A deck is exposed to some of the harshest conditions such as weather, sunlight, and even dirt. For these reasons it is very important to keep up with the maintenance on it. Staining your deck is an important factor. Depending on the type of stain you use, this can be done yearly, or every few years.
Dryness is key when thinking about staining your deck. First you want to make sure it is completely dry, and you also want to make sure it is going to stay dry for at least a day or so. If it rains on a freshly stained deck, it could ruin it when it doesn't dry properly. Temperature can play a role in this as well. The ideal day is between 50 and 85 degrees and for your project to not be in direct sunlight. The sun can dry out the stain and create unwanted brush marks.
As with any project, you want to make sure your work area is clean. Sand off any flaking paint or stain that may already be on the deck. Because it is outside, you should also hose it off to clear it of any dirt or residue. Some choose to pressure-washing, but be very careful. It is not recommended because uneven pressure can damage the wood.
Choosing your stain. Stain can come in different forms, generally there is transparent, semi-transparent, and solid. Transparent is a nice stain when you really want to see the wood. This generally requires the most care. Semi-transparent allows you to see most of the wood and get a feel for the texture of it. A solid color stain will not show the wood, but only it's texture. This type of stain usually holds up the toughest. Here are a few different stains to look at.
It is a great springtime project. Staining your deck will make for a summer full of outdoor memories!