Los Angeles Home Improvement Blog : Pearl Remodeling

Staining a Deck 101

Jun 17, 2015

Inspect Your Deck

One of the first things you need to do when refinishing your deck is an inspection looking for any loose boards, cracks or structural component problems such as rotting or severely split wood. If you need to replace any of the boards make sure to pick the same type of wood you used to build the deck.

Clean Your Decking Area

Do not skip this step thinking that you are saving time.  The last thing that you want to happen when you are investing time and money into restoring your deck is to inhibit the staining process. Take steps to remove embedded dirt, fungus and stains.  Power washing is a great way to get all of the foreign elements off your deck. Keep in mind that power washing your deck will either quickly deep clean it or quickly ruin your deck. Using a power washer can gouge your wood decking if you are not careful. Be sure to try and use as low a pressure as possible while still being effective. For soft wood like cedar or pine you should be at about 500 to 600 psi and for harder woods you may go higher but not more than 1200-1500 psi. You need your deck to be dry in order to apply the stain correctly so wait about three days for it to completely dry out.

Sanding the Rough Surface

After your deck is dry you might notice wood fibers which could cause splinters. You can easily accomplish sanding your deck by using an orbital sander. Make sure to do your homework on what grit of sandpaper to use. If you are using a fine grit it might restrict the stain from penetrating and soaking into the wood properly.

Choosing the Right Type of Stain 

One of the most important decisions you will make when refinishing your deck is your choice of stain. If you make your decision based on price you might end up being disappointed with the labor you have invested in your project only to find out that your deck will require rework much sooner than anticipated. There are four types of stain out on the market to choose. They are: