Summer is here and you want to enjoy your deck. We know that this project can be quite overwhelming but longer you postpone it more money and time you need to bring your deck up to date. We will give you some general lines for deck maintenance that will help you take on this project.
First scenario – you have a deck that was never painted or stained. You wash the deck with a pressure washer but you need to go with the low pressure setting on your washing wand – the high pressure setting can lead to ripping off the wood fibre. After washing you give it a day to dry and if you have any rough spots or nasty stains you want to get rid of you just do some spot sanding and try your best not to sand more than necessary because you can get too much of a difference between the deck natural colour and the sanded spot. After the sanding is done you go to a paint store and choose the product to put on your deck – if you tell those people you have nice bare wood they will recommend you the right product. For all the products you have a wide variety of colours/shades. once you set on a product you use a compressor to clean your deck with air and you start applying your stain.
Important – do your best to spread evenly and in a thin layer your product. All the drops and thicker lines will show and will be an eyesore. Don’t apply the stain in the sunshine, make sure there is shade where you apply the stain, otherwise the stain will develop a film and the quality of the application will be partly compromised. And try to stain the deck when the probability of immediate rain is very low.
Second scenario – you have a deck that was stained before. If your stain looks good but you want to refresh it you than this is a very simple job – you pressure wash your deck, you let it dry for at least one day and you reapply a good stain on the old one. Usually is better to go with the same brand but a good stain wood go on the top of another. And you even can go with a different colour if you want to change the appearance of your deck. Of course you cannot go from dark shade stains to light shade stains without sanding down the previous stain. Use the same rules as above to apply the product.
Third scenario – your deck was previously painted with a solid colour paint. Unfortunately to clean every single spot of paint and get back to bare clean wood is close to impossible. So first, in order to make sure you will do a good job, you check all the wood boards and see if there’s some rotten ones that need replacement. After you replace those the second step is to clean at your best the old paint. This can be done by sanding with a professional machine (for rent at stores like Home Depot) or by chemical removal – any paint store clerk can direct you to buy the good product and can give you directions of how to use is (search on google “chemical deck cleaner” for more info). Once you removed most of the old paint you follow the steps from the “first scenario” described in this article. The only difference is that instead fo stain you need to use solid colour deck paint.
Have fun and bring your deck back to life. And don’t forget, regular maintenance is less expensive than repairing/staining/painting your deck when you cannot take it anymore.