Spring is the best time to stain your deck. The humidity is low and you have a good chance of getting it done before too much rain comes. Your deck is where most of the summer fun happens, so make sure it’s ready to go this summer with these steps.
Clean and Wash the Deck
The stain will not stick to the surface if it is dirty. Start by sweeping off the surface to get the loose dirt and dust off. Next, you’ll want to get a deck wash. You can purchase some online or you can make your own. If you are purchasing your deck wash you can go cheaper with Thompson’s Deck Wash or go a little pricier with GE’s Weathermate. To make your own use 1/3 cup of powdered laundry detergent, 1 quart of household bleach, 3 quarts of warm water, and a 5-gallon bucket. Just make sure that the bleach does not have ammonia in it because the combination with the bleach will create toxic gases. Work the solution into the wood and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse with water. Wait for about two days for the wood to dry thoroughly before staining.
Sand, Sweep, and Cover Flowers and Shrubs
Once the deck is clean and rinsed, begin sanding any areas that have gotten rough. Sweep whatever sanding dust is created and make sure the area is cleaned off. Since stain can be toxic to plants you need to make sure you take the proper precautions. Make sure that they are watered first and then cover them with plastic before the staining begins.
Time to Stain
Before you begin staining, make sure you check the weather. Pick two days where there will be no rain and the temperature will be between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the stain and wait for all the bubbles to go away. Tape up paper around any areas that you do not want the stain to hit. Stir the stain, do not shake, because it will create bubbles in the finish. Begin applying a thin layer to a 2-3 board section. You can use a roller or sprayer for the larger sections and a brush for smaller sections and corners. Repeat until the entire deck is stained.
Rinse and Remove
Once the staining process is completed you can rinse off the plastic that is covering the plants. Make sure you don’t spray the stain that you just finished applying. Feel off any edged you had taped and make sure everything that needed to be stained was reached.
Let it Dry
When the deck is completely stained, allow it to dry completely before putting furniture back out and walking over it. This may take up to two days. If you walk on the deck before it has completely dried, you can permanently damage the finish.
Time to Enjoy
When done correctly and patiently, staining your deck creates a beautiful finish. Staining can prolong the life of your deck and keep it from splintering. This spring, add some fresh life to your deck and enjoy a summer filled with BBQs and gatherings.