How To TWP Guide to Staining a Deck
Prolonging the life of a deck is not difficult if you know enough about deck care and regular maintenance. Every year or two most decks need to be cleaned and recoated with deck stain. This will not only enhance the natural beauty of the wood but will create a barrier of protection from Mother Nature. Once a deck has been prepped (See article: The TWP Guide to Prepping a Deck) it is then ready for a coat of TWP stain. This guide will help you along in getting a professional like finish.
Stain Application Tools
True with any project using the right tools is going to make the task that much easier. Brushes are great for cutting in along edges and fitting into tight areas. Other stain applicators like an 18” stain pad or mop will help you to stain more area at a time and be up to 50% faster. A quality sprayer with different nozzle options will ensure the perfect spray pattern for great coverage. An airless sprayer can also be used to apply stain. Follow these methods of application with back brushing to get a nice even finish. Do not forget other things like mineral spirits for clean up, a spray shield, gloves, safety glasses and canvas tarps for protecting plants and grass from overspray.
Be sure to read the application instructions on the label. TWP can be applied in 1-2 coats depending on your wood’s porosity. Typically older wood will require 2 “wet on wet” coats while newer smoother wood will require only 1 coat.
Be sure to check your local forecast prior to starting. Once the deck has dried for 48 hours since it was cleaned or the last rainfall it needs to remain dry throughout the staining process and beyond. No rain or cold temperatures should be forecasted 2-3 days after application. Only apply TWP when temperature is between 50-90 degrees. Be sure to mix the stain thoroughly before use and several times during.
Applying TWP Stain
Use a brush, stain pad or deck floor mop and stain one or several boards at a time from end to end. This will help eliminate overlap marks. If cutting in an edge with a brush, be sure to feather the stain out away from the edge as opposed to leaving a defined line of stain. Also, use a brush to get the gaps between deck boards when using a pad. Inspect the deck for drips or runs and wipe them away with a brush. Determine if the wood needs one or two coats. Remove any liquid stain that is not absorbed within 30-60 minutes after the second coat with a brush, dry roller, dry pad, or a dry cloth.
Excess stain that does not penetrate and is not removed will leave a blotchy appearance and cause premature stain failure. Use a piece of cardboard or professional spray shield to catch overspray. Any overspray should be removed immediately using mineral spirits. Painter’s tape can also be used to protect edges along driveways, sidewalks, painted surfaces, brick, vinyl siding, etc.
Following TWP Staining
Clean all application tools, buckets, trays, etc. with mineral spirits immediately following completion of application. Clean up any spills or overspray before TWP is allowed to dry. Allow TWP stain to dry for 12-72 hours depending on drying conditions prior to foot traffic and moving plants, furniture, grills, etc. back onto deck.