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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How To Maintain Your Deck Stain

Coating's longevity depends on good preparation and application.
Here's how you can put penetrating stains on your decks and siding.

Get to work on it right away if you see a spot of bare wood or notice fading. If you wait too long, you'll have to sand out the gray discoloration before you start.

Wet the wood after which apply a cleaner like Jomax, then let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub with a stiff-bristle brush to loosen the dirt. Hose off the debris. Don't use a pressure washer, which can gouge wood. Pull out any gunk between boards with a 5-in-1 tool. Work from bottom up on vertical surfaces.

Rough up the surface with a random-orbit or pole sander fitted with 60-grit paper when the wood is dry. Use leaf blower to blast off the dust.

Apply coating with a thick, 4-6 inch block stain brush, which can give better control than a sprayer. Work on only 2 or 3 boards or courses at a time and go from one end to the other to prevent lap marks. Always go back and brush the surface of spraying or rolling on the finish.

After 20 minutes, mop up any stain that hasn't penetrated. To avoid spontaneous combustion, put stain-soaked rags in a sealed can filled with water. Dispose of the container at a hazardous-waste center.

NOTE: If you're staining an elevated deck, cover everything underneath with plastic sheets to guard against drips.