Painting or staining a wood deck is a great way to keep it looking new for years to come as it protects the wood from damaging sun and rain. It brightens up the look of the standard “green” that is known as pressure treated lumber with any color of your choice to match any number of themes, designs or motifs you may have or want on your outdoor deck.
While painting or staining a deck may be ascetically pleasing, it helps also protects the lumber from the elements as well as protecting you from harmful chemicals that may leach out of pressure treated lumber and into your yard, water supply or skin. Most new pressure treated material is made from less toxic versions of copper chromium arsenic, but older decks that may contain higher traces of arsenic would certainly benefit from a fresh coat of deck paint or stain.
Clean Your Deck Sweep all of the dirt and debris from the deck surface. If you have really built on mildew or mold, excessive dirt or a new deck you’ll need to pressure wash the deck first; just make certain it’s dry by allowing it to sit for at least 24 hours. Use a commercial deck scrub/wash made from oxygenated bleach to properly clean the deck. Use a stain sealer remover at this time if you have oil based paint or flaky, cracking or old paint. Add deck brightener as per directions and wash thoroughly.
Inside Tip: Use a pool brush with a long handle to easily and quickly scrub away stubborn stains. Don’t worry about small spots of old stain or paint that might not come off with a stain remover; when it dries you can easily scrap it off with a wire brush. Clean the deck with plenty of water to ensure all of the chemicals used in the cleaning process are washed away.
Applying Paint or Stain Before you start you’ll need a few good paintbrushes and rollers. Choosing between water-based paint and oil-based is really up to your preference. In different times water-based stains and paints were inferior in protective qualities compared to there oil-based counterparts. Because of severe environmental restrictions involving oil-based paints and stains, companies have had to focus there attention on developing better technologies with water-based paints and stains. In my opinion, many if not all water-based paints are equal to or superior to oil-based products.
While there are several ways to apply paint or stain to a deck, those being spraying, rolling and brushing, it is best to stick to using a roller and brush. Nothing penetrates those tiny cracks and crevices better than using a thick napped roller cover and a heavy brush.
Inside tip: Don’t over apply paint or stain, rather allow the wood to only absorb what it can. Too much paint or stain prevents the wood from breathing naturally and allowing small amounts of oxygen and water to pass through the wood. This creates humidity within the wood which cannot be released and will cause paint or stain to flake off or crack.