Color Me Home Episode 5: Clean and Protect Your Deck

This week, Betsy and Dan talk about the quintessential Spring/Summer project:  cleaning and protecting your deck! Deck projects may seem complicated, but they’re really very straightforward. You just need to arm yourself with a little information. Lucky for you, that’s almost entirely what’s contained in this episode. (Actual information content is roughly around 85%. The other 15% is stuff we have a tough time categorizing…)

Episode Outline

  • How long do I have to let a new pressure-treated deck dry before staining? (2:30)
  • My deck’s gray and faded! How do I get it ready for stain? (6:37)
  • Why is cleaning the deck important? Can’t I just skip this step? (15:00)
  • Do I have to protect my wife’s plants around the deck? Or will they be OK? (18:00)
  • I don’t understand all the different deck stains that are out there! Can you help? (22:38)
  • What tools do you recommend for applying the stain? (30:02)
  • How do I apply the stain to my deck? (37:52)
  • Is there a best time of day to apply the stain? (43:20)

Pressure-Treated Lumber

Pressure-treated lumber has been chemically treated to resist rot, decay, and termites. And really, it’s an interesting process by which this is all done. See, the lumber is rolled into giant pressurized tanks where the preservative is forced deep into the wood’s fibers. Here’s a video for those of you who want the full “deck experience”!

Getting the Deck Ready for Stain

OK. In the episode, Dan talked about having video of a co-worker, Dave Williams, falling down the stairs while cleaning the deck. As is usually the case, Dan’s memory of the event and the reality depicted in the footage, aren’t necessarily the same. While in his mind, the event was long, drawn out, and utterly hilarious, the video is much less so. Still, it’s someone falling down who’s not Dan. So, that’s cool. And, best of all, Dave was just fine! The big takeaway here is this: these deck cleaning products can create a very, very slippery surface! So be careful!

Other than the video of Dave falling, we also mentioned a very quick video that demonstrates a sample of what Benjamin Moore’s Restore and Brighten can do for a deck that’s old and weathered. The results are remarkable! Check it out:

OnFloor Machine

Here’s a demo of the OnFloor Machine we discussed in the podcast, though we want to note that the situation in this video shows the OnFloor Machine removing nearly 5 layers of freshly applied stain (yikes!). As a result, the speed is dramatically reduced. Still, you can see a great example of how clean the OnFloor Machine will get your deck. It’s a very quick way to get your wood ready for stain without having to do any cleaning or introduce any water to the deck at all. This means you could clean it and stain it on the same day!

We have an OnFloor Machine for rent. You can contact us at 616-396-5213 to check availability and rental rates!

Which Tools are Best?

In the podcast, we discuss 3 recommended tools for staining your deck. For a more in-depth look complete with video of how quickly (or not!) the tools work, look below:

Summary

And that’s it for all the information we covered in the podcast. We knew this was a long one and we debated about the best way to present it. In the end, we decided to present it in it’s entirety and let people pick and choose what parts they wanted to listen to more closely! We hope the information’s helpful. And don’t forget, if you have any questions at all, you can stop out at any RepcoLite Paints, Port City Paints, or Snyder Paints location and let us help! Or, you can email Dan and Besty directly at colormehome@repcolite.com!

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2 Comments

  1. Is it better to clean and stain the deck in the spring or fall? It’s August right now and my deck looks bad but it’s been such a hot summer I didn’t want to work outside. Now that we are having cooler weather (80 degrees) I don’t know whether to work on the deck now or wait until spring.

    Your podcasts are very helpful!

    Sue

    • Hi Sue! Thanks for the question and thanks for the compliment on the podcasts! At any rate, here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: if you’re going to clean AND protect the deck this fall (which should be absolutely fine), then go ahead and get going on it. However, if you’re not going to put a wood protector/stain on the deck until next Spring, then you’re much better off to just wait until Spring before you do any cleaning. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your efforts right now as it will likely need to be cleaned again before you can stain it in the Spring. Hope that helps! Any other questions, let us know.

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