Deck Cleaning and Staining for Spring

newly stained deck spring time

Spring is here, which means it’s time to clean the decks in Minnesota – literally. “We have a lot of people wanting to freshen them up,” says Nate Sockness, manager of Hirshfield’s Woodbury location, “Historically, hosting a high school graduation motivates people to get their decks cleaned, stained and looking good.”

That deck work is happening right now. It’s prime time for deck cleaning and staining, he says, because you need two or three days of warm, dry weather to do it right. Keep your eye on the weather and use Nate’s tips for cleaning and staining your deck.


Deck Cleaning

Whether you’re looking to stain the deck or just trying to freshen it up, the first step is the same – a good cleaning. You can either use a power washer or take Nate’s suggestion and try Flood Wood Cleaner. “It comes in a concentrate,” he says, and with a little elbow grease, it works like a dream. “You buy one gallon, but mix it up with water and it will make five gallons.” He says the solution will clean your deck in five easy steps:
  1. Hose down the deck to get it wet.
  2. Spray on the wood cleaner “concoction.”
  3. Let it sit 15 minutes.
  4. Scrub it off with a deck brush – “use a good nylon one.”
  5. Rinse it off with your hose.

Once the process is complete, you need to let it dry for two days before you can stain.

Sockness says Flood also works well if you’re don’t need need to stain the deck, and just want to clean it. “You just put a less concentrated concoction together and spray it off,” he says. “Flood is a cleaner and brightener all in one.”

Deck Staining

Sockness says you should stain your deck every other year, and you can’t go wrong using a translucent deck and siding finish like Storm. “For a translucent finish like that, I would say if you do it every two years, your deck is always going to be looking nice,” he says. “Translucent deck and siding finishes penetrates wood real well, has nice colors, and doesn’t fade, doesn’t wear off. And if you apply it properly, it won’t ever peel away.” Hirshfield’s carries Storm and ProLuxeSikkens stains, each with nine color choices, and Cabot with four color choices.

Credit: Flood Wood Cleaner
Flood Wood Cleaner

For older decks, Sockness recommends semi-solid and solid color stains, because they have more pigment. “If your deck or siding is a little beat up, and you have a lot of things you want to cover up, the semi solid and solid stains will cover up more. Most people want to see the wood grain come through, but it can hide more on an old deck.”

Once you’re done staining, though, remember there’s still more waiting. “You need a minimum of 16 hours after you paint it, but ideally you’d wait 24 hours to let it dry.” And then you’re finally ready for your graduation party or spring gathering.

“That’s everything,” Nate says, ” other than crossing your fingers and praying for (more) nice weather.”

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

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