Staining Deck Options

Finishing your deck with a Staining Deck color tone will allow you to choose the look and shade of wood you want.

If you have used economical lumber options such as pressure treated southern pine, you can still have the luxurious finish and look of a redwood or cedar deck.

The combination of a staining deck tone and a wood sealer means that you can add color and protect your decking timber at the same time.


Deck Staining Options

Exterior wood stains are either oil, alkyd or acrylic based - some of the best ones that we like to use are an alkyd / acrylic water based BLEND.

Depending on how much color or tone you want and how much you want to bring out the natural wood grain - you can choose from:

       
  • Transparent Sealer or Semi Transparent Stain    
  • Matt finish or Satin Sheen


What Staining Deck Sealers Do!

Staining deck sealers are there to color and protect your deck come rain or shine, they:

       
  • Contain the color pigments of your choice
       
  • Have termite infestation protection
       
  • Help prevent mildew
       
  • Are water repellant
       
  • And also give your deck UV protection against the harmful sun rays which turn untreated wood gray.

Pressure treated wood is a perfect base for staining deck and sealant products because the modern day acceptable chemicals used (like AQC or Copper Azole) in the pressure treated process leave the wood with a dry ready to paint surface.

(Make sure that your decking timber is not old stock CCA pressure treated - see end of page for detailed advice.)


Staining Deck Colors

Your deck is your outdoor living space - connecting your home with your garden. The color you choose should blend well with your home AND your local enviroment - effectively bringing the two together.

There are so many different shades available that it can be difficult to choose - you may find it easier to look carefully at your home and garden and decide on a suitable color and tone before you see all the choices.

Wood looks so different with a stain finish - you could choose a pale grey or wood tone, mellow oak, redwood or darker terra cota tones of red, chestnut or deeper mahogany shades of brown or even light or dark green stains.

staining deck color options

Quality Stains will have great adhesion properties when applied to properly dried wood and won't crack or peel.

Quality stains applied evenly with a deck sprayer should usually only need one coat, although you may need to use two for better coverage because the overall finish will vary depending on the type of decking timber you have used and the age of the timber.

You can't apply staining deck sealers successfully over painted decks BUT you can recover a deck that has been covered with the same product.

Staining Deck Equipment

Your safety and that of those around you as you work is always the priority before staining deck work begins

Goggles - protect your eyes
Face Mask - minimise any fumes to nose and mouth
Gloves - always wear your gloves
Orbital Sander - use a minimum grade like 60 grit
Broom and Vacuum cleaner - remove all particles
A Garden Hose - remove last of dust
A Paint Brush - to help you get into the corners
A Pump Sprayer - for a quick even finish and save your back


Our Staining Deck Sealer Method

Please ALWAYS carefully follow the instruction given with your chosen product - rather than adhering to our staining deck sealer method.

It's best to wait for a cloudy - dry day to apply your staining deck sealant - full mid-day sun can effect the eveness of the application by drying section too quickly as you move along your deck.

deck stain illustration


Always work with the direction of the grain of the wood and not across it.

  • Sweep your deck and check the surface for smoothness
  • lightly sand if your decking timber requires
  • apply a wood cleaner and let it soak in for about 15 minutes - brush it into the wood then hose it off
  • Let your deck dry and do a water test by adding a few droplets - if they bead the deck isn't ready but if they disappear the wood will absorb the staining deck sealant
  • Apply your staining deck sealer (as per the instruction given by the manufacturer of your choosen product)
  • Leave to dry for between 24 - 48 hours depending on how many coats you have applied
  • Enjoy your deck design

Staining Deck Facts

Letting wood dry

Because you are applying a staining deck color option you won't want to wait until your wood achieves the 'weathered look' - but you will have to wait until the wood is dry.

Applying a staining deck tone to your decking surface AND deck base support structure before new wood has had time to dry out will mean that you are sealing the dampness in and the wood will not be poros enough to absorb the stain evenly.


Sanding a wood surface

Depending on the quality of the surface of your decking timber - you may need to sand it with an orbital sander for a smooth finish - if you really need to be gentle - you should only use an extremely fine grain sanding paper like No. 60 grit.

Sanding however, does close the pores of the surface of the wood and you really should use a wood cleaner to get rid of all ingrained wood dust before staining deck can begin.


Using a Wood cleaner on new wood

Even new wood needs to be prepared so that it correctly absorbs the stain and sealer - a wood cleaner should be applied to open the pores in the wood surface - it is left for about 15 minutes, brushed in then hosed off with water and the wood is left to dry.

CCA Facts

Worldwide deck builders should check the stamps on the timber before you buy.

If your decking timber has been pressure treated using Chromated Copper Arsenate - (CCA is an arsenic based treatment that has been used since the 1940's), you are strongly advised to regularly apply a penetrating oil finish to seal the chemicals in.

- at the moment you are not being advised to replace CCA treated wood, however a 2 year study by the US Environmental Protection Agency is due to come to an end in August 2005 and we await the results - if sealant coatings really do hold back dislodgeable arsenic.


Protect your Investment

A quality deck construction with all the proper building and zoning permits should add value to your home. With this in mind you must maintain and protect your home improvement and financing investment.

A quality wood sealer and decking finished off with Staining Deck Sealers will help do the protection for you as long as you attend to it every year.

Related Deck Design Articles


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