How To Clean and Stain Your Wood Deck

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Before you start cleaning or staining your wood deck, you will want to perform a water test. A water test is the easiest way to ensure that the wood can absorb sealer or finish. Sprinkle some water on the deck and if it soaks in immediately, the deck can be sealed. If the water beads up or stands on the deck, your deck may not need sealing yet.

Cleaning

UV rays penetrate the wood, which causes graying. Deck cleaners help to remove dirt, nail stains, algae and mildew. If your deck isn’t brand-new, always use a cleaner before applying finish. Lack of preparation is the most common reason for deck stains and sealer to fail. Don’t skip out on this important step.

  • Step 1: Remove all deck furniture and other furnishings.
  • Step 2: Sand splintered areas with a pole sander with 80-grit paper. Repair or replace any damaged boards. Make sure to drive in any popped nails first- or even better, replace them with deck screws.
  • Step 3: Sweep off loose debris and clean between the cracks of the boards with a putty knife.
  • Step 4: Wet surrounding pants and shrubs. Then over them with clean plastic sheeting to prevent spotting with chemicals. Also, cover siding with plastic or paper before staining.
  • Step 5: Use a paint roller with an extension handle, a garden sprayer or a stiff-bristles push broom to apply cleaner to the entire deck. Don’t allow cleaner to puddle in any area.
  • Step 6: Keep the deck wet with cleaner. Don’t allow the cleaners to dry. Speed up the process by having one person apply the cleaner and another person back-roll the deck. Back-rolling is a process in which one person uses a roller or broom to spread any puddles.
  • Step 7: Scrub tough areas with a stiff brush or brrom. Avoid using wire brushes or brooms. The bristles can break off into the wood and cause rust spots.
  • Step 8: Allow the cleaner to soak into the wood. Soaking time is no more than 10 minutes, but always check the product instructions.
  • Step 9: Rinse the deck thoroughly with a garden hose or pressure washer.
  • Step 10: Wash equipment with soapy water. Rinse plastic sheeting with water and remove.
  • Step 11: Allow deck to dry at least two days before applying a sealer.

Applying a Stain or Sealer 

  • Step 1: Check the weather. Try to find at least two days of dry weather with temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Step 2: Remove all deck furniture, plants, and furnishings.
  • Step 3: The entire deck may require sanding with a pole sander or palm sander to speed up the process. Sand in the direction of the grain. Be sure to wear a safety mask so you won’t inhale the sawdust. Drive in popped nails or replace them with deck screws. Replace any damaged boards.
  • Step 4: Sweep off loose debris and clean between the cracks. Make sure the deck is dry.
  • Step 5: Wet surrounding plants and shrubs and cover them with clear plastic sheeting to protect them. Also cover siding with plastic or paper before staining.
  • Step 6: Stir the sealer or stain thoroughly. Don’t shake sealer. Bubbles will form in the finish.
  • Step 7: Apply a thin, even coat of the sealer or stain over a two- to three-board section with a paint roller with an extension handle or sprayer. Two thin coats are better than one thick coat that doesn’t properly adhere or dry. Don’t allow the finish to puddle. To speed up the process, one person applies the stain or sealer and another person uses a roller or broom to spread puddles and to work the finish into the wood, a process known as back-rolling.
  • Step 8: Repeat the above process for the entire deck. Use a paintbrush to apply the sealer or stain in corners and other difficult areas, such as steps, railings, end grain, and cracks. A second coat is optional.
  • Step 9: Rinse the plastic covering the plants with a hose and remove it.
  • Step 10: Allow the deck to dry completely.

How To Dress Up Your Bathroom For The Holidays

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The holidays are a time of togetherness, and togetherness means guests.  Whether they be guests staying from out of town or simply guests visiting for a dinner party, their presence will not be confined to the family room or dining room.  They will be traipsing in and out of your bathroom as well.  Why not dress up your bathroom and make a great impression.

With the holidays quickly approaching, time and money are often an issue.  A complete renovation is likely not in the budget, but there are simple things you can do.  Sometimes it is the little things that make the greatest impact.

Here are some tips to bring a new look to your tired old bathroom.

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How To: Make Your Bathroom Feel Like New

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It can be easy to overlook the bathroom. It’s a functional space first and foremost, and unless you like long hot soaks in the bath, you probably don’t spend a whole lot of time in there. But that is no reason to neglect it. So here are some simple but effective ideas for perking up a tired bathroom without ripping the whole thing out and starting over.

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Designer Spotlight : Hansgrohe

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Do you often find yourself worrying about the stress of your day while you shower? Do you find yourself listing all of the things that have to be done, and the things that didn’t go as planned as the water falls all around you? Maybe it’s time for a different shower experience. With Hansgrohe, your daily shower can be the most relaxing part of your day.

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How to: Table Top Mosaic

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Sometimes our favorite furniture starts to look a little worn down, or we find a great piece at a thrift store or garage sale but it needs a little sprucing up. There are so many different ways to give that old table or night stand a fresh new attitude. The coolest way to give your furniture a new look would be to create a tabletop tile mosaic. Not only is it simple, but the pattern possibilities are endless.

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How to Build a Window Seat from Wall Cabinets

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A window seat is a gorgeous place for anyone to sit and read, or just gaze out the window at a beautiful sunset. These typically have a reputation for being an expensive add-on, but with this easy tutorial, you can have your own custom window seat in no time!  Continue reading →

How to Install a Wall Mounted Showerhead

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One of the final steps in completing a custom shower project is selecting and installing the shower fixtures. While the task of selecting a shower fixture from the wide variety of styles can be challenging, installing the fixture is a simple job. With basic plumbing tools and skills, any do-it-yourselfer can install a shower fixture. Read on, and become a shower head installer yourself!

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Picking the Right Kitchen Faucet

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In most households, the kitchen is one of the most prominent rooms. It’s not just where food preparation happens. Often it’s where the eating occurs too, and where people tend to congregate.

If you’re having guests over, the kitchen is usually a focal point of the socializing. So it makes sense that people want to make sure everything in that room is perfect. This is especially true for the faucet, which could be said to be the centerpiece of the kitchen.

Before you purchase a new faucet, then, read the guide below for help in picking one you’ll be happy to use and proud to show off.

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Renovate, Revitalize, Restore, Remodel….Your Bathroom

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Homeowners have many important questions about their Bathroom Remodeling Project. How much will it cost? How long will it take? What problem areas do I need to watch out for? Can I recover my Bathroom Remodeling investment when I sell? Can I do some of the work myself? What can I do to make sure that the work is done right? Give your bathroom design a boost with a little planning and a few bathroom ideas. Whether you’re looking for bathroom remodeling ideas or bathroom pictures to help you update your old one, start here!

Use this information to develop a budget, bid requirements, hiring contracts and a project plan and to understand your options, make good decisions and get quality work at a fair price. Continue reading →