How much does it cost to stain a deck?
Now I do not want to lead you to a long line of false pretences and I am sure you all are saying “Half the price? Pretty sure it is a scam”; but I kid you not! This chore comes to half the price given that you opt to do the staining yourself and skip out on calling your repair man. Now I know that sounds quite intimidating, but didn’t you always wish to be more hands-on when it came to home repairs? Didn’t you always want to prove your partner wrong when they claim you never finish what you started? Didn’t you plan to start seeming quite…macho? (Did I get too far? Scratch that.) Then here’s your starter kit, pal! Just drop by your nearest Home Depot to get some tools, pressure washer, and wood stain, then you will be good to go!
In case you are a new homeowner and have absolutely no idea what staining is, then pay close attention: wood needs some TLC too. You would think what is with wood being an earthly element that it can withstand outside forces with ease. You should know that once it is cut up and stacked, it stands quite poorly against its rooted counterparts. So, for the sake of your home’s desired aesthetic, staining your wooden deck can do so much.
Staining is basically like painting except it allows for wood grain and patterns to become evident after brushing a layer. Stain is basically quite translucent, just a dyed film over the surface to perpetuate the wooden slate’s rustic look. It must be duly noted that stain does not protect wood but acts as a sheen of coloring that allows the wood to seem fresh and new.
Basic Essentials in Staining Wood
Given a wooden deck of about 300 square feet, the following are some suggested materials to give your deck a sleek new look!
1. Safety Gear
Just because I claimed that a sense of robust personality comes with being a handyman, I did not imply that you start the task sans shirt or safety gear. Your safety is still a priority no matter how simple the repair may be. Gloves and goggles are highly recommended.
2. Pressure Washer
The first step in refurnishing your deck is cleaning it up. Renting or purchasing a pressure washer in your nearest hardware store can help you out. A pressure washer is a contraption that spurts out water at high pressure enough to get to those hard-to-reach places and to scrape out debris or dirt without the added physical expenditure. Pressure washers are either gas-powered or electrical.
In a gas-powered washer, pressure is raised up to 3000 pounds per square inch and is used best for removing aging paint, cleaning sidings for paint, and deep cleaning concrete. An electrical washer connotes lesser pressure, around 1400 pounds per square inch, which is used best for cleaning cars, grills, and garage floors. All there is left to do is to fill the washer with oil or gasoline (for gas-powered washers) or to plug it into an outlet (for electrical washers). Connect the garden hose to the washer’s water inlet, attach the spray tip onto the nozzle, and then you’re good!
3. Tools and Planks
Before starting to stain, you must check if there are parts on the planks that have decayed, absorbed too much water and chipped off, or needed replacing. Your basic hammer and nails or screws are essential. If need be, an electric sander can come handy when clearing off unwanted splinters especially on handrails.
4. Wood Stain
Woods stains come in oil or water-based concoctions. Oil-based stains do not raise wooden grains, eliminating the need to do additional sanding when finished. Water-based stains dry fast and have a more subtle odor.
According to a cost-estimating website, the average rate of staining wood service is approximately $2 per square foot, including labor fee, wood stain and tools, and has a sum of about $600 when dealing with a 300 square foot deck. But if you opt do it yourself, renting a pressure washer starts at $50 (up to $200 when you purchase it), a gallon of wood stain ranges from $40 to $150, and a basic tool kit runs up to $200 (if you do not already have one). See how much you can save!
How to Properly Stain Wood
- When you are all suited up and ready, water down surrounding plants and cover them with plastic so as to avoid any stain splashes or to protect it from the strong smell that may emanate from the stain. Protect surrounding walls by covering them up with old cloth or tarpaulin sheets.
- Wash down the deck by using the pressure washer to clear out dirt and grime. Make sure to spray the whole area especially those nooks and crannies that are most susceptible to dirt. Amp up the pressure to desired range, position the spray tip at a 45-degree angle about 2 feet away from the surface, and start rinsing off.
- Check wood for any breakage and replace if needed. Unscrew the nails, gently lift the slate using a flat blade or a spatula, and install new ones. To ensure smoothness, use a sander especially on handrails to avoid splinters.
- Pick up a thick and wide brush, and dip it onto the panel. Apply liberally. Some people opt to use a foam brush or simply a small cloth. Use to your liking. Let it sit and dry for about 48 hours to ensure quality and if desired, apply a sealer.
So you see, it does not take much to renew your wooden deck. Give it two days tops, and it will look as good as the first time you set foot on it! And doing it on your own saves you around half the monetary expenditure!
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