Staining A New Deck
A new deck should weather for at least 4-6 months before staining. New wood is full of moisture and will reduce the stains ability to penetrate the wood. Simply put, if you don’t wait you’re risking the quality look that you want. Clean the deck thoroughly by using a deck cleaner to remove dirt and grime that reside on existing decks. Wood cleaner also removes mill scale (crushed wood grain) from new lumber. Then apply a wood brightener to give you a head start on enhancing your project.
Different stains have different application requirements, so always read the directions first. Some directions may provide helpful hints, that you might not have known, that could make the difference both in ease of application and final appearance. You need to apply the right amount so that you achieve the appearance you desire while allowing the wood to remain healthy and resist peeling. Trust the stain manufacturer and your deck stain pro on how much should be applied.
Staining An Old Deck
Staining an old deck is similar to a new one, though there are important differences you need to recognize before settling on a strategy. The fastest approach usually involves a water-soluble deck stripper, cleaned off with a pressure washer. A pressure washer is a nice tool to have for preparing a new deck for finishing, but it’s virtually mandatory for stripping an old deck finish. Just be careful. Pressure washers can easily damage your deck if you let the tip come too close to the wood.
Just like a new deck, boost the effect of your deck with a wood brightener. It will help restore the appearance of old, weathered wood, and will help to open the surface of the wood for better stain penetration. It’s a quick step that will pay off in the end. When staining, don’t coat more than twice. Too much deck finish can encourage peeling by trapping moisture in the wood. Over coating is a common cause for deck finish failure. If you want to get premium, longer-lasting results, you should be willing to pay for a premium product.