Deck Staining Dos and Don’ts

Spring has finally sprung, which means the warm weather might encourage you to spend more time outdoors. Subsequently, this is the ideal time of year to fire up the grill and enjoy a meal out on the deck. But before you invite your friends and family over for an amazing barbecue, you might want to take a closer look at your entertaining space. If your deck has seen better days, it may be time to consider your choices for wood stains and get to work. Before you do, however, you’ll want to keep these important dos and don’ts in mind.

When Staining Your Deck, Do…

  • Prep Your Surface: If you fail to clean a wood surface prior to applying stain and varnish, you’ll end up regretting it. In order for wood stains to adhere properly, the working surface needs to be free of dirt, rough spots, and debris. You’ll need to sweep and clean your deck prior to applying any type of deck paint or stain to ensure the final result looks its best. Be sure to give your deck ample time to dry, as well.
  • Take the “Less is More” Approach: When applying wood stains, it’s much better to err on the side of caution. In many cases, one coat will be enough, though two may be required; applying extra coats will just end up compromising the look of your deck and the stain’s ability to stand the test of time. Opt for thin coats to prevent puddles and to obtain a uniform finish.

When Staining Your Deck, Don’t…

  • Stain a Brand New Deck: If you’ve recently installed a new deck on your property and are eager to use wood stain colors to achieve your desired look, you’re going to need to delay your project for a little bit. The natural woods used in your deck actually need time to season and to release excess moisture. If you attempt to use wood stains on newer decks, you’ll end up with a poor final result that won’t take the stain well. You should wait at least six months to apply a stain, though you should follow your contractor’s precise recommendations to ensure best results.
  • Choose the Wrong Product: Choosing the right stain for your wood type and for your goals is key. If your deck already has a stain on it, this will affect the type of stain you’re able to use the second time ’round. You may also want to give consideration to the ingredients in the stains available to you. Although studies have found that organic levels can be two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, you’ll also want to use eco friendly wood stains on exterior structures like decks and porches. The lack of VOCs in these products can promote better health when applying the stain and enjoying your deck while reducing your environmental impact.

Now that you’re more familiar with the dos and don’ts of staining your deck, you’ll be in a great position to choose and apply the proper products. For more information on our stains, varnishes, and paints suitable for exterior applications, please contact us today.


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