How To Paint Deck

How To Paint Deck

Prepare the deck before you apply stain Before you stain the deck, I do recommend you have a professional power wash and clean the deck to remove any remaining stain, sealant, dirt and grime. A properly prepared deck will yield the longest-lasting results. This is something you don’t want to do yourself, unless you have the expertise. A common issue power washing professionals see is homeowners who get a bit overzealous with the amount of pressure they use and cause splintering and other damage to the wood. Staining a deck can be a time-consuming job. What you think could be a weekend project could end up taking weeks if you do it yourself. I talked to one deck-cleaning company owner who joked with me that he doesn’t even stain his own deck because it’s such a demanding job. He hires his workers to do it for him. Plus, a quality deck maintenance company can offer the best suggestions for your specific situation to help you get the longest-lasting finish possible.
how to paint deck 1

How To Paint Deck

Spray on the Paint The key to painting a deck quickly is to use a sprayer. Available for rent or purchase, the machine can be loaded with the deck paint of your choice, and it will quickly cover the entire deck. Always spray with the grain of the wood for the best results, and have a helper standing by with a long-handled roller brush and paint brush to smooth out any puddles and get the paint into the nooks and crannies. Paint yourself off the deck so you don’t have to step on anything, and wait for each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. When working with a sprayer, always wear protective eye wear, a mask and old clothes.
how to paint deck 2

How To Paint Deck

Before you stain the deck, I do recommend you have a professional power wash and clean the deck to remove any remaining stain, sealant, dirt and grime. A properly prepared deck will yield the longest-lasting results. This is something you don’t want to do yourself, unless you have the expertise. A common issue power washing professionals see is homeowners who get a bit overzealous with the amount of pressure they use and cause splintering and other damage to the wood. Staining a deck can be a time-consuming job. What you think could be a weekend project could end up taking weeks if you do it yourself. I talked to one deck-cleaning company owner who joked with me that he doesn’t even stain his own deck because it’s such a demanding job. He hires his workers to do it for him. Plus, a quality deck maintenance company can offer the best suggestions for your specific situation to help you get the longest-lasting finish possible.
how to paint deck 3

How To Paint Deck

The key to painting a deck quickly is to use a sprayer. Available for rent or purchase, the machine can be loaded with the deck paint of your choice, and it will quickly cover the entire deck. Always spray with the grain of the wood for the best results, and have a helper standing by with a long-handled roller brush and paint brush to smooth out any puddles and get the paint into the nooks and crannies. Paint yourself off the deck so you don’t have to step on anything, and wait for each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. When working with a sprayer, always wear protective eye wear, a mask and old clothes.
how to paint deck 4

How To Paint Deck

Paint adheres best to a clean surface, and even a covered deck may carry pollen, dust, dirt and other debris. Spray the deck down with a deck cleaner before you paint. This product is typically available at home improvement stores and contains a solution of cleaner that hooks up to your hose, and the water from the spigot dilutes the mixture so that it can properly clean the area. Leave the cleaner on for about 20 minutes, then scrub the entire deck down with a stiff brush. Rinse it with clean water from the hose, and let the deck dry.
how to paint deck 5

How To Paint Deck

Clean it Off Paint adheres best to a clean surface, and even a covered deck may carry pollen, dust, dirt and other debris. Spray the deck down with a deck cleaner before you paint. This product is typically available at home improvement stores and contains a solution of cleaner that hooks up to your hose, and the water from the spigot dilutes the mixture so that it can properly clean the area. Leave the cleaner on for about 20 minutes, then scrub the entire deck down with a stiff brush. Rinse it with clean water from the hose, and let the deck dry.
how to paint deck 6

How To Paint Deck

Once all of the repairs have been made and the deck is clean, it’s time to apply a protective finish. Clear finishes and transparent stains are fine for new wood, but for older decks, Starling recommends using a semitransparent stain. “The grain still shows through, but the pigment gives the old wood a clean, uniform color and helps the new wood blend in,” he says. The pigment also provides extra protection from the damaging effects of the sun and will last longer than clear finishes. Unlike paint, stain is absorbed by the wood and does not form a film on its surface, so it will not peel or chip. Starling uses a sprayer and 2-in. brush to apply the stain. “Spraying is fast, and puts more stain on the wood than rolling or brushing,” Starling says. Most painters and homeowners are better off spraying on a generous coat of stain and then following up with a roller or brush to spread out puddles and work the finish into the wood. Starling, however, uses a modified technique. “Rollers push the stain off the wood and down the cracks,” he says. “I don’t get paid to paint dirt beneath the deck.” Starling sprays on a light coat, most of which is quickly absorbed into the wood. He uses the brush to remove puddles. “If the stain’s too thick, it dries blotchy,” he explains. Starling recycles the excess stain for use on exposed end grain. Starling recommends starting at an inside corner and working out, applying the stain parallel to the deck boards. To avoid staining the nearby brick, he uses a small piece of cardboard as a spray shield; the brush provides even more control around deck railings and posts. This 700-sq.-ft. deck required about 5 gal. of stain — almost twice as much as the estimates indicated on the can. Explains Starling, “Old wood can get thirsty. On some decks, I’ll need to apply two or three coats of stain in order to get a uniform finish.” Subsequent coats should be applied while the first coat is still wet or they will not be absorbed into the wood. Stain won’t peel, but it can wear away, especially in high-traffic areas. Starling recommends applying a fresh coat every other year. A clear water repellent can be applied between stainings for extra protection.
how to paint deck 7

How To Paint Deck

Step 3: Applying the Stain Trim the replacement boards with a circular saw. Using adjacent boards as a cutting guide is faster and more accurate than measuring. Once all of the repairs have been made and the deck is clean, it’s time to apply a protective finish. Clear finishes and transparent stains are fine for new wood, but for older decks, Starling recommends using a semitransparent stain. “The grain still shows through, but the pigment gives the old wood a clean, uniform color and helps the new wood blend in,” he says. The pigment also provides extra protection from the damaging effects of the sun and will last longer than clear finishes. Unlike paint, stain is absorbed by the wood and does not form a film on its surface, so it will not peel or chip. Starling uses a sprayer and 2-in. brush to apply the stain. “Spraying is fast, and puts more stain on the wood than rolling or brushing,” Starling says. Most painters and homeowners are better off spraying on a generous coat of stain and then following up with a roller or brush to spread out puddles and work the finish into the wood. Starling, however, uses a modified technique. “Rollers push the stain off the wood and down the cracks,” he says. “I don’t get paid to paint dirt beneath the deck.” Starling sprays on a light coat, most of which is quickly absorbed into the wood. He uses the brush to remove puddles. “If the stain’s too thick, it dries blotchy,” he explains. Starling recycles the excess stain for use on exposed end grain. Starling recommends starting at an inside corner and working out, applying the stain parallel to the deck boards. To avoid staining the nearby brick, he uses a small piece of cardboard as a spray shield; the brush provides even more control around deck railings and posts. This 700-sq.-ft. deck required about 5 gal. of stain — almost twice as much as the estimates indicated on the can. Explains Starling, “Old wood can get thirsty. On some decks, I’ll need to apply two or three coats of stain in order to get a uniform finish.” Subsequent coats should be applied while the first coat is still wet or they will not be absorbed into the wood. Stain won’t peel, but it can wear away, especially in high-traffic areas. Starling recommends applying a fresh coat every other year. A clear water repellent can be applied between stainings for extra protection.

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