Deck Staining Lehigh Valley
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Staining your outdoor deck is a great way to protect it from water damage and harsh sunlight, in addition to restraining it. While different types of wood may provide benefits, some stains are better suited for certain wood species over others. For instance, if you want to maintain your deck’s original color after staining, choose a stain similar in tone or slightly ‘brighter’ than the original hue of your wood. However, if you want to change the look of your deck entirely from black to white, for instance, you can choose a stain with a slightly ‘deeper’ tone than your wood.
Additionally, different types of wood have various benefits for staining. Stains on cedar, pressure-treated lumber and fir will retain their initial hues due to the natural oils that are contained within them. Stains on redwood and pine can have colors other than red because they are not as vulnerable to fading.
Choosing the Best Stain for Your Deck
When choosing a specific tone for your deck, know that five different types of solid wood are commonly used in decks: cedar, redwood, pine, fir, or pressure-treated lumber (PT). The tone you choose will depend on the initial color of each species. Over time, all types of wood will fade to a grey, except cedar, which will turn orange.
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CEDAR: Cedar naturally contains small pockets of sap that allow it to resist rotting and insect damage. Given its natural resistance, cedar decks tend to retain their reddish-brown color for many years after construction. Choose a stain with an “earthy” tone for best results if you want your deck to maintain its original red hue.
REDWOOD: Like cedar, redwood is another type of wood that resists rot and insects because it contains natural oils. Because these oils are responsible for maintaining redwood’s vibrant red color, choosing a shade other than “red” may cause the deck to appear faded over time. So, if you want your redwood deck to stay red, make sure to choose a stain with a reddish tone.
PRESSURE-TREATED LUMBER: If your deck was built using pressure-treated lumber (PT), it would likely take on a greenish hue after construction. This is because wood preservative chemicals such as chromate copper arsenate (CCA) and alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) are used to protect the wood from rot and insects during its construction. Because these harmful chemicals tend to be unstable over time, the color of PT decks tends to fade and will appear grey or silver in certain spots. To prevent this yellowing effect, consider choosing a stain with an “earthy” tone for best results.
In addition, if you have a new deck with this material, wait for a few weeks before using a sealer for the first time after staining. This allows the wood to dry completely to absorb the stain.
PINE: Once stained, pinewood tends to be one of the most resilient types of wood used for deck construction. It’s because it contains natural oils that protect against rot and insects. As a result, pine typically retains its color well over time. Just like cedar and redwood, you may want to choose a stain with an “earthy” tone to preserve the original shade of your pine deck.
FIR: Fir decks are manufactured using softwood which does not contain natural oils. This lack of oil allows for decks to absorb water more quickly than other species. Many manufacturers treat fir decks with preservative chemicals to increase their lifespan to make up for their chemical deficiency. Like pressure-treated lumber (PT), fir decks tend to turn gray or silver in high-traffic areas after some time. If your deck was treated with chemicals, you might want to choose a slightly “brighter” stain than the wood’s original color.
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