Preparing A Wood Deck For Staining: Important Dos And Don’ts

If your home's wooden deck has seen better days, a fresh coat of stain or paint could really refresh its appearance and give it new life. Before you decide to paint or stain a wooden deck, however, you'll need to clean and prepare it. This will ensure that it accepts the new stain and that the paint job lasts for as long as possible without chipping or wearing away.

DO Power Wash Your Deck

Perhaps the most important step in preparing your deck for stain or paint is giving it a thorough power washing. This is a great way not only to clean the deck of dirt and debris, but to remove as much of any existing stain or paint as possible. If you choose to power wash your own deck, be careful to use a lower pressure setting, as too high of pressure can actually cause damage to the wood. For the best results, hire a professional power washing service, like Ben's Cleaner Sales, to get the job done right.

DON'T Apply Stain Immediately

After power washing your deck, you should wait at least a day or two before applying any stain or paint. It is important that your deck is able to completely dry after the power washing; otherwise, you will end up trapping moisture inside the wood, which can lead to rotting and mildew or mold problems. 

DO Tape Off Siding and Railings

While it may be a time consuming task, it will be well worth your time to tape off any exterior siding, metal railings, light fixtures, and other nearby items you don't want to get paint on before you begin. If you have any landscaping near your deck, you may want to lay down a light tarp over it so as to protect it from damage.

DON'T Forget to Check the Weather

Finally, be sure to check the weather diligently before you begin staining or painting your deck—and check the instructions on the stain/paint you bought to find out more about ideal conditions for your project. Most stains need to be applied in low humidity, and stains/paints can vary greatly in terms of how long they take to be water-resistant. The last thing you want is for unexpected rainfall to ruin your project.

By keeping these considerations in mind as you prepare to stain or paint your deck, you'll end up with better and perhaps even longer lasting results.