FAQ’s for Staining a Deck
1. How do you know when it’s time to reseal?
a. Throw some water on the deck, if it absorbs into the wood quickly it will darken the wood. It’s time to re-seal it.
2. What’s the difference between stain and sealant?
a. The difference between the two is that a stain will actually change the color of the deck and a sealer only "seals" the wood to provide protection from the elements. If you've used a stain w/ water repellent you're all set. No need to seal as you used a 2 in 1 product.
3. How much is stain?
a. $20-40/Gallon. You will need about 2 gallons.
4. Where can I find stain?
a. Local hardware store or online.
5. How long will the protectant last?
a. Up to 2 years. It depends on where you live. Dryer states will last longer than wetter states.
6. When is the best time of the day to apply stain?
a. Don’t apply stain in direct sunlight but you do need one day of solid sunny weather. If your deck doesn’t have sun coverage plan to stain in the morning or after the heat of the day.
7. What are the different types of stain?
a. Transparent stains allow the natural grain of the wood to show through.
b. Semi-transparent stains have more pigment, but don’t overshadow the natural grain. c. Solid stains give the wood an opaque finish. d. The color of the wood and the color of the stain can work together to create a new look. 8. How can one make sure the stain is the right choice?
a. Stain a patch of the wood first to make sure you have the desired look before you stain the whole deck.
9. What is the first thing one should do to prepare the deck to be stained?
a. Sand splintered areas with 80-grit paper. Sweep off loose debris and clean between the cracks of the boards.
b. Hammer down any raised nails and sand any rough surfaces. c. Cover any surrounding plants or hedges with clear plastic sheeting. 10. What’s the best way to clean the deck?
a. Spray the deck thoroughly with a high-pressure washer, sandblaster, or use a regular hose with deck cleaner. Follow instructions on product container. Be careful that the cleaner you use is not toxic to surrounding plant life.
b. Let dry for 48 – 72 hours. 11. Why does one have to make sure the deck is completely dry before you stain?
a. Make sure the deck is completely dry before you stain. If it isn’t completely dry the wood could crack, peel or cause wood erosion, rot or decay. Also, stain won’t adhere properly to the wood.
12. What’s the best tool for the job?
a. Roller with an extension handle for main part of the deck. Roller should have a 1” think nap (nap = thickness of roller). Use a smaller roller or a paintbrush for detailing.
13. What is the best method for staining a deck?
a. Long smooth strokes across the entire plank for uniform stain. Stain 2-3 planks at a time, to avoid lap marks. b. Less is more when it comes to the amount of stain you use.