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.

Dust Control During a Remodel

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If you have never experienced a remodel before, it’s safe to say that you will encounter a lot of dust in your home. While the results are exciting to think about, the tear down can become hazardous with loads of particles invading your space, making it hard to breath. Not only that, but whatever insect waste, paint remnants, or any other elements lingering in your walls, will be invading your air. There is a way to keep the level of dust to a minimum. It is even a best practice to ask your contractor how they intend to keep the dust from becoming a nuisance. In the same breath (pun intended), it is always good to know what to do for yourself.

Get Power Tools with Dust Extractors. There are tools on the market that use a sucking mechanism to catch the dust like a vacuum while in use. The percentage of dust captured averages to about 90%. It is unfortunate that not all contractors can afford these tools because it would raise their overhead and prices. But wherever possible, any sawing or sanding should be done outside of the home for minimization of air nuisances.

Put Up Dust Barriers. Power Tools are just a small percentage of the demolition. Tearing down of walls is a huge factor in dust. Because of this, other barriers should be set in place. It is essential that contractors put up tarps in the entrance of the area being worked on. This barrier is also known in the industry as a zipwall. Of course, there is always the chance that the dust will get into the main part of your home with workers going in and out. This is also true when removing debris from the area. For this reason, it is also good to discuss with your contractor how they intend to remove waste.

Use Air Scrubbers. Having a peculiar name, air scrubbers are more like vacuums that are strategically placed on the work site to suck in the dust from the air. The size of the air scrubber is similar to air conditioning units in that the horse power will be dependent on the space being worked in.

With some of these options at your fingertips, the dust in your remodeled area will definitely be very minimal. It will allow you to coexist easier while the work is getting done and you won’t be as displaced as normally anticipated.

How To Choose The Right Cabinet Hardware And Drawer Pulls

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Cabinet hardware and pulls are like accessories, they are personal, show off our personality and can change the look and feel to any cabinet. Re-staining, painting or changing the cabinet facing can make a big difference to your kitchen upgrade but it isn’t complete without the perfect hardware. Continue reading →

Stencil Instead of Wallpaper: Step by Step Instructions Part 1

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How to Create an Open Living Space

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Are you feeling claustrophobic in your living space? I bet walls are taking over your home. These days’ homes are built with open floor plans. But if you have an older home you may want to start taking down some walls to open that space up. Nothing says beauty and elegance like an open floor plan. Removing walls is not something you will want to do without having a licensed contractor at least assisting. Continue reading →

How to Decorate a Smaller Room

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How-To: Install a new faucet.

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When you replace your faucet, be sure to choose a high quality faucet with brass fittings as to make sure longevity is guaranteed. Many manufacturers have warranties for their fixtures, so check with them before you order.

PlumbTile features some of the top brand name faucet manufacturers. So stop by Plumbtile first to pick out your new faucet to compliment your bathroom. Plumbtile.com stocks the widest array of contemporary and traditional faucet and tap designs.

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