(Cedarbrook deck and screened-in porch with continuous-cap wood rail in Damascus, MD)

(Cedarbrook deck and screened-in porch with continuous-cap wood rail in Damascus, MD)

We all want a great looking outdoor living space. When you invest in a pressure treated wood deck, staining and sealing comes with the territory! Whether you are a seasoned wood deck owner, or this is your first time owning a wood deck, the staining and sealing process can be a difficult one. Not to worry! Here at Cedarbrook, we have great tips to share with you!

Your deck is exposed to the elements year-round and depending on your local climate, your deck will be weathered by rain, snow, heat, sun exposure, and even the rogue hailstorm or two. All these environmental factors will take a toll on your outdoor space over time. Staining and sealing your wood deck will help to prevent this and extend the life of your deck.

Once you notice water is no longer beading up on your deck, this might be a good time to start the staining process. First things first, check the weather. You cannot begin this project if the forecast calls for rain or if it has rained recently as stain should not be applied to wet wood. Also, the temperature needs to fall between 50° – 85°F for a proper stain application. 

(Cedarbrook wood deck and sweeper-style wood rail with custom staircase in Frederick, MD)

(Cedarbrook wood deck and sweeper-style wood rail with custom staircase in Frederick, MD)

Check your deck surface for debris, dirt, and splinters. If you have areas that need sanding, now is the time to do it. Don’t forget to clean between the deck boards! After these steps are complete, clean the deck with an approved wood deck cleaner and/or pressure washer. If you use a pressure washer allow at least 2 days to dry. If your deck was built in 2004 or later, you will want to hire a professional to remove the dust and debris as these older decks were treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) to combat the elements and insects. When deck boards treated with CCA are sanded they may release arsenic toxins in the air. Professionals have equipment to capture and remove this type of dangerous dust and debris!

Now you will need to select your stain. Clear sealants show the most amount of wood grain and allow the wood to age/weather naturally as they contain no oils or pigments. Clear sealants are great for new decks. Semi-transparent stain provides a slight pigmentation and still shows natural wood grain. These stains last the longest and provide the most protection. Semi-solid and solid stains leave little to no natural wood grain. These stains are great for uniform color but are prone to chipping and peeling as they sit on top of the wood like paint.  

Gather your stain, paint brushes and rollers, and painter’s tape! It’s time to finally get to the staining work. Keep in mind natural brushes work best with oil-based paints. Mark off areas such as siding with painter’s tape to avoid getting stain where it is not wanted. Use your brush or roller to apply a thin layer of stain. This is certainly one of those occasions where less is more as you don’t want to over apply. Too much stain may develop an uneven look in areas which are too heavily coated. A good rule of thumb is it’s better to go slow and apply more coats if needed, since removing coats is near impossible! Allow the deck to dry for at least 1-2 days before replacing your furnishings, grill or décor.

(Cedarbrook wood deck and continuous-cap wood rail with patio in Mount Airy, MD)

(Cedarbrook wood deck and continuous-cap wood rail with patio in Mount Airy, MD)

Lastly, enjoy the beautiful outdoor space! If you are interested in a wood deck, or if you prefer the low maintenance living of new composite decking, reach out to Cedarbrook to determine the best approach to meet your outdoor living needs. Call Cedarbrook for a free consultation 301-703-8728.