The secrets to a job well done when it comes to painting your deck are careful preparation and proper application. How often you should stain or paint your deck will depend on a few factors, including where it is, how often you use it and the severity of the weather in your area. Here are some tips to get you started:
Knowing When It’s Time
It’s best to inspect your deck after the snow melts. Here are some things you should check for:
- Peeling coat
If you notice any of these signs of wear, it is time for a fresh coat. Skipping routine maintenance will cause your wood to deteriorate quickly. Make sure not to skip any steps as the majority of issues with deck coating is caused by poor preparation and application.
Ideal Weather Conditions
Check ahead for the weather forecast before deciding to apply exterior paint or stain to your deck. Unless your deck is already in a shaded area, you should apply coating on a cloudy day. Never use stain or paint under direct sunlight as it hinders its ability to adhere to the surface and affects colour uniformity.
Wait for a day when temperatures are above 10°C and below 32°C for at least a day, and relative humidity is between 40% to 70%. Any higher and the humidity could affect the dry time and gloss. Don’t start working if dew, rain or frost is expected within the next three days. The wood itself must also be extremely dry for optimal results.
Preparing a Wood Surface
The surface of your balcony or deck must be clean before you can work on it. Start by removing all stones and grains of sand. If the wood is dirty, stained, chipped, cracked, mouldy or the paint is peeling off, you need to clean or sand the area until it is a clean, even surface.
Can I stain or paint over an existing coat?
If there is an existing coating, check whether the new layer will adhere to the old one properly. You can check this with the water drop test. Sprinkle a few drops of water on different parts of your deck. If the water beads, you will need to sand the wood lightly before applying the stain or paint. If the water absorbs quickly, you can proceed with staining. In some cases, you might still need to use a primer.
You will need a paintbrush for applying coatings of stain to your deck. If you are using an oil-based stain, choose a brush with natural fibres, and go with synthetic (nylon) fibres for acrylic stains. You can also use a roller, but you will need to go over the edges with a brush regardless to ensure the coating permeates properly. Remember to coat the end grain as well as it tends to absorb moisture, causing the wood fibres to separate.
To reduce the streaking, you should apply the stain or paint with the grain in one stroke on the entire length of each board. Let the coating settle for at least 48 hours before walking on it, and wait at least 30 days before washing it to allow it to harden fully.
Finding the Same Colour
If you need more than one can of the same colour to cover an area, make sure they are from the same batch. A good tip is to refill your can with fresh paint or stain after you have used about three-quarters of it and mix them. Also, don’t forget to stir it from time to time during application so that it remains well mixed.
To ensure your deck’s staining job looks professional, hire professionals! You can count on the team at Demiri Painting & Decorating for a perfect finish every time without the hassle of doing it yourself. Call us today for a quote.