Does your deck need a new finish?

If this is the case, then you’re probably asking yourself if you should stain or paint.  It’s no easy job to decide, as both methods have their pros and cons. Whichever method you choose, you’ll need to make sure you use a stain or paint made specifically for wooden decks.

Check out the wood

Before you start, take a good look at the wood itself. If you like the colour and grain, bear in mind that the paint will cover it completely, which may not be ideal for your situation. If the wood has seen better days, then a good lick of paint will do it the world of good.

Paint one and stain the other

One good option is to paint the railings, which don’t suffer the wear and tear of foot traffic, and stain the deck.

If you’d like the deck’s wood to be highlighted, this is a great option. You can choose the opacity of stain that suits your needs – a clear stain for new wood, or a solid-colour stain for older wood and its blemishes.

What lets staining down, however, is its lifetime. You’ll need to strip and reapply the stain every one to three years, depending on the opacity, the weather and how often you use the deck.

The pros of paint

A good stain may be convenient, but a proper paint job will last a lot longer – up to 10 years if done correctly. Paint provides UV protection, prevents moisture damage and can actually extend the life of the wood itself. Plus, if you’re after a bit of colour, you’ll have more choice with paint, thus allowing you to match the complementary colours of nearby walls and furnishings.

What about the prep?

Prep for painting is quite a chore, and is best left to professional painters who will be able to maximise the lifetime of the wood and the paint job.

Should you go it alone, however, the below guidelines will help you achieve the best results:

  • The wood must be cleaned and stripped, if necessary. This ensures that the surfaces provide good adhesion. Next, apply a preservative, and prime
  • Fill nail or screw holes to keep moisture from seeping into the wood
  • Stain or paint all surfaces, even if they do not get exposure to the sun or rain

Looking after your deck

Deck maintenance is a full time job. Spring is the best time to start, as the deck would’ve felt the effects of winter. Look for protruding nails, rough surfaces, damaged wood and loose railings, and repair where necessary.

After you’ve finished the repairs, move on to cleaning. You’ll find specialised cleaning products at stores such as Bunnings and K&D. Scrub the deck down and wash all surfaces. You can even consider a pressure wash to save time.

The professional touch

Giving your deck a new finish is quite a big job, so hiring a professional painting company, like Pelham Painters, could save you time and money. You should only attempt the job yourself if you have extensive experience. A professional can prep, apply and clean at a level of quality that will maximise longevity, so you won’t have to repaint or re-stain any time soon.

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