Deck Maintenance and Stain

How we refinish a wood deck

Even if a deck is structurally sound, its appearance will eventually degrade from accumulation of dirt, exposure to sun and rain and ordinary wear and tear. A deck cleaner will renew wood that is raw or has been treated with a penetrating sealer. Film finishes, such as varnishes or paints, will have to he removed with a chemical stripper. When they’re off, we replace them with penetrating sealers or solid-color stains that are easier to renew.

  1. Paint, varnish and solid color stain will flake off under the pressure of a sharp paint scraper. We remove the bulk of the finish by hand, then sand the remainder or apply a chemical paint stripper.
  2. We use a stiff brush to scrub loosened finish from the wood. We clean up crevices and corners with a putty knife or scraper.
  3. After the railing is stripped, we renew the decking surface by spraying a deck cleaner. This will work on accumulated dirt, discoloration and minor stains. We cover nearby plants with plastic sheeting to avoid damaging them.
  4. we allow the cleaner to sit on the wood then scrub the decking clean with brush. We work the brush briskly in the direction of the wood grain then rinse with water.
  5. After the deck has dried for 48 hours, we use a paint roller on a pole handle to apply clear or tinted sealer. Weathered wood surfaces are highly absorbent, so we apply the sealer generously then we brush between boards.

New Deck Staining

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Stains add color, providing a richer look to bland woods. Plus, they can unify mismatched colors, such as uneven tones or bands of sapwood. The final color depends on the wood even two pieces of the same species can stain differently and the finish. We have to work fast because the stain absorb quickly into the wood. Pigmented stains like oil-based wiping stains are easy to apply, but deposit larger particles that can muddy the grain.

Our practice for a top-notch staining job

  • We apply the color first in an inconspicuous area like under the top.
  • Thoroughly stir oil-based stains to dissolve the pigment that’s usually sitting on the bottom of the can.
  • When applying oil-based stains, wipe the wood with mineral spirits just before staining to ease and even stain distribution.
  • We spray penetrating stains which gets them on the surfaces more quickly then we have more even cover-age with fewer overlap marks.
  • We use alcohol-soluble stains for touch up. They’re easy to pinpoint and they dry almost instantly.

We test stains on scraps of wood that have even been sanded using the same process. The type and amount of stain we use and make sure to apply a few finish coats to get a feel for its final color.


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