We all want our homes to look professionally done but sometimes hiring a contractor isn’t feasible. While big DIY woodworking projects can seem daunting, they don’t have to be. However, there’s nothing worse than spending hours on a project with the expectation that it will turn out beautifully only to get to the finished product and realize it’s not at all what you wanted. Worse yet, something went wrong and you have to start all over likely adding work to get the wood back to its original state.
We’ve created this list to make sure your wood staining projects go off without a hitch and you’re able to achieve those professional looking results you desire.
If you’re reading this post, you’re already on the right track but there are a few more things to consider. Later in the article, we’ll talk about the need to clean the wood prior to staining, allow the wood to dry, stain your wood, and allow another 12-24 hours for that to dry. Weather can be unpredictable so we recommend staining in the late spring or summer months when there is less chance of rain in the area. You’ll want to avoid foot traffic for those first 12-24 hours so if you’re staining your front porch, use a side door or garage to enter the house. Lastly, if you’re planning a big outdoor bash, we recommend completing projects at least the weekend (5-7 days) before to ensure everything looks great and is ready for your party!
Use the Right Tools and Supplies
While Preserva Wood is easy to apply, there are a few other supplies needed in order to ensure a successful project. While at the hardware store or shopping online, we recommend purchasing the following to avoid multiple trips:
- Pump sprayer (fences and vertical surfaces) or Paint pad/brush (deck and horizontal surfaces)
- Mineral Spirits
Test a Small Portion of the Wood First
We recommend testing a small portion of the deck or fence first prior to completing the whole project. This will allow you to ensure the color of the stain combines well with the color of the wood and the surrounding aspects of your home and yard (outdoor furniture, color of your home, etc).
Prep your surface
Now that you’ve planned for weather and foot traffic, purchased all the supplies, and tested the wood, it’s time to get to work. The first step is to clean the wood to be sure the surface is ready for the stain so it can penetrate properly and provide the best possible protection and beauty!
To do so, thoroughly clean the wood with a mixture of soap and water, and use a stiff bristle brush on a pole to gently scrub the wood surface. Once clean, rinse with water until it runs clear. Then allow the wood to dry completely (typically overnight). A great trick we’ve found to ensure the wood is ready to be stained is to sprinkle drops of water on the wood to make sure the drops penetrate quickly.
Apply your Stain
Once the surface is prepped, you’re ready to apply the stain. Due to the natural properties of the product, pigment will sink to the bottom. Start by thoroughly stirring the stain until all the pigment comes up off the bottom. Repeat this process every 15 minute or whenever you add stain to the paint tray.
As mentioned in the supplies step, use a sprayer for fences and other vertical surfaces and a paint pad or brush to apply to decks and various other horizontal surfaces. Though a roller may sound quicker and easier than a brush or pad, using one will apply too much stain and result in a tacky appearance, ultimately ruining your project. We never recommend a roller.
Once the stain has been applied, you’ll want to wipe up any shiny spots within 30 minutes of application. If it is a large project that will take longer than 30 minutes to complete, break the project into sections so there’s time to wipe up any spots within that 30 minute window.
Now that the stain’s applied, there’s just one very important step left. Preserva Wood is a combustible product so make sure to clean all rags, brushes, and sprayers and tightly seal the cans. To properly clean the rags start by soaking them in water, wring them out, then lay them out to dry in a safe place away from heat or other ignition sources, preferably out of direct sunlight. Next, clean brushes, pump sprayers, and any other tools used with mineral spirits. Lastly, make sure the lids are tightly sealed on the cans of Preserva Wood. If you only have a gallon in a 5 gallon pail, transfer it to a 1-gallon can and seal tightly. Though these steps may seem like extra work, they’re critical in keeping everything safe.
We hope these steps have helped make you feel just a bit more prepared for your next big wood staining project. Still have questions? Shoot us an email, give us a call, or leave us a note in the comments below. You’re guaranteed to get a personalized response and we will do our best to answer any and every question to ensure every project is a success!