Your porch and deck are great places to relax, entertain neighbors and enjoy meals with friends. There’s a lot you can do to enhance your outdoor spaces with stain or paint to make them even more welcoming places for you to spend your time. Looking for a way to breathe life into your front porch?
Methods and Materials
Deck refinishing is usually a three-step process, consisting of stripping off any existing finish, washing the entire deck with a strong cleaner to remove dirt and mildew, and resealing all the exposed wood surfaces with a clear, semitransparent, or solid-color sealer.
Every deck refinishing job should start with a structural inspection. Check for exposed nail- and screwheads and loose deck boards, steps, railings, and benches. You’ll find that simply resetting nails and screws will fix many problems, but occasionally you’ll need to add new fasteners or replace and upgrade the existing ones.
Washing the Wood
Dekswood needs to be applied to wet wood, so begin by wetting the entire deck. Then, mix one part of Dekswood with four parts of water and pour the mixture into a deep roller pan. Working on a manageable area, apply the cleaning solution with a stiff-bristle brush, scrubbing vigorously as you go. When you’ve finished scrubbing your target area, use a pressure washer or hose to scour the surface clean. Then move to the next section of the deck and repeat the procedure. When the entire deck has been scrubbed and rinsed, use your garden hose to rinse off all nearby vegetation.
Sealing and Staining
Applying a stain/sealer is like painting in most respects, but conditions need to be just right. Because you’ve just drenched the deck, it will need two to three days to dry. And because the sealer needs several hours to work into the wood’s surface, it’s best not to start this project in the midday sun or on hot days. Early morning or early evening is probably best, and keep an eye on the weather report because the finish should cure for a couple of days before getting wet.
Begin by masking off areas to be protected such as siding and the concrete at the base of the steps. Pretaped masking paper is quick and easy to use and is available wherever paints and finishes are sold. It’s best to apply the stain on the broad areas of the deck with a roller and reserve a paintbrush for working up to the masked sections and in tight areas.
When you’ve finished with the brushwork, use a roller and a 3/4-in.-nap roller cover to apply stain to the larger areas.
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