There is no better expression of the Australian way of life than a deck. They offer everything we love: a great outdoor living space, somewhere to keep the BBQ, and a fantastic DIY opportunity! If you’re reading this, then the time has probably come for you to stain your deck. Over time, timber decks become grey, lifeless and even a little bit damaged. Don’t feel responsible though – that is just a cycle in the long life of your deck! So what can you do about it? Easy – re-stain your deck and it will look as good as new!
But before you do, let’s take a look at a few of the best deck staining tips. These tips are simple, quick and they will make all the difference. Although it is an easy job, it is possible to go wrong in a few simple areas. Doing a little bit of research will keep your deck staining project on the right track. The results: they will speak for themselves!
#1 Before you start, clean your deck!
If you are an avid DIYer, the temptation is probably there to jump straight in! We understand; the satisfaction of a DIY project well done is something that almost all homeowners crave. But, as with anything, it’s all about preparation. If you take the easy steps early on, you’ll be set up for a job well done! The first thing you need to do is clean your deck. And we don’t mean a general hose down. You are going to have to get in there and scrub. The idea here is to remove any mould, grease, oil, dirt, or wax. All of these products need more than a simple sweep to come off, and it’s very important that you remove them.
Surface contaminants can spoil the finish of your stain. Worse still, they can prevent the stain from soaking into the timber. The consequences of that will reveal themselves in a few week’s time! Still a bit unsure of how to kick this process off? We suggest starting with a simple sweep. Take a look at the timber – are there obvious mould patches? If so, you know what to do next! You can buy deck-cleaning products from your local hardware store, and a still bristled brush ought to be enough to break through the grime.
#2 Only sand your deck if it is old or deteriorated: this is one of the most important deck staining tips!
When you hear the words ‘timber restoration’ what comes to mind? For a lot of people, the first thing that pops up is sanding. For most timber projects, sanding is the key to success. But not always. In that regard, deck-staining tips are a bit of an outlier, because sanding is not always necessary. In fact, sometimes sanding can hinder a good result. So how do you know when to sand and when to leave it? The answer to this question lies in the purpose of your project: why do you stain a deck. Well, there is one main reason other than looks: protection.
A well-stained deck is protected from the elements. To get this protection, the stain needs to soak into the timber. If you sand the new decking timber, it will become too smooth to absorb the stain. As a result, the finish will be compromised. So always let your new deck weather for a season or two before you stain and only sand your deck if it is absolutely necessary.
#3 Choose your day carefully – rain can ruin your deck staining project!
So you’ve done your research and your preparation. Your deck is ready to go! What now? Well, here’s one of the most important deck staining tips – even for the experienced: watch out for rain! Water is the worst enemy of a deck-staining project. And it’s a silent enemy. You can do your preparation to the highest standard and it still won’t save you from the rain. If you are planning a deck-staining project, the weatherman will be your best friend. Keep an eye on that forecast for a day or two in advance. In a region like Southeast Queensland, the weather can turn in an instant. So you want to be absolutely certain that the sky won’t rain on your deck-staining parade!
#4 Select a suitable stain
When it comes to deck staining tips, this one can get a little technical. But it doesn’t have to be! If you are ok with a pretty generic stain, then you shouldn’t encounter any difficulties choosing your stain. On the other hand, if you are a bit of a perfectionist, you may have an agonising choice to make: which stain do you use? There are so many different stains available. You can get stains that are water-based, oil-based, different shades and with different drying times. Sure, the differences may be subtle, but for a lot of people the devil is in the detail. So take your time and look at your options. In some cases, you can even mix stains for the perfect finish. But we recommend speaking to an expert before you try anything too fancy – not all stains will mix well!
#5 What tools will you need? Luckily, not many!
Now it’s time for the last of our deck staining tips: choosing your tools. Any passionate DIY fan will probably have an abundance of tools at the ready. Which ones will you need? For this project, not many! Deck staining is pretty straightforward. You will probably only need a good broom, a sturdy brush, a deck applicator brush and a paintbrush. Of course, feel free to mix things up if you want to! Another thing you might want to have at the ready is a hammer and nail punch. Any exposed nails will have to be put in their place before the staining begins, so keep an eye out during the cleaning! Finally, if your deck is really in need of some loving, you will need some sanding equipment. But remember, only sand if it is absolutely necessary!
Is it time to stain the deck in your home? Contact the experts in deck staining at Brisbanes Finest Floors today on 0411 220 488.