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What stain to use on your deck

June 29, 2014



Refinishing your deck

It’s summer now. Time to head out to the deck. But, if it’s in need of a little care, let’s take of it.

Here are some steps and tips to follow. I’ll talk about different finishes later but, irregardless of the finish you want the steps are basically the same.

  1. Replace rotted or damaged boards, there is no paint or stain to fix bad.
  2. Secure loose deck screws, raised nail heads or loose decking boards using either double galvanized or stainless steel screws.
  3. Use exterior caulk, wood filler or plastic body filler to fill large gaps.
  4. Scrape to remove peeling paint or stain.
  5. Use a garden sprayer to spray the deck with “Bio-Green Clean”.
  6. Use a pressure washer set on low to rinse. Do small sections at a time. This too may raise the grain in the wood.
  7. Use an orbital sander with 150 grit sandpaper to remove splinters or remaining loose finish.
  8. DO NOT put finish on the wood if it is not dry.
    1. Tape some clear plastic on the face of a deck board. (Not in direct sun). If there is condensation on the plastic the deck is not dry enough.


  1. Transparent Stain – Best suited for decks that are new or in good shape. They allow the natural grain and structure of the wood to show thru. But, don’t offer much UV protection.
  2. Solid Stain – Best used on treated lumber to give the appearance of another wood. Also, gives a higher UV protection.  I.E. If you stain a treated lumber deck with solid cedar colored stain it will last longer than a cedar deck with transparent stain.
  3. Natural Oils – These are reserved for specialty woods such as IPE, Cypress or Redwood.
  4. The biggies today.
    1. Deck rejuvenators’, these are essentially ultra thick coatings for your deck to cover the poor condition of the wood. But, their application must be strictly followed or there will be premature failure of the coating. Plus in cold/hot and humid climates wood expansion and contraction can stress the coating.
    2. Other complaints have been the temperature of the deck when the sun is on it.
    3. No matter what finish you put on the deck, you should do two coats. Make sure the first has plenty of time to dry before applying the second. And always wait 72 hours before putting furniture back on the deck.

I hope this helps get you closer to having the deck of your dreams.

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