How long to let a deck dry before staining?

Weather does have effects on our deck, making it warp, gray and withered. It is essential to take good care of our deck, protect it from harsh weather conditions like sunlight, humidity, and rainfall, which might have affected and weakened the wood in one way or the other. Getting your deck stained is a unique way of having your deck shining bright again, but before staining, you’ll need to wash the deck thoroughly of all its previous finish, and thus, it’s necessary to know how long to let the deck dry before staining. For a freshly washed deck, you can let it dry for 48 hours before staining. That’ll ensure your deck is fully ready to put on a new look.

How long should the deck dry before staining?

A deck has to be cleaned before staining for the stain to sit nicely on it. It has to be power washed to ensure that it is spotless, but it’s advisable to hire professionals to get this done. After a deck has been power washed, it is necessary to let the wood dry thoroughly to prevent the water soaked into the wood from getting trapped underneath the stain.

In a suitable drying condition, 48 hours is enough to let the deck dry before staining. For decks that don’t get much sun, it should be left to dry for at least 72 hours, but perhaps you feel it still look wet, give it more time to dry.

How do I know if my deck is dry enough to stain?

To test if your deck is dry, you can simply sprinkle little water on the surface of the deck. If the water is absorbed immediately, that means your deck is ready for staining, but if the water stays on the body in a bead form, then it still needs to be dried for a little while.

Read Also: How long should the deck stain dry before putting furniture on it?

Why do you need to stain?

\Wood stain acts as a protective layer for decks, increasing their durability and making them waterproof and good-looking. When necessary, staining prolongs its shelf life, prevents it from weathering easily, and prevents moisture from getting into your wood. A deck can be stained after it is power washed and thoroughly dried. This will increase its efficiency on the wood.

Oil-based stain or water-based stain, which is better?

Many people prefer water-based stain as it is more durable, efficient, and better than oil-based paint. Water-based stain offers some distinct features, which are advantages that oil based stains can’t provide. High-quality water-based stains clean up easily with soap and water when compared to oil-based. It also has better weathering resistance and doesn’t require the new wood to be completely dry before it is applied to it. This is an advantage it has over oil-based stains.

More so, it dries more quickly. We’re recommending that you use a water-based stain to coat your deck. Decks are best stained with a semi-transparent wood stain that will allow the natural grain of the wood to show through.

How to apply stain on a wood deck

The following steps will guide you on how to apply stain on the wood deck.

Step one: Get your deck ready.

Take your time to get your tools ready, allow new pressure-treated lumber to weather for a few months to dry out before staining, and for the old deck, move out all forms of furniture, water pots, and flowers from its surface to enable easy application.

Step two: Strip the deck of its old stain.

For older decks, the old paints and finishes need to be removed to be useful for the new ones. Leave stain strippers on the surface long enough to break down old finishes and coats before rinsing it off. Apply the stain strippers gently to avoid overspray on no target surfaces.

Step three: Clean the deck

Whether you’re dealing with an old deck that has been extraordinarily weathered or a new one, each needs to be well cleaned before staining. New wood needs to be cleaned to remove mill scale, which is a crushing of the grain that occurs during the milling process. If it is left uncleaned, it will prevent wood stains from properly penetrating the wood pores. This reduces the stain effectiveness on the wood deck.

Regarding the older deck, environmental factors such as mildew, sunlight, and humidity will have affected the deck, making it look weathered, gray, and warped. Old stains need to be removed before staining. Stain strippers such as sodium percarbonate wood cleaners are used to bare the deck of all it’s remaining finishing. Stain strippers are useful for cleaning your wood. They’re safe to use and don’t harm plants.

Before stripping your wood, you need to check for any buildup of stains. Perhaps if there’s, then there’s much work at hand at using sodium percarbonate might not be useful as you want it to be. It is advisable to use stain strippers, which are more caustic and will remove the hard buildups.

Then after using strippers, you might notice small spots of stain that didn’t come off while cleaning. To correct this, you’ll need a palm type sander to easily remove the colors after they’re dried. It’s essential to remove those stains because if left and a new coat are placed on it, those stains will show through the new finish, which reduces the deck’s beautiful outcome.

Step four: Use wood brighteners

Using wood brighteners is an easy and necessary step in the process of deck staining. Although many people overlook this step, it’s imperative as a result of the effects it has on the wood. Apart from having a significant impact on the wood, it is easy to apply and works in such a way that it;

  1. Opens up the surface of the wood to increase penetration into the wood.
  2. Neutralizes the stain strippers used.
  3. Restores the appearance of old, weathered wood to look brand new
  4. To apply, all you have to do is spray them on, wait for a few minutes, then rinse them off.

Step five: Rinse thoroughly

After applying your brightener, rinse the whole deck.

Step six: Apply your stain.

Now that the deck is ready, clean, and dry, you can apply the stain. Before using your paint, endeavor to read the manufacturer’s instructions to know the number of coats of lacquer to apply, how long to wait in between the coats, and how long to leave it to cure. This will be specified in the product label.

Step seven: Work your paintbrush on the wood.

You can apply your deck stains in various ways, and mostly a pump-up garden sprayer and rollers are the two methods of application used. Still, no matter your method of application, always keep a paintbrush at hand. A paintbrush will work the stain deep into the pores of aboard. Paintbrush works effectively so that the force and friction it exerts on the surface will make the wood absorb more paint. So if you’re spraying or rolling the timber, always back brush while the stain is still wet. This will help the deck to absorb more stain.

Step eight: Allow drying

After staining, let your deck dry well before you start using it. The deck has to cure totally before you begin placing furniture on it. Let it dry for at least 24 hours before putting furniture on it.

How to maintain your stained deck

After staining your deck, there one or two things to keep it looking great and excellent. You should wash down the surface of your deck often to keep dirt from damaging the surface. Once you notice the deck stain starts to get gray or to lose its color, you can easily use a bit of wood brightener with a light maintenance coat of paint. This will continually maintain your deck as you use it.

Materials and equipment needed

  1. Stain stripper
  2. Scrub brush
  3. Palm type sander
  4. Sodium percarbonate
  5. Pump garden sprayer
  6. Roller
  7. Paintbrush
  8. Water

Pro Tips – How long to let a deck dry before staining

  1. Before staining, power wash your deck and dry thoroughly
  2. Before deciding to stain your deck, always check the weather forecast to know if it’ll be favorable for drying. 3. Clean your wood before staining.
  3. Use a palm sander for small spots of stain that won’t come off
  4. Use quality products to have the desired results.
  5. Before applying your deck stain, always read the manufacturer’s instructions to know the right application.
  6. Always use a paintbrush to work your paint on the wood.
  7. Allow drying entirely before use.
  8. While staining, be careful not to splash stains on the deck surface below, which means you have to cover the surface beneath to prevent giving it spots here and there.
  9. While handling your deck cleaning, make sure professionals feel the power of cleaning to get effective results.

Conclusion- How long to let a deck dry before staining?

This article entails everything you need to know about your deck, incredibly how long it needs to dry before staining. Frequently, weather conditions affect the state of our deck, making it lose its charm. That is why it has to be cleaned to get rid of its previous stains and finishes, but after cleaning, it is essential to know how long it should dry before it is stained, see if it is dry, and the simple staining process. A cleaned deck should be left to dry for at least 48hours before it is stained.

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