How To Clean and Stain Your Wood Deck

cleaning wood floor

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.

Give Your Exterior Some Attention

Exterior Paint

The exterior of your home is the first impression that you are portraying to the world, whether the world be prospective buyers or friends and family stopping by for a visit. Do you want that first impression to have your guests snickering at what your house looks like or would you want them to be drooling over how good your home already looks? There are a ton of exterior paint colors that people are falling in love with that may just be what you’re looking for to give your home an edge up on the curb appeal.

Black with Light Trim:

Black is definitely the new black. Believe it or not, black siding is become a huge hit as an exterior paint color. It leaves a strong statement, but the light colored trim, whether it be white, light gray, pale yellow, etc., stands out against the darkness. If you want to leave your guests drooling over your house, this is definitely an option worth considering.

All Black:

An all-black exterior can play up the structural feature of the home. It will even begin to draw attention to the architectural qualities of the home.

All White:

A completely white exterior is always a great choice. It’s traditional, classic, and it looks beautiful. There may be a little more exterior maintenance that will be needed, but it is definitely worth it.

A Contrasting Front Door:

If the exterior of a house being one single color seems to be too boring for your taste, try spicing it up by painting the door a different color. You would be surprised at how far this little bit of color can go. You will typically see a lot of doors painted red, but whatever you feel is your style will do.

Dark Colors and Natural Wood:

A lot of suburban homes have accents that feature brick, stone, or even wood. All of these add a little bit of style to the house and can help to add some contrast between the siding and the natural wood accents. The brick, stone, and wood helps to complete the look. However, this look can run a little expensive.

Black Trim:

Black trim looks fantastic when it is paired with a white or any light colors exterior. It helps to draw attention to the architectural features that may be special to your house.

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 Create the Perfect Cottage Kitchen

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Nothing says inviting like a cozy cottage kitchen. With these few easy tips, you can create the perfect space to make friends and family feel right at home.

 

Open and Airy

Do away with bulky cupboards.  Instead, consider placing open shelves where your upper cabinets would be.  Proudly display your dinnerware on these shelves.  If your dinnerware consists of mismatched items, that’s okay.  It only accentuates the cottage look.

Continue reading →

Top Kitchen Design Styles

From contemporary to cottage, today’s most popular looks inspire beautiful kitchen designs.

 

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Long gone are the days when kitchens were dreary workspaces, hidden behind closed doors. Today’s kitchens are central to everyday living and special-occasion entertaining, often doing double duty as family rooms, offices and media centers, as well.

“The kitchen is truly the focus of the home today,” says New York-based interior designer Andrew Suvalsky. “A great kitchen design will give essential clues to how the rest of the home can and should develop.”

To meet the growing demand for showstopping kitchens, manufacturers now offer cabinets, countertops and fixtures in all of today’s most popular design styles, from Old World to modern, city chic to country cozy. And your options aren’t limited to what you’ll find in the kitchen showrooms, either. Andrew and many other designers also turn to antiques stores, high-end furniture makers and salvage resellers when sourcing kitchen projects.

Whether you’re designing your kitchen to match the decor of other rooms, or planning your whole home’s look around the kitchen, you can make it a beautiful reflection of your personal style.

Country Farmhouse

Open and inviting, country kitchens allow you to enjoy the feeling of a weekend getaway right in your own home — even if you’re smack in the middle of suburbia (Check out our Farmhouse Style Sinks by Bates & Bates). Farmhouse tables and furniture-like cabinetry are popular conventions, and an eclectic mix of finishes helps create a comfortable, lived-in look. Country colors range from primary red, yellow and blue to aged tones of cream and pale yellow; whatever hues you favor, mixing rather than matching is the country way to go.

Cozy Country Kitchen Designs

Cozy

Modern

Sleek, sexy and sophisticated, the modern kitchen is designed to keep clutter to a minimum. Reflective surfaces and high-tech materials are central to the most modern kitchen, and exotic woods add a touch of luxury without frills or fabric. Iconic midcentury seating, including Bertoia stools and chairs by Eames and Cherner, are often chosen for a classically modern look; seating made of Lucite and highly polished woods is often chosen for a more current interpretation of the style.

Add Modern Style to Your Kitchen

Modern

Cottage Charm

Whether the space is large or tiny, cottage kitchens are designed to feel cozy and enveloping. With their homespun touches and imperfect finishes, cottage-style kitchens are always one of a kind and serve as the perfect backdrop for offbeat art and collectibles (Check out our country style Kitchen Island by Lyn Design). If you’re an avid flea marketer, this style will allow you to turn your weekend finds into everyday pleasures. To marry serious cooking with whimsical style, look for high-end appliances in white or retro colors.

Kitchens With Cottage Charm

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Contemporary

Where function meets family friendliness, you’ll find the contemporary kitchen. The look is a carefully curated mix of materials: new and old, casual and polished. And because cooking with company has replaced cooking for company as the entertaining ideal, today’s kitchen has plenty of room for hosts and guests to work and interact. Add gourmet cooking equipment, comfortable, durable seating and lots of open space for a kitchen perfectly suited to 21st-century living.

Design a Contemporary Kitchen

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Mediterranean or French Country

Imagine a small hotel in the South of France, or a contessa’s villa on the Amalfi Coast. The colors are sun-dappled. The surfaces are elegantly timeworn, and the atmosphere is pure romance. To replicate that Mediterranean ambiance anywhere, look for Provencal fabrics in rich tones of russet, cobalt and ochre, warm-toned wooden cabinetry, and handmade ceramic accessories. Rough-hewn textures, copper pots and rush seats add the final touches.

Mediterranean-Style Kitchens

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Coastal

Whether you live at the beach or just wish you did, you can count on cool shades of blue, green, white and sand to create a vacation-time mood. Seagrass and wicker seating are casual, comfortable and coastal. Fabrics and flooring (Get the look! Check out our  natural stone flooring by Agora!) designed to stand up to wet bathing suits make coastal-style kitchens easy to care for, and window treatments that allow for maximum sunlight will have everyone in let’s-get-to-the-beach mode bright and early.

Coastal-Inspired Kitchens

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Old World

If you yearn for a time when materials were solid and craftsmanship was king, Old World design will embrace you in history and luxury. Look for dark mahogany finishes with lots of carving and detail, countertops with ogee or bullnosed edges, and stone or wooden floors. Add historical accessories and heavy fabrics, and enjoy time travel comfortably in your own home.

Design an Old World Kitchen

Old world

Traditional

Turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Christmas Eve and chocolate chip cookies after school. A traditional kitchen is the perfect backdrop for a life that centers on family, friends and holidays — but its clean, comfortable look is welcoming 365 days a year. Paneled or glass doors on cupboards contribute timeless style, and latched or icebox hardware is often added for period detail. White tiles add a clean look and help reflect light, and artisanal or vintage-look light fixtures add special touches.

Design a Traditional Kitchen

Traditional

 

Ready to start your next kitchen project? Let the Experts at PlumbTile Help! Give one of our experts a call at 1-866-758-6284 and receive a discount on your purchase! Also visit us at www.PlumbTile.com!

Benefits of Remodeling Your Kitchen and Bathroom

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Popular media and industry publications often analyze the return on investment of a kitchen and/or bathroom remodel. Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, conducted by Remodeling, found that on average, a homeowner can expect to spend approximately $16,700 on a midrange bathroom remodel and will recoup approximately 70% of the cost at resale. The average cost of a midrange kitchen remodel is almost $57,000, and a homeowner can expect to recoup approximately $38,500 of that cost when they sell their home. Kitchen and bath remodels increase home value, and homes with renovated kitchens and baths tend to sell faster than those that need updating. Continue reading →

Summer’s here and company is coming!

So you’re sitting in the backyard, enjoying the sunshine and a glass of lemonade.  Cell phone rings and it’s your mom – “Honey, I stopped by like you said and kept pounding on the front door but you didn’t answer”  OOPS!

Now picture this…

You’re sitting in the backyard watching the birds fly by and (insert bell sound) so you walk over to your Byron video door bell to see who’s here.

Byron was formed in 1904 by a Mr Charles Hands, a gentleman selling bell pushes from a shed at the bottom of his garden! The business developed and it was sold to Mr. Arnold White in 1970. At that time the business was split into two divisions; one for electrical accessories and one for machined turned parts. Eventually the turned part business was sold and his daughter, Penni Anderson took over the running of the business in 1990 following her father’s retirement.

Byron is the largest manufacturer of door chimes in the United Kingdom. They distribute worldwide and pride themselves on first class service and a comprehensive range of products. From a traditional country house to a modern new build, Byron has something for every home. Wire free technology in door chime manufacturing has been around for a while, and Byron has always taken strides to be at the forefront of this technology market. Byron was the first to manufacture a wire free rechargeable door chime, a wire free Bell in One, and a vibrating door chime Plumbtile.com is your link to these (and a lot more) wonderfully fun products.