The natural beauty of wood, with its unique grain patterns, and warm colours, can transform an outdoor living space. Applying the correct stain product will enhance and preserve the enduring beauty of wood decks, fences, siding and furniture.
CHOOSING YOUR PRODUCT
Stain Products offer different opacities (degrees of transparency), different product types, (waterborne acrylic and classic oil finish), and different colours. The choices ensure that you have the best product for your job.
Here are some things to consider for your project.
1. OPACITY - Listed as the most clear to the least clear (Solid Colour)
Clear Stain shows the full grain of the wood
Semi Solid Stain
Solid Colour Strain masks the wood grain and shows only a small amount of the texture.
NOTE: Solid Stains can be used on previously painted new wood, as well as composite decking. Solid stain creates a completely new surface aesthetic.
2. WATERBORNE VS CLASSIC OIL FINISH
Waterborne stains clean up easily, dry quickly, and provide excellent UV protection, which slows down the fading of the wood’s colour. Classic oil finishes penetrate deep into the wood, resulting in a uniform finish that protects the wood inside and out. These stains are known to minimize peeling and cracking, and they are easy to re-coat.
Begin your colour selection by looking at the exciting colours outside of your home. Consider the colour and look of your siding, trim, driveway, roof, stone fencing, plants and trees. Select colours that enhance existing features or hues around the property and coordinate the look. Always test the selection on the actual look so that you can accurately assess the final look.
NOTE: Remember that the natural colour or grain pattern of the wood itself can dramatically influence the final look.
PREPARING WOOD SURFACES
The most important step to ensure a beautiful and long lasting protection is proper surface preparation. Most finish failures are the result of improper preparation and application.
Wash the wood. Stains require a clean, sound surface free of dirt, dust, grease, mildew, loose wood fibres, and mill glaze, to ensure proper adhesion and penetration. Clean 3-4 days prior to application to allow dry time and moisture to exit the pores of the wood.
Clear the workspace and cover as needed with drop cloths
Examine the deck, siding, fence or furniture for surface wear, cracked boards, and propped nails. Make all repairs before you start staining
Avoid application of stain in direct sunlight
Don’t let stain puddle
If you are rolling or spraying, always back brush
Stir the stain frequently during application to maintain colour uniformity
Rough surfaces hold more colour than smooth surfaces
Less solid opacity stains can not be applied over a more solid stain.
MAINTAINING YOUR FINISH
No matter the surface, examine the finish at least once a year to evaluate any required maintenance. Keep in mind, maintenance is not an all or nothing formula!
A light maintenance coat of stain every year or two on surfaces in sound condition, especially horizontal surfaces like decks, will keep them protected for years to come.
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