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4 tips for staining a deck for your outdoor space

By Andrew Bell

For many Surfers Paradise property owners, their deck is the centre of socialising in the summertime, so it's important that the stain of the wood is as vibrant as the dinner parties you hope to host there. A freshly stained deck can revive your outdoor space and can be done without hiring an expert. For those with the can-do, DIY attitude, here are four of our tips for staining a deck.

1. Smooth your surface

Before you launch into staining your deck, you need to make sure that it's prepared correctly to get the best results. It's difficult to stick a wood stain to a dirty deck, so it's key to get rid of any mildew or dust by either using a wood cleaning agent or a water blaster. Wood cleaning agents are a great way to get rid of excess dirt quickly. As it is a chemical solution, thoroughly rinsing your deck with water after use will ensure that there isn't any residual cleanser left over, which could compromise the quality of your wood stain.

If you opt to clean with a water blaster, you'll need to delay the staining for a few days – even if the surface seems dry, there could be excess moisture within the wood that could result in peeling. Once the deck is clean and dry, use sand paper to smooth the wood down to get rid of any splintering spots.

2. Mind the weather

There are many factors that we can control when staining a deck, unfortunately, the weather isn't one of them. For this reason, it's important to keep an eye out on the weather forecast to make sure the conditions are appropriate for staining. Those of us with Gold Coast real estate are in luck – with around 300 days of sunshine per year, it's easy to find a good stretch of time to allow your stain to dry. However, it's a good idea to check how windy a day may be, especially if there are lots of trees around – the last thing you want is to accidentally stain leaves onto your deck.

3. Work with the wood

While you may have radical plans for the revamp of your deck, it's best practice to work with the natural tone of the wood. Matching the colour to the existing stain of the wood can revive it in an organic way, and can avoid any dramatic colour disasters. A good rule of thumb with this approach is to choose a colour one shade darker than the remaining stain to ensure the colour binds to the wood.

Many hardware stores sell sample sized pots of different toned wood stains, and are a great way to test out a colour without committing to a whole tin or to experiment with colour combinations. For those looking for an eclectic entertaining space, painting each piece of wood on your deck in a slightly different stain can result in a unique and dynamic outdoor area.

If you're staining your deck to match another piece of wooden furniture in the vicinity, such as a table, it's important to remember that not all wood types will stain or hold a tone in the same way, so you may not achieve the colour you intended. When staining the wood, make sure to paint with the grain of the wood for a smooth finish.

4. Take your time

Slow and steady is the name of the game with deck staining. Using a wide synthetic brush, apply thin layers to the deck in long strokes, being careful not to pool the stain in any areas. Being heavy-handed will result in a finish that will quickly peel away, while thin strokes allow for more friction which helps the wood absorb the stain better.

Once you've stained your deck, you'll need to wait a while before you can put the furniture back out there. Especially with wooden tables and chairs, placing furniture on the deck too early could result in damaging your hard work, as well as potentially staining the legs of your chairs. Leaving a window of between 24 and 48 hours allows the stain to take to the wood, and for it to dry enough to enjoy in the sunshine.

Looking to upgrade more than your deck? Get in touch with the experts in Gold Coast property at Ray White Surfers Paradise for a friendly chat.

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