes are the best choice for effectively working the stain into the wood fibers and cells.
Start by heavily coating the open end-grain of the boards. Then brush 2—3 boards at a time, from one end to the other in long, smooth strokes.
To avoid “lap marks” make sure that the leading edge is kept wet and that wet stain is brushed into wet stain.
On new decks, apply only one coat of oil-based deck finishes.
For composite decking—that’s decking made from recycled plastic materials and wood—follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Keep in mind more stain is not better. If you over-apply, stain may peel or crack when exposed to moisture, or produce a sticky surface which can prevent it from drying properly.