Tips & Tricks

Tips and Tricks

Surface preparation is key to the success of any coating that is used on exterior wood. Properly cleaning and then allowing for the wood to dry will determine the longevity of the selected coating. When preparing to clean a deck to be re-finished consider the following items:

  • Are you going to use the same finish? If so, you may not need to strip the current coating. A simple wash and recoat may be all that is necessary.
  • Does the old finish need to be stripped? If you are changing products or color then the answer is probably yes. Using a wood stripping cleaning will separate the old finish from the wood, allowing the proper use of a power washer to clean the wood back to the original color. It is always very important to neutralize a wood stripper with a wood brightener. This helps create a “like new” appearance while balancing the PH scale of the wood to properly accept the new stain.
  • How to apply the stain? When applying an oil based finish always use a natural bristle brush. This type of brush allows the product to absorb in to the bristles and produce an efficient, even finish. Always clean up with mineral spirits when use oil based products.
  • No Pooling!!! The wood can only absorb so much stain. Only apply as much as the wood will absorb. Any pooling should be wiped up within 1-2 hours.

Power Washing Tips

The recommended tip for cleaning wood is a 40 degree or greater. This creates a larger fan tip to cover more area and prevent scoring of the wood. Always move the power washer in a continual motion approximately 6’’ above the wood surface.

Tip Recommendations (degrees):

0 – Not recommend for wood
15 – Not recommended for wood, concrete use
25 – For use with lower volume machines
40 – Use on wood