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Decks  /  April 25, 2022

How To Prepare an Old Deck For Staining In Vancouver

How to prepare deck for staining

All decks require maintenance or upkeep. It is the one aspect of deck ownership that most people despise. Still, if you want to avoid the expense of unnecessary deck repair services in Vancouver, maintenance is essential.

The main maintenance task is annual resealing. Even when using pressure-treated lumber, the deck requires sealants like a stain or paint to maintain its integrity.

Staining your deck is not a complicated process because of the availability of chemical strippers and cleaners, but it is time-consuming. When restaining your deck, you want to take your time, follow the five steps, and do the job right.

1. Remove Any Finish

Before applying a new stain, you need to remove the old one. You can purchase a stripping agent to remove the stain from the deck. However, before you apply the stripper, you will need to protect the surrounding plants and siding. 

First, cover any plantings that might get splashed by the chemical stripper. You want to use a light-coloured tarp or fabric drop cloth. Poly sheeting will cause a greenhouse effect and burn the plants when the sun is out. 

Second, wet down siding and surfaces that might be damaged from splashing. The wetness helps to protect these surfaces from strippers and similar products.  

Finally, sweep the deck and put on protective clothing, such as gloves and safety goggles. With all precautions taken, you can follow the direction on the label of the stripper. 

2. Clean and Neutralize the Surface

Once the deck is stripped of previous stains, you can clean the surface and prepare it for the new stain or finish. You can use a power washer and a stiff bristle brush to clean the surface. You will also need to purchase a deck cleaner.  

You will follow the directions of the deck cleaner you buy. Many will require a 50/50 mix of water and cleaning solution. Apply the cleaning agent with the brush. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the product. Vigorously scrub the surface, and then use the pressure washer to clear away the chemical and debris. 

If the deck is still dirty, you can reapply the cleaner, following the same process. The deck must be clean to adhere to future stains. 

3. Let the Surface Dry and Sand the Deck

After cleaning, allow plenty of time for the deck to dry. You want the boards to be able to accept the stain in the later steps. If the deck is saturated or still damp when you apply the stain, the wood will resist the application. If the grain is swollen from water, there is less room for it to take the stain, so drying time is crucial. 

Once the deck is dry, you want to sand the surface lightly. You can use a power sander, such as an orbital sander, or a drywall sander. The goal is to knock down any high points on the surface. When finished, use an appropriate broom or leaf blower to remove the sanding dust from the surface.

4. Apply the Stain

Finally, you can apply the stain. You will want to follow the instructions from the manufacturer to ensure a good finish. If you feel the finish is too light after the first coat of stain, you can apply another coat. The more coats you apply, the richer the colour or tone becomes. 

Deck staining is a time-consuming task, and while many people avoided it with the initial deck installation in Vancouver, yearly maintenance requires it. However, as the homeowner, you do not have to burden yourself with the task. You can hire deck repair professionals through Handyman Connection, and rest assured the job is done right.

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