Water can take a significant toll on the finish of your wooden deck, regardless of whether this moisture is from heavy rainstorms or mounds of snow. You will be able to tell if your deck’s protective stain is still effective if it is repelling water. If it is not, then it is time to apply a new protective stain.
Consumer Reports performs testing on dozens of various types of stains to determine which ones are the most effective. The most effective stains should last somewhere between three and five years. This testing process is performed by applying two coats of the stain to pine boards and placing them on the roof in direct sunlight for up to three years. Keep reading to learn a few tips on how to stain your deck.
Check the Weather Forecast
Wood stain is unable to properly adhere to damp wood, and it will end up cracking and peeling. When it has not rained for a few days and dry weather is in the forecast with temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees, you should apply stain to the dry wood. Faster drying will occur when the humidity is lower. You may have a problem if you choose to stain the wood in the direct sunlight, as the stain will dry too quickly and the wood will be unable to properly absorb it.
Prep the Wood Surface
Any wood that you intend to stain needs to be free of any dirt and debris so that the stain is able to adhere fully. To begin, you should sand any splintered areas. Make sure that you wear the proper safety gear so that you do not inhale any dust during this process. Afterward, sweep the deck. A putty knife can be used to clean in between all the boards, and a deck cleaner can be used to clean the wood. Alternatively, a pressure washer can be used to clean off the wood, but if you do this, you will need to wait a couple of days for the wood to thoroughly dry.
Utilize the Proper Paint Brushes
When applying a water-based stain onto your wood, you should opt for synthetic brushes. Brushes with natural bristles will end up absorbing the water in the stain, causing them to go limp. If you would like to use a roller, make sure that you use one that has a nap that is no larger than ¼ inch, allowing you to apply a thin layer of stain.
Match the Stain with the Wood
Every stain has its own set of advantages, and you will need to take the stain that is currently on your deck into consideration. For instance, if there is a solid stain on your deck now, you will be unable to apply a clear or semitransparent stain on top of it due to the fact that the solid stain plugs up the pores of the wood. However, it is possible for a solid stain to be applied on top of other types of stains.
Apply Only Thin Coats
If you are going to be using multiple gallons of stain, you should mix them together to ensure that the color is consistent. Then, you should use long and smooth strokes when applying the stain. Try to apply the stain to a couple of boards at one time. Solid stain should be applied in thin coats, and clear and semitransparent stains should be applied even thinner. In doing so, you will prevent puddles from developing so that the flake does not flake when it dries. Regardless of the type of stain that is used, a couple of coats should be applied to make sure no spots are missed and that a uniform finish is achieved.
For more information about staining your deck or to get a quote, contact Brazos Labor.