It’s Spring: Deck Season Is Here!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

It's Spring, and that means it's home exterior project season. All manner of projects are now possible, just before we officially transition into the Summer months. Today, we are going to talk aboud decks, because when it's Spring, it's deck season. Right now is a great opportunity to revitalize an old deck or apply a finish to a new one. 

With old decks, it's good to think of them as a maintenane item. As such, they need a good, thorough cleaning and coat of stain or paint every two or three years without fail. This will not only help them look good, but it will preserve the wood against the elements, like the snow of winter and the rains of early spring, but also dirty, mildew, and sun damage. 

An old deck's finish will determine the type of prep it will need. A deck with a semi-transparent stain can often simply be cleaned before applying a new coat of the same stain. In other instances, the old stain might need to be removed, depending on how well it has held up over the years. After cleaning, either the same stain can be used or, if the homeowner wants a different look, a new one can be selected and applied. A solid body stain, on the other hand, will need to be removed. We recommend using a sealer, as it penetrates the wood, and not a coating that features any kind film, which can and most likely will peel. (Rymar, our sealer of choice, recommends applying a second coat the following year.) 

To clean a deck, we apply a stripper on the deck and railings, then powerwash these surfaces to remove the old stain. If necessary, we can apply a chemical wood cleaner, then powerwash again to clean and remove any dead wood fiber. From there, we sand as necessary to smooth out any rough edges. To make old wood look like new, we often use wood brighteners, which also infuse a lustre that is removed during the stripping process. (While new decks most likely won't need any brightening, asks a paint professional if you think their deck could benefit from it.)

Once cleaning is complete, we get on with the staining. There are a number of stain types and brands on the market, including eco-conscious ones without Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). If you want a visible wood grain, a semi-transparent stain is the way to go. Again, there are a range of transparencies, so you can real dial in the look you want. And if the wood grain is of little importance, you can always paint your deck a solid color, like white or even something that really pops, like red. 

To discuss looks for your old or new deck, get in contact with us over the phone at 262-642-9445, or email us at info@lakesidepainting.com. We'd be happy to help you bring a great finish to your deck. 

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