How to Prepare Your Deck for Deck Staining

What You'll Need
Scrub brush
Soapy water
Deck Cleaner
Wet/dry vac
Pressure washer

Deck staining isn’t a big job, although doing it properly can take some time. It will go a lot faster if the surface is properly prepared for deck staining. This takes a fair amount of hard work. There are several steps to clean a deck thoroughly, but it’s worth doing it right. That way, when you begin deck staining, your deck will be ready to accept it.

Step 1 - Clearing the Deck

The first step is to take everything off the deck. You can either spread the items across the yard, in the house,or in the garage. Once you’ve done that, take your broom and give the deck a brisk sweep to clear any debris. Make sure you work into the spaces between the planking as pet fur and other things can cluster there. Brush all the dirt off the decking and out of the way in a garbage bag.

Step 2 - Vacuuming

Plug in your wet/dry vac and vacuum the deck. Use the hose to reach everywhere and pay attention once more to those gaps between the wood. Take enough time to do it right rather than just doing a quick job.

Step 3 - Washing

With warm soapy water and a mop, wash the deck. Again, you need to be thorough and get into all the corners, nooks and crannies. Use plenty of water, soak the deck so you can wash off all the top coat of dirt and grime. Once you’ve finished, wring out the mop and clean off the excess water before leaving the deck to dry.

Step 4 - Cleaner

Buy a good professional deck cleaner and apply it to the deck according to the instructions. This time, you want to scrub it into the wood to give a deep cleaning and remove all the deeper dirt as well as any light stains that might discolor the wood of the deck.

This takes time and a fair amount of effort but do it thoroughly. Where the wood isn’t the natural color, scrub hard to try and clear it. Make sure the brush works into all the corners and cleans between the wood planks. This will all help the deck staining adhere better later.

Step 5 - Pressure Cleaner

To complete the deck cleaning, you’ll need to use a pressure cleaner on the wood. Most people don’t own these so you should just rent one rather than purchasing; all tool rental stores will carry them.

Hook up to the water supply and play the spray over the decking. You need to move it around and the pressure shouldn’t be too high; 1500 PSI to 1750 PSI is ample unless your decking is cedar or redwood, in which case it shouldn’t be more than 1500 PSI. For most decks, this procedure shouldn’t take too long but take care over it, applying the pressure into the corners and between all sections of the decking. Leave to dry and you’ll be ready for deck staining.