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Cedar Decks Get Prepped For Restaining

cedar deckWithout much maintenance, a cedar deck will last for 20 to 30 years. However, if you don’t regularly stain your cedar deck’s surface, it will quickly become ridden with warps and splinters. We recommend yearly staining, which extends the life of cedar decking while also preventing pest infestations. Moreover, an annually stained deck will be less slippery. And for the homeowner focused on maximizing resale price, a regularly maintained cedar deck will bring a higher asking price, as it will look newer than a neglected deck.

If you’re planning to take advantage of our glorious streak of good weather to stain your deck, here are the steps you’ll need to take to prepare.

Preliminary Steps For Staining a Cedar Deck

1)     Gather supplies. You’ll need a broom, a hammer, sandpaper, deck cleaner, a scrub brush, a hose, a bucket and a screwdriver.

2)     Remove furniture, plants and other items from the deck surface.

3)     Repair loose boards by screwing or nailing them back into place.

4)     Sand the cedar decking surface. 80-grit sandpaper should suffice. Don’t get too zealous with this; cedar is easily sanded, so you shouldn’t need anything more than a light once-over. This step will help your stain stick better.

5)     Sweep and hose off the deck’s surface. Be thorough – make sure you sweep between railings and in corners. After sweeping, add a second round of cleanup by spraying off the deck’s surface with your hose. (Note: You may use a pressure washer here, but be very careful not to use a high pressure setting, as too much pressure can cause lasting damage.)

6)     If the deck is brand-new, wait for a rainstorm. A new cedar deck may require exposure to one rainstorm prior to staining. Check your installer’s instructions on this.

7)     Mix and apply deck cleaner. Saturate the entire surface of the cedar deck with cleaner. Again, don’t skip the corners!  These tricky areas are more likely to be infested with mildew, which the deck cleaner will destroy. Especially dirty areas should be tackled with the scrub brush. Let the cleaner sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

8)     Make sure the cedar deck is completely dry before applying stain. The deck stain you choose should be specially formulated for a cedar deck. Ideally, your stain will contain UV protection, water repellant, insecticide and mildewcide. Read more on the staining process in our blog post Fence Stain 101: How to Stain Like a Pro. Or, if just reading about all this work is making you feel tired, it may be best to hire the pros here at Rick’s to do your yearly cedar deck upkeep for you.


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