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  • The L.A. Design Team

All Hands On Deck!

By now the sun has returned and the snow has mostly gone, revealing your long-lost deck! Depending on how kind the winter has been, you may find your deck is in need of a little TLC.

Repairing loose steps and railings aside, perhaps this is the year you decide to re-stain your deck and return it to its BBQ loving, friend-hosting, summer-soaking glory!

Well before you actually have a roller in your hand, there are some important factors to consider in the surface preparation of your deck. As an Authorized Cloverdale Paint Dealer, we are proud to carry Canadian-made products suited for our Canadian-made seasons, and have these tips ready for your consideration;

Painting or staining your wood deck can be the most challenging painting project around the home. Construction lumber is an unstable substrate at the best of times, however, when laid our parallel to the ground with extreme hot and cold on the top surface combined with high moisture generation on the bottom side, the need to do it right becomes much more of a requirement.

Deck coatings can be subjected to the sun's intense UV radiation, pooling water, ice, salt, hot tub chemicals, abrasive grit, snow shovels and scrapers, high pressure washers, mildew and algae growth to name a few of the exposures that deck coatings are required to withstand. All of this protection is asked of only a few thousandths of an inch of surface coating!

Below are some tips on preparation for brand new deck builds, as well as existing decks that are in need of a new coating.


- Decks must be constructed properly. Avoid exposed trim ends as much as possible as these are the natural routes of moisture entry into the wood.

- Dressed lumber deck boards with a high sheen level such as Pine or Fir need to have this mill glaze removed by sanding with 80 grit sandpaper.

- Spindles and balusters should be trimmed at an angle to encourage water run-off and sit above the deck surface to minimize the possibility of moisture wicking up into the end grain. Trim ends should be spot primed during construction. (Try using Cloverdale Paint's 15130 Alkyd Stain Blocking Primer)

- Deck boards should be spaced sufficiently to allow ventilation between boards. Hand rails and caps should have a drip edge to shed moisture. A gradual slope away from the house keeps the surface free of pooling water.

- Dimensional lumber deck boards must be prime coated all six sides (again, Cloverdale Paint's 15130 Alkyd Stain Blocking Primer) prior to installation.

- A moisture barrier on near grade level decks is always recommended.

- All deck lumber must be allowed to season for 2 - 4 weeks after construction during normally dry conditions prior to staining. Pressure treated wood must season for at least 4 weeks!


- Existing decks must be thoroughly cleaned prior to re-painting. Mildew and algae must be cleaned and neutralized using a solution of 1 part bleach to 4 parts water. This solution must remain in contact with the mildew or algae for at least 15 minutes, then rinsed. Protect plants and water sources when spraying.

- Loose or popping nail heads should be pulled and replaced with a galvanized nail or larger size. Nail or screw heads should be countersunk to ensure there are no tripping hazards. Fill all nail heads with a suitable exterior filler. All cracks or checks in the deck boards or other gaps where moisture should penetrate into the lumber should be caulked with a caulking material.

- Important! Not all products are created equal. If your deck has a history of repeated paint or stain failure and your deck boards are not protected on the underside with a moisture barrier or primer, some products may not be suitable for your project.

- No coating will completely stop the spread of rot. All soft or rotted boards need to be replaced with a rot-resistant wood such as cedar or pressure treated woods prior to re-painting.


- Stay tuned to the short and long-term weather forecasts! Do not apply stain in direct sunlight or within 6 hours before or after a rainfall. Surface temperature of the wood should be below 35* C

- Application conditions should be between 10*-30* C. Apply by synthetic brush and a 10-20mm roller sleeve using full, even coats maintaining a 'wet edge'.

- Buy enough stain to complete the project. If disposal is necessary, give the stain to someone who can use it or contact your municipality to discover recycling options in your community.

Once you've properly prepared your deck for paint or stain, our team is ready to help you pick the perfect colour and select the tools you need to ensure a smooth application!

Ready, Set.... DECK!

- LADC Team

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