With summer fast approaching, it’s time to get your deck ready for entertaining and the BBQ season.  Here are a few tips from Zar Stains to help your project run a bit more smoothly.

1. Select the Best Tool For The Job
A lambswool applicator is best for flat surfaces and a small brush for railing, uneven surfaces, nooks, and crannies.

2. Pick A Treatment to Suit Your Deck
Various products yield different results, each of which can add beauty and durability in its own way. A Toner will simply accent the natural beauty of a wood that’s in great condition.

A Semi-Transparent Stain will hide subtle imperfections in the wood while allowing the grain to show through.  A Solid Stain will preserve the visual appearance of the wood grain while masking obvious defects.  If your deck is older, a Solid Stain may be your best choice.

A Solid Stain will also provide the greatest protection from damage from UV, wind, and rain. Solid Stains will also last the longest – as much as staining your deck is a great DIY project, it’s not one that you want to have to repeat every couple of years!

3. Figure Out How Much Product You Need
Just multiply the surface length by the surface width then check the product instructions for its coverage area and buy accordingly.  It’s always a good idea to keep a little extra on hand for the future, just in case you happen to notice a spot you missed.

4. Prep Your Deck For Staining
It is important to scrub your deck before staining.  It opens the wood fibres to allow the stain to penetrate the wood surface.  Make sure you use a product made for wood as some chemicals will ruin the finish and make it impossible for the wood to accept stain.  If using a power washer, follow instructions so you don’t damage the surface with a high-pressure spray.

5. Make Sure That The Stain Cures Properly
Schedule your project for when the temperature will remain between 10-30°C with low humidity.  Also, avoid applying stain in direct sunlight or on a windy day – You don’t want a gusty breeze depositing leaves and debris on your freshly treated surface.  Apply stain when there’s no rain in the forecast for a minimum of 48 hours.

6. Make A Large Project More Manageable
Instead of considering the entire deck as “one big project”, break it down into a series of small undertakings.  Consider balustrades as one project, the stairs as another one, and so on.  This is a great way to divvy up tasks for family and friends.

7. Reveal The Texture Of The Wood Grain
For the most natural and beautiful appearance, always apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain.  On the ends of boards, areas where water can easily penetrate the wood, use a paintbrush to generously coat the exposed fibres.  When you’re satisfied with the coverage, make sure you wipe away any excess product that might have dripped down to the bottom of the board.