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How to Stain a Deck

Nothing sets off a beautiful veranda more perfectly than an elegantly stained deck. Wood stain adds an instant touch of class and style to your decking, and prevents things like splinters and cracks. Depending on its exposure to the weather, a deck should be re-stained every two-three years to keep it in optimum condition, so we’ve put together a guide on how to go about doing this yourself.

Preparation

In preparation for staining, your deck needs to be both clean and dry. This means that if you have a deck that is exposed to the sun and rain it’s best to wait for a spate of dry sunny days. As a matter of fact, even if your deck is undercover, it is still best to wait for dry weather, as moisture can still penetrate from the sides etc and affect the quality of your stain.

For cleaning, we recommend using a wood-cleaning agent (available at good hardware stores) and a stiff wire brush affixed to the end of a broom. Scrub the deck thoroughly to remove any mould, discolouration or ground-in dirt, so that when you go to stain you are working with a smooth and clean area.

It’s also a good idea to replace any popped nails or screws that look like they’re on the way out, smooth out any cracks with a sander and generally complete all the little maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off! The better the condition of your deck before staining, the better your stain will look.

Process

When you begin the staining process, you should remember to always start with the handrails. Any drips and spills (although you should still try to prevent them) will fall onto un-stained wood and will therefore not damage the final stain finish. Use a high quality and sturdy brush that is not going to shed bristles in your deck–the last thing you want to be doing is picking brush-hairs out of the finish all Summer! Use purposeful strokes going in one direction and make sure you have an even coat of stain. Repeat as per the instructions on your stain product, but a few things to remember are:

  • The darker colour stain you use, the more susceptible it is to sun damage as it will attract heat and therefore age more quickly. If you live in a particularly sunny region and your deck is exposed to a lot of sunlight, it is a good idea to consider lighter colours for longevity.
  • Choose a colour that blends with your existing aesthetic
  • Ensure you follow directions specific to your staining product.

A beautiful stained wood finish can be the perfect touch to complete a new pergola or veranda. As long as you maintain the wood, you will enjoy the space with your family for years to come.

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