This time of year is crunch time for those last-minute weekend DIY projects, before all the holiday craziness ensues. With that said, one of the last items on your fall checklist is “staining the deck,” an important task before the first big winter freeze. Staining and sealing your deck will guarantee that come spring its color and durability are maintained. Although you could wait until the cold weather ends to do this, by then your deck may show significant signs of wear and tear. Follow the steps below and you’ll be all set for patio cookouts when summer rolls around!
Prep Your Deck
Before you can start to clean or apply anything to the deck surface, you must first clear it of any furniture and remove caked-on dirt and grime. So simply said, remove your patio set, benches, plant pots, etc. so that you are only left with the deck itself. Once everything is out of the way, use a pressure washer to rinse the surface. The beauty of using a pressure washer is that it has enough power to remove otherwise tough-to-remove residue. You really want to clean the deck thoroughly before applying any stain or sealer, or else it may diminish the finish. You may also consider covering any close-by plants with plastic tarp so that they aren’t harmed by chemicals.
Once you’re all set to begin applying the stain, the real fun begins. A hand-held paint sprayer is a really good tool for this part of the process because it ensures consistent, uniform coverage and it is much quicker than using a paint brush or roller, heaven forbid! For more on paint sprayers, visit this blog post. Fill the sprayer with the stain and spray it evenly from one end of the deck to the other in a steady, vertical pattern. Be sure not to leave any gaps between sections by overlapping each row. And don’t worry, this method makes complete coverage an attainable goal. Keep in mind however, that more is not better in this instance – you want to avoid puddles and over-application.
The Finishing Touch
After applying stain to your entire deck surface, you may want to use sealer for maximum protection. If you are going to do this, wait two days for the stain to completely dry. Then apply sealer with a paint brush or paint roller, sorry the paint sprayer won’t work as well with sealer. And once your deck is dry, voila, you now have a beautiful, protected deck. Check your deck periodically (every spring and fall) by splashing water on the surface to see if it is repelled. If so, then you are safe to wait a while longer before reapplying stain and sealer, but if it absorbs, then you’ll know it’s time to get out your pressure washer and paint sprayer once again!
About the Author
Jack Runyon is the president of Runyon Equipment Rental. He has 21 years of rental experience, as the 3rd generation son to carry on the family tradition and his grandfather’s vision. He prides the company for its devotion to ethics, quality products and customer service. Jack is known for his passion and vast expertise.