Preparing exterior wood for staining

July 11, 2015 2 min read

A person staining a deck, wearing green gloves.

When preparing to stain your deck or even if you are planning on hiring a contractor to do the work, you should have a thorough understanding of the process.

The best time to stain your deck is when the outdoor temperature is above 50 degrees but below 95 degrees. (And remember to check the surface temperature of the deck as it can be much hotter than the air temperature.) The humidity should be low or average, order with no chance of rain in the immediate forecast. Ideally, you should try for a three to four consecutive day span with no rain forecast.

For brand new wood, we recommend a brightener and neutralizer to prepare the wood for staining as new wood often has a sheen called mill glaze that can prevent the stain from penetrating evenly.

For unfinished wood using a bleach based cleaner that kills any mold or mildew is recommended prior to staining. Actually, all decks except for a brand new one will benefit from a bleach based cleaning product to kill any mold and mildew spores that are in or on the wood.

For worn and neglected wood or previously stained wood use a stripping product such as Allpro Deck Stripper Concentrate. Always use the stripper after the bleach based cleaner, never together! This is a simple process that will leave your deck looking clean and ready for that new stain. At Gleco Paint and Wallcovering we can walk you through the process and show you all the tools you will need to get the outdoor space in “summer ready” shape. If your deck is a tannin-rich wood such as cedar or redwood, you will need to use a neutralizer such as Allpro Deck Brightener and Neutralizer to remove the darkening effect of the Stripper.

Once you have your deck all cleaned and ready, we recommend an oil-based semi-transparent stain and sealer. At Gleco Paint and Wallcovering we recommend Ready Seal Stain. Ready Seal will never crack, chip, flake or peel and leaves no laps, runs or streaks during application. Since Ready Seal contains no linseed or vegetable oils algae and fungus growth is not promoted.  Note: If using ready seal, we recommend using the Allpro Deck Brightener and leaving it on rather than rinsing it off. This will enhance the color.

Maintaining your exterior wood after using these techniques is easy. No future stripping or sanding is required, just a light cleaning and you can re-coat.

Come in to any Gleco Paint and Wallcovering and we will help you get all of the tools and products to make your exterior living space “summer ready.”

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