Deck Cleaning | How to Prepare a Deck for Staining

Deck cleaning is the first and most important process you need to do, before you stain your deck! The process of cleaning all dirt and stains out of the wood is not hard, but it’s the deck cleaning where most DIY’ers fail to take the most care. Remember, if you don’t take care to clean the deck well before you add new stain, all you are doing is sealing them under the surface for the next several years!

In this article at DIY Reviews, we asked an expert, Red from Classic Paint in Charlotte NC, to help us share the best process for deck cleaning!

Proper Deck Cleaning to Prepare for Stain

The first step of proper deck cleaning involves removing everything on it! Including the furniture!

  • First, take any and everything off the deck.
  • Sweep the entire deck with a broom or leaf blower if  you have one handy.
  • Be sure to clean between the boards for leaves, sticks, etc
  • As you are are deck cleaning, check for loose boards.
  • If boards are loose, use either 16 penny spiral nails or 3-4 inch deck screws to tighten them down.
  • Always be careful not to sand with a rough piece of sand paper.  This can really show up after stain is applied.

You are ready to start cleaning the deck for stain:

  • Always be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when deck cleaning. Chemicals can be hazardous!
  • Clorox works great for deck cleaning. Using a hand pump sprayer, make a mix of 1/2 clorox, 1/2 water
  • Spray the entire deck surface
  • Let the deck cleaner sit for about an hour, then rinse off with hose.
  • You can repeat this as needed till the deck is cleaned to your satisfaction.
  • Let the deck dry completely

Now your ready for stain, so remember these tips:

  • Semi-transpatant stain looks best and holds up better. You can also see the wood grain.
  • Solid stain gets dirty faster.
  • You can use solid over semi, but cannot use semi over solid.
  • Always shake or stir stain well
  • Pour 1 gallon pails into a 5 gallon bucket  to be sure it is mixed properly
  • It is preferable to use a 9 inch roller with a thick full 1 inch nap (holds more stain).
  • Use a 3 inch brush to cut around deck  and handrails

For more tips, please visit the Home Improvement section of our website.

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