Many homes have decks. Most are built with 2 inch by 6 inch by 8 foot pieces of pressure treated wood. Pressure treated wood is supposed to be weather resistant. It is, to some extent. After a while though even pressure treated wood will begin to warp, crack and rot due to rain, dew, sun, snow and ice. It’s best to water proof your deck even if it’s been built with pressure treated wood. Straining before water proofing gives your deck color and beauty. Here’s how to do it:
If your deck is over a year old it’s best to sand it before applying stain. If it has just been built you don’t need to sand. Sanding takes off about an 1/16 of an inch of the wood. It will expose the fresh raw wood that is untouched, undamaged, and not faded by sun, rain, etc. To sand your deck use an electric handheld sander with medium grit sand paper. Medium grit is a happy medium between rough grit and fine grit. Decks are often large so using medium grit means you will only have to sand the deck once, as opposed to sanding first with rough grit and then going over it again with fine grit.
Use a shop vac to remove all of the dust created from sanding. Plug an extension cord in and use it with the shop vac if need be. A shop vac will remove ALL of the dust where as a broom and dust pan will leave some behind. It’s important that ALL of the dust is removed so that it does not interfere with the staining process or become trapped under the water sealer. Any dust that gets trapped under the water sealer will cause bumps and blemishes in your decks new finish.
Choose a color of stain that compliments your home, deck furniture and that is a color that you love. The most common way to apply stain is with a dry cloth or rag. However, a deck is a very large space. You can choose to apply your stain using a cloth mop instead. Do not pour the stain directly on the deck. It will cause dark spots. Pour the stain into a paint tray then dip the head of the mop into the paint tray. Rub the stain onto the deck via the mop, working in a circular motion. Wipe any excess stain off of the deck quickly using a dry cloth or rag.
Once you are finished applying the first coat of stain take a good look at it. Are you happy with the richness of the color? If so, it’s time to move on to water proofing. If not, apply another coat of stain.
Use a clean mop head to apply a deck water proofing product. It will be labeled as a water sealer. The sealer will water proof your deck. It will not allow rain, dew, or any other form of moisture to absorb into the wood. Apply the water sealer the same way you applied the stain. Pour some into a clean paint tray and mop it onto the deck. You can work in a circular motion, or back and forth according to how the planks run. It doesn’t matter.
Allow the first coat of water sealer to dry for about an hour then apply a second coat. Allow the second coat 24 hours to dry. Once the 24 hours is up your deck is fully protected, and fully usable.