Do I Need to Stain My Deck?
A deck is a wonderful feature of your home, providing attractive and useful exterior space for entertaining guests, reading a book, enjoying the view, or sharing a family meal outside. Like most parts of the house, however, a deck requires periodic maintenance, which can include painting or staining. How do you know if you should paint or stain your deck?
While the appearance of the deck is important, its long-term health is even more vital. The primary consideration in whether you need to stain your deck or not is its ability to repel water. If you sprinkle water on your deck and the droplets remain beaded up on the surface for more than 10 minutes, you are in good shape! However, if the water droplets soak into the wood promptly, your deck needs protection!
Does the Type of Wood Matter when I Stain My Deck?
The type of material your deck is made from is a very important factor when you are thinking about deck staining. Most decks are made from pressure-treated pine lumber. You can use either oil-based or water-based stains on pressure treated lumber, but make sure you use a high quality stain and follow the application instructions carefully.
In the case of cedar or redwood, an oil-based stain will generally produce better results. This is because cedar and redwood decks have more natural oils in the wood, and an oil-based stain has more penetration. Ask your paint store if they have any stains formulated specifically for these types of wood.
Some exotic hardwoods are so dense and oily, they never need stain. If your deck falls into this category, you are better off not applying a stain.
Finally, many decks are made from composite materials these days. A composite surface is not designed to be painted or stained. Instead, it holds its original color and water resistance for many years.
Should I Stain a New Deck?
If you just had your deck built or renovated, you are probably wondering how you can keep it looking this amazing. Staining your deck is a great option, but don't rush into it too quickly. When pressure-treated lumber leaves the store, it is still very damp from its treatment. Wait until the wood is completely dry before treating it. This could take a couple weeks, or even up to a couple months, depending on the weather.
Once your new wood deck is dry enough, go ahead and stain it! This will ensure you have maximum protection and beauty in your deck for years to come.
What about Prior Deck Stains? Do I Need to Remove Them?
When a deck has been treated with a waterproof coating, this needs to be removed before the new stain can be applied. The same is true with some water-based stains, which will repel the new coating unless you strip them first.
If the previous coating on the deck is an oil-based stain, you can usually just apply another coat right on top of the old one, assuming the color is similar.
Williams Professional Painting
Does your deck need staining? Or maybe you aren't sure and you need some professional advice? Williams Professional Painting would love to help! We provide free estimates for deck staining services, including a free evaluation of your deck health. Our experts can help you understand exactly what is the state of your deck and coatings, and also what treatment plan is best for your home.
Since 1979, Williams Professional Painting has been serving northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area. We provide exterior painting, interior painting, carpentry, cabinet painting, popcorn ceiling removal, and of course, deck staining and painting. Use our online contact form, or contact our office today, and schedule your free estimate. We look forward to meeting you!