Has it been more than a couple of years since you stained your deck? Be honest - your deck will always tell the truth. Sure, it's a chore to stain your deck, but with the right products and know-how, you can do it right and get back to enjoying summer in Chicago.
First Things First
You need to have the weather on your side. The stain won't adhere to damp wood, so don't begin your DIY deck adventure unless there's been no rain for several days. If you're unsure if the wood is dry enough, pour some water on it. Does the water soak in? Perfect. The wood is good to go. It would be best to have clear skies for about two days after staining so rainfall doesn't displace the stain. If the forecast is a go, thoroughly clean your deck to remove any dirt, dust, or mildew that has built up. (Be sure you let the wood dry before moving on!)
Select Your Stain
If you're working with new wood, you can choose any stain. A clear stain will emphasize the natural grain pattern, while a solid formula can closely match the color of your home. For decks that have been previously stained, you cannot apply a transparent or semi-transparent stain over a solid one. Solid stains fill the wood's pores, preventing thinner ones from absorbing, but you can use any finish over an opaque formula.
How Many Coats?
If the size of your deck warrants several cans of stain, mix them all in a larger container before beginning to ensure the color is consistent. Next up - how many coats of stain should go on your deck? We recommend two coats. Two very thin coats that you take care to apply as evenly as possible. This will ensure a beautiful, uniform finish with zero bare spots. The coats must be thin because a thick one won't dry properly, resulting in a tacky surface that won't protect the wood as stains should.
How Long Does Deck Stain Take to Dry?
Who really enjoys staining their deck? If the weather is pleasant enough to be doing that, there are several other things you'd likely prefer to be doing. We understand the temptation to rush but do your best to resist. You need to wait about four hours between coats of stain, assuming your coats are thin and even. They were, right? Good. After applying the second coat of deck stain, allow it to cure for at least 24 hours before enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Staining Your Deck The Right Way
JC Licht has everything you need to stain your deck like a professional. We are Chicago's premier destination for Benjamin Moore paint and stain, Hunter Douglas window treatments, and upscale wallpaper brands. Visit one of our many locations across the Midwest or book an in-home consultation. You can count on JC Licht to Make it Happen! JC Licht is the preferred provider of Hunter Douglas products for the Midwest and Chicagoland. Contact us today!