Help Your Deck Spring Back Into Action – Part Two
Now that you’ve got your deck clean (see last week’s garden tip), it is time to apply a finish.
To make maintenance easier and less expensive, it is important to find a high-quality finish and continue using that coating year after year. For a coating that holds up in San Diego’s climate, has good color retention and is water repellent, use an oil-based, naturally pigmented finish formulated for decking. Deep-penetrating oils enhance the natural look of wood, protect the surface and help prevent mildew and water damage.
It is important to follow manufacturer directions when applying coatings, as this will ensure proper penetration and spread rate to protect the wood long term. Apply a 2-square-foot test area before coating the whole deck.
These coatings can be sprayed with a commercial paint sprayer or applied with foam applicator pads or rollers. Use a paintbrush for corners and hard-to-reach areas. As you apply the coating, observe the absorption rate of different pieces of lumber — some open-grain lumber may require more then one coat to ensure proper protection.
Apply a generous amount of the coating to exposed joints, butt edges and anyplace wood is close to soil or sits in a piece of hardware, such as a post base. When applying the product, use long, continuous strokes to limit stop and start marks and overlapping of material.
Properly dispose of all rags and applicators. Save the container so you will remember which coating you need for the next application. Be sure to read how long to let the finish cure before walking or placing any deck furniture on the surface. A well-applied coating can hold up for two years on average before needing another application.
Jim Grant, owner
San Diego Power Wash
6442 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92115
Look for tips on maintaining your deck coming soon.