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How to Stain a Deck: 6 Simple Steps for Deck Staining

How to Stain a Deck: 6 Simple Steps for Deck Staining

Over the years, you may have noticed your outdoor deck deteriorated in its physical appearance. This is typical since your deck is exposed to many different types of weather conditions, ranging from the summer rain to the winter hail. Fortunately, you can give your deck a new makeover with the deck staining process.

How do you get started and stain an outdoor deck? Your first order of business is to choose the appropriate type of deck stain. Most deck stains are categorized into these four different types:

• The first type is the transparent deck stain, which is also known as a wood toner.

• The second type is the semi-transparent deck stain, which offers more pigmentation than transparent deck stains.

• The third type is the semi-coloured deck stain.

• The fourth type is the opaque or coloured deck stain.

While there are many deck stain options to choose from, your final decision is mostly determined by aesthetics. Once you decided on the type of deck stain you are going to be using, here is a step-by-step process on how to stain a deck:

1. Choose a Deck Stain

Choose a deck stain.

When choosing a deck stain, remember that the opacity of the stain determines how resistant it will be against wear and tear. An opaque deck stain will carry more resistance. If you want to maintain the beauty of the wood’s natural grain on your deck, go for either the transparent or semi-transparent deck stains instead.

If your endgame is to have deeper and more vibrant tones on your deck, either coloured or semi coloured deck stains will do just fine. No matter what deck stains you choose, just make sure the stain colour complements the rest of your home’s theme.

2. Inspect the Deck

Inspect the Deck

Before staining your deck, it is important to identify any imperfections on the deck. These include broken screws, broken pieces of wood, or warped pieces of wood and nails that have risen above the surface. The goal is to make the deck surface as smooth as possible. Otherwise, you may damage the deck stain or make it look uneven in its application.

After finishing your inspection, utilize your best judgment to determine whether the imperfections need repair. In some cases, these parts may have to be removed or replaced entirely.

3. Clean the Deck

Clean the Deck

Cleaning the deck is one of the most essential steps in the deck staining process. If you have already developed the habit of giving your deck a thorough cleaning every season, it shouldn’t take too much effort to prep it for staining.

Wood expands and contracts depending on the temperature. When it expands, grime and dirt can easily get into it. Start by sweeping any loose and noticeable debris found on the surface. Pay close attention to spaces between the boards. This is because if debris is left unattended, it starts to rot and eventually infects the entire deck.

Next, pour a mixture of water and your preferred cleaning solution into a bucket. Dip a scrub brush into the bucket, making sure the bristles are completely submerged under the solution. Then, take it out and start scrubbing the deck. It is advisable to scrub your deck in the same direction as the wood grain. For areas that might be difficult to get to with the scrub brush, use a small sponge to get the job done.

After you are done scrubbing your deck with the cleaning solution, rinse it off with a garden hose. The final step is to let the deck air out until it is completely dry. How fast your deck will dry depends on how much sun there is. Generally, it should take up to a day or two. Having a clean deck will allow better absorption and curing of the stain.

4. Check the Weather Reports

Check the Weather Reports

The general rule is that you should not stain your deck if rain is expected within 24-48 hours. If it happens to rain just after you apply the deck stain, the rainwater will rinse it off, and all your hard work will have gone to waste.

5. Stain the Deck

Stain the Deck

There are several ways of applying stain on a deck. The two most popular options involve using a roller or a pump-garden sprayer. Regardless of the application method, make sure you have a paintbrush with you. The friction and agitation caused by a paintbrush allows the wood to absorb the stain better.

When applying the stain, use the paintbrush to back-brush it in to improve penetration. If you stain your deck using a transparent deck stain or a semitransparent stain, make sure the coats are thin. If you are using a coloured or semi-coloured deck stain, apply a maximum of two layers. To avoid lap marks when using a coloured deck stain, apply the stain to sections of the decking board one at a time.

6. Wait for it to Dry

Wait for it to Dry

Deck stains take 24 to 48 hours to dry up depending on the type of wood it is applied on, and the temperature and humidity of your location. Make sure there is no activity on the deck until it’s completely dry.

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