Deck Maintenance – Re-Staining your Deck
A stained deck enhances the natural beauty of the timber boards and importantly protects them as well from the elements (UV rays and rain) as well as from staining from dirt and debris. A well maintained stained deck also protects against rot and fungal growth.
How Frequently Do You Need to Re-Stain a Deck?
You are probably not going to like the answer to this one! The answer is frequently. A deck needs to be re-stained frequently to keep it looking good and to maintain the protection that the stain is providing. How frequently is frequently? If you live (as we do) in Brisbane and if you deck is uncovered then you will need to re-stain your deck every year.
If you live further south in a cooler climate and your deck is covered you may be able to get away with re-staining your deck every second or third year.
General maintenance (such as keeping your deck clean and sweeping off pools of water) will help reduce the frequency in which you need to re-stain your deck. However if you deck is not covered, the strength of the sun is going to mean that this is probably going to be an annual maintenance job for you.
Advice on how to re-stain a deck and keep it looking good all year round is provided below.
How to Re-Stain A Deck
Re-staining decking boards is not such a big job as you may think – and once you have done it a couple of times you will be surprised by how efficiently you can do it.
Check Your Decking Boards
Make sure all your nails are still well seated into the timber. See if there are any boards or sections are boards that are rotten and need replacing. Specifically look at the boards around the edges of your deck as these are the ones that are most susceptible to wear.
Clean the Deck
Firstly remove all furniture off you deck. You will also need to remove your bbq and any pot plants. Sweep your deck clean and then wash it clean.
Some people opt to use special deck cleaning products but if you deck has been looked after during the period between staining this may not be necessary and a mild laundry detergent may do the job for you.
To clean your deck you can use a long handled brush or mop, just make sure that you frequently replace the dirty water in the bucket.
If you are going to use a deck cleaning product make sure you follow all the instructions carefully and wear any protective clothing that is recommended. It is also very important that you leave the cleaning fluid on the boards (if instructed to do so) only for the specific time that is stated and that the product if very thoroughly washed off.
Stains may require additional attention and specially designed deck removal stain products may be the answer to this problem.
Apply the Stain
When you deck is clean and totally dry apply the first coat of stain. Make sure you don’t ‘stain’ yourself into a corner! You will need to read the instructions on how to re-stain your deck that are provided on the tin of your chosen stain. You may be instructed to apply the stain with a roller and/or a brush or a sprayer.
If possible avoid staining your deck in the midday sun – although in summer in Brisbane you will need to get up pretty early to avoid strong UV rays…
Always, always allow the necessary time for each coat to dry fully before adding the next.
Wait for the recommended time (often 24 hours) before using your deck once you have completed your re-staining maintenance job.
Time Saving Tips for Re-Staining a Deck
Some of these time saving tips are better than others – and some of then you need to use your own judgement before adopting…
- Between coats keep your mop, applicator and/or brush wrapped in plastic or glad wrap to prevent moisture escaping and keeping it damp for the next coat.
- You could consider using (or hiring someone to do it for you) a pressure cleaner to clean the deck. However you need to be aware that at high strength a pressure cleaner could damage your timber. Remember if you are going to use a pressure washer always spray with the grain of the wood and keep the wand a decent distance from the floor boards. Sometimes too the mess created by pressure cleaning just adds to the time as you have to clean up. So what you win on one hand you might lose on the other!
- Keep your deck clean between re-vanishing so that you don’t have stains or mildew. Cleaning a stained and moldy deck is much harder and more time consuming than one that is in good condition.
- Use a leaf blower before using a brush to sweep off your deck.
- Whilst most commercial products recommend that you use a brush and/or roller or a sprayer to apply the stain you could consider using a flat mop applicator. This allows you to more easily get under the bottom rail and between the bottom railings.
- Use a dark stain, dark stains are far more forgiving in terms of showing dust and dirt and providing a uniform coating.
- Get up super early so you can squeeze all the staining done in one day. Having to tidy up and pack up and then reassemble all the items the next day really drags out the time spent on the job.
- Keep all your deck staining equipment stored together ready for next year.
All We Do Is Decks
All We Do Is Decks are specialist deck builders in Brisbane. The information provided above is of a general nature only and provided in response to customers requesting advice on how to re-stain a deck. if you have a specific problem with your deck in terms of staining you will need to contact a deck staining specialists.