Many homeowners considering composite want to know if it can be painted when it fades, and the answer varies. Tom says in many instances no; that what you buy is what you get for the life of the deck. Some companies do sell paints touted to work well on composites. Prior to attempting such a task, I recommend speaking to the manufacturer of the deck you purchased as well as a professional painter. In terms of cleaning, pressure washing or a soft brush and detergent will rid the surface of most mildew, pollen and things the birds leave behind when they fly overhead. Pine can easily warp, though, and requires more maintenance than some higher end woods.
There is also a wood decking on the market that has reliefs or grooves mortised into the underside of teh decking board. This eliminates warping and cupping. At the mid-price range, cedar, a beautiful wood that gives off an amazing smell, is more resistant to rot but breaks down when exposed to moist conditions. Western Red Cedar is available in most areas, but other varieties may be specific to the region in which you live.
Redwood also creates a beautiful deck that can last for several decades, but availability is often limited to the west coast. For a higher grade wood, Edger recommends mahogany or ipe. While both ipe and mahogany are heavy woods, neither is prone to splitting or cracking, and they age well with little to no maintenance. The cost of a wood deck will vary according to your location, the type of wood used and size of the deck built. Wood decks require upkeep, with lower end decking needing a bit more elbow grease than higher end products. Pine decks may chip, and the boards have a tendency to twist as they dry out.
Avoid power washing, which can strip the wood. It can also cause extended stain dry times since the water vapor is still trying to evaporate out of the wood through the stain barrier. Other potential trouble with water-popping can come from areas where the popped grain was crushed before it was stained, leaving marks on the floor.
Anything that might do that—hard knee pads, stain cans, buffer wheels, boot toes—should be avoided, because they may show up as lighter areas of stain. Sweat drips coming off your body or footprints from damp socks can also be visible whether the floor is water-popped or not. Another note of caution when water-popping: Because those floors accept more stain, they also need more time to dry, even when a quick-drying stain is used.
You can help the drying process by adding air flow. Even a box fan or two set up in the doorways to blow directly across the stained areas will help. As mentioned before, stains need to react with oxygen in order to dry. The good thing with bleedback, if there is one, is that it typically shows up right away—within hours or the next day.
Ensure there is as much air movement as possible to help get solvents out of the floor and the building. Some contractors use vacuums or even air compressors to try to remove excess stain from down within the floor of course, if you attempt this with an air compressor, be sure to protect everything around the floor from potential splatters! Unlike bleedback, other excess stain problems may lurk for weeks or even months before they show up.
When seams between boards are close enough that finish bridges over them, and there is stain trapped between them, stain solvents trying to escape can eat into the bottom of the sealer and finish. Those solvents can cause other problems even months after a job seemed to be completed without issues.
The finish may begin to turn white, or start peeling, or begin chipping. The finish may simply be softer, with less scratch resistance and less chemical resistance. At that point the job is a complete resand, with the homeowners displaced again—a major ordeal and expense.
Today, some manufacturers do officially approve of adding a certain amount of their stain or paint to their sealers or finishes, but that comes with a caveat: You must be excellent at applying an even mil thickness of finish with a masterful feathering technique. Contractors adding color to their finish should note that too much stain in the finish could lead to issues as the coated floor goes through its normal life cycle. A wear pattern on the high traffic areas will be more obvious and will show as a lighter color compared with the rest of the floor. To help avoid this scenario, the final coat of finish should not contain any color, so as the floor gradually wears, it will not appear lighter in the high traffic areas.
Then they start a new run—no feathering with the applicator required see the photos at right. They often apply multiple thin layers until the desired tone and depth of color is reached. They might have a suggestion that will make your life easier without the risk that comes with performing tailgate chemistry. Paul, Minn. People can get pretty salty about it, which makes me laugh, because I am talking them OUT of buying something! Kim M. Wahlgren is the longtime editor of Wood Floor Business. Based in Madison, Wis.
How to Stain Wood & Wood Staining Tips | Minwax
She holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin in journalism and Spanish. Wood Floor Sanding Wood Floor Sanding Everything from basics on running the big machine to detailed buffer techniques and more are in these wood floor sanding articles. Basic Wood Floor Installation Basic Wood Floor Installation From straight-lay strip to parquet, herringbone and more, these articles offer the on wood floor installation. Featured Manufacturers. Premium Partners.
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Details Kim Wahlgren May 22nd Watch for streaks. Clean stain from cracks and crevices with a dry brush. Wipe the brush on a clean rag or brush it on newspaper to clean off the stain between strokes. Let the stain dry overnight. The key to getting an evenly stained wood surface is to saturate the wood thoroughly and then wipe the stain off evenly. Start by stirring the stain. Use the same method to mix the sanding sealer and the wood varnish later. The best application method is to simply dip a natural-bristle brush into the stain and brush it right onto the wood Photo 4.
Rags are messy and waste stain. Wipe off the stain with clean cotton rags in the same order you put it on. The idea is to let it soak into all areas of the wood for about the same amount of time Photo 5. Wipe with light, even pressure. Refold wiping rags frequently so you have dry cloth for most strokes, and grab a new rag whenever one gets soaked. Wipe off the bristles on a rag or newspaper between strokes to keep the bristles dry and to avoid smearing. If the stain gets tacky before you can wipe it off, simply apply more stain to soften it and then wipe it off again. Finally, closely examine the surface for smudges, brush marks and blotches.
Look for swirls left by rags and wipe them down again. These marks are easy to miss but you will see them after finishing, so examine the surface carefully. If you spot areas in the finish that seem too light, add more stain. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then wipe it off again. Work quickly; as the stain dries, it will smudge.
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Lighten dark areas by rubbing them lightly with a rag dampened with paint thinner. Make these color tune-ups for each piece right after staining.
Let the stain dry overnight before you start the finish coats. Getting the best color usually requires stain mixing, so buy a few different 4-oz. Sand extra trim, cut it into 3-in. Mark all the pieces with the colors you use to keep them straight. You can lighten stain easily by diluting it with paint thinner. But measure carefully so you can replicate your results on a larger scale.
Next, finish the samples with the same sealer and varnish coats you plan to use, to get an accurate finished look. Even pros rarely attempt it themselves. The best bet is to bring a sample of the finish you want to match, along with raw wood samples, to a paint store that offers a color-matching service. You may have to shop around a bit. Brush sanding sealer evenly onto the entire length of each board.
Take care not to miss any spots. Let the sealer dry overnight.
How To Choose the Right Wood Stain
Brush on the sanding sealer in the direction of the grain until the whole surface is coated Photo 7. Work quickly; sanding sealers dry fast. If you see brush marks after tipping off, leave them and sand them out later. Lastly, look carefully at the edges to find any drips and smooth them out with the brush.