Deck Staining Part 1 – Preparing the Surface

Want to know how to stain your deck? This video will show you how to accomplish staining a deck correctly just like the pros do! In this Painting tutorial video I will show you everything you are going to need to know about how to prepare your exterior wooden structure to get it ready to stain. You will learn about pressure washers and the techniques necessary to pressure washing these structures. This same system will work for staining any kind of exterior wood structure, such as trellises, fences, decks, handrails and just about any other exterior wood structure you can think of.

Video Transcript

Hi there I am Jason Guy with and today we are going to show you how to make your deck go from looking like this, to looking like this. The first step will be to pressure wash the wood. You’ll notice in the pictures taken before we did anything that the deck had a weathered gray appearance. Pressure washing will remove this grey layer of weathered wood and reveal the beautiful wood under it to give us the starting point we will need to apply our stain. Before we get to talking about stain though let’s talk pressure washers and pressure washing technique.

Alright when you are ready to begin doing your project, your exterior deck, your pergola, your trellis, whatever exterior wood structure you got, you are going to need to find one of these. This particular guy is an eleven horsepower Honda with a direct drive pump on it. Stay away from electric power washers, stay away from low horsepower power washers. They are just not going to have the amount of power that you are going to need like this guy has. look for similar specs to the power washer. This particular one will put out about 3,300 PSI at around 4 gallons per minute. You are going to want to look for something with similar specs to that. Anything less than that and when you go over your deck you’re going to be going over it multiple times like this and you have a higher chance of having stop and start marks on your deck. We want to have something with high power so that when we run it across the deck it will take off that old weathered grayed appearance in one pass. We don’t want to go over it multiple times. We only want to go over it with one pass, if we can, so find something similar to this. You are also going to need a pressure line. So when you buy or rent make sure that you get enough pressure line for whatever project you have. You know its going to be specific to your project. You might need one hundred feet you might only need fifty. It really depends on what you are doing. But make sure that you have enough so that your not having to break down the power washer and then re set it up in multiple spots. It’s just kind of a pain. You are also going to need a chemical injector. We’re going to need this if your deck is say it’s been ten years and it hasn’t had a preservative put on it, and there is parts of it that have been sitting in the shady areas that are starting to have growth accumulate on them. We need to kill all that. We need to be able to run chlorine solution through our power washer. So you are going to need your chemical injector right here to do that. You are also going to need some kind of a trigger and a wand. In my exterior painting video I specified the importance to having a removable wand. This just isn’t necessary if you are staining a deck. If you are staining a deck you can have a fixed wand. You’re probably not going to need going to need to change it out. Because we aren’t going to be power washing high eves like we were when we were painting a house. We are just going to be doing the decking and the hand rails. So if you find one with a fixed wand thats totally okay for this kind of thing. The interchangeability is nice if you maybe you have a high pergola or something like that with slats way up high and you want to change between this size and a longer size, but its probably not necessary for most of your exterior wood structures. You’re also going to need two different kinds of tips when we are doing these kinds kinds of wood projects. You are going one this black one right here this is so that we have the ability to spray chlorine out of our wand here and this will shoot it out at a low pressure and just allow it to come out of the chemical injector through your hose out through out though your wand and onto your project. Thats all that does. Our main work horse is going to be this green tip right here. this is a 25 degree angle tip
and this is a good happy medium tip. It’s not too wide, if you get too wide of a fan it’s going to dissipate the pressure and we don’t want that we want more of a concentrated stream but we don’t want a zero degree stream where it’s just a bullet digging into your decking there. you want a little bit of a fan and you want it to be mildly concentrated so 25 degrees is a good tip for this kind of thing and the 25 degree angle tips are typically green. So you are going to want to find yourself one of those.

When you do a deck like this there is two things you can do to really screw it up and you look at one of these decks and you can tell immediately if an amateur has done it. We’re using a really high pressure machine here and you want to use a really high pressure machine here, but the thing that you want to remember is that you never ever start and stop in the middle of a piece of wood. So when I’m doing this I don’t want to be spraying like this and stop right here and then continue or you know I go to right here and then I start again. If you do this you are actually going to see start and stop marks all over your work and it doesn’t look so good. So whenever possible you want to start from one end and work clear to the other end. It’s not always possible to start on the very edge of a board and carry it all the way through a board and so in that case if you’re going to do that and you have to start in the middle of you work, gradually ease off of it. Actually pull the trigger here and ease into it as you go into your work here. And that will minimize the stop and start mark look. As soon as you start doing thats stop and start thing, it can look really atrocious really fast. So that’s the number one thing that you want to keep in mind. The other big thing that you are really going to want to keep in mind, is that it is kind of a Goldilocks thing you are going to want to keep it not too far away but not too close. If you are too far away then you aren’t going to take off that top layer like you want. We actually want to take a top layer off of this wood because there is really beautiful wood under here. So if you are too far away you are actually not going to do that. In the same breath, if you’re too close you’re just going to dig holes right though this stuff, and that’s even worse. You never want to get too close and you don’t want to dig this thing apart. So with those two things in mind let’s go ahead and get down to it.

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