10 tips for staining your terrace

Snow, rain, mold and UV rays alter exterior wood. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to prepare surfaces for staining.


1. Make sure the surface is in good condition. Replace mold-infected planks.

2. Adequately prepare the surface. New or stain-free wood: completely soak and wash the wood using a solution made of 4oz of trisodium phosphate (TSP) powder or its phosphate-free equivalent in 1L of household bleach and 3L of water. Rinse with a pressure washer and allow dry-time of 48 hours. You can sand the wood using 80 to 120 grain sandpaper for vertical surfaces and 60 to 80 grain sandpaper for horizontal surfaces to insure wood porosity and uniformity. Always sand in the direction of the wood grain and remove sanding dust.

3. Previous coats must be removed using an outdoor wood stain solvent for surfaces already stained. Follow product instructions on in addition to the aforementioned steps.

4. Choose the right time. Keep an eye on weather forecasts to avoid rain or frost for 5 hours following application. Recommended drying time: 48h to 72h.

5. Apply stain following wood grain. Saturate all veins while keeping edges damp to prevent overlapping marks.


6. Only apply stain when temperature is between 10 °C and 35 °C (50 °F and 95 °F).

7. Do not shake product. Stir to avoid bubbles.

8. You need several cans of stain? Best to mix various stains to insure color uniformity.

9. A power washer is indispensable. Using a garden hose, even with a nozzle, will not sufficiently remove dirt, pollution or previous stains found on the surface.

10. New terrace? Be patient. New pressure treated lumber requires 6 weeks to dry. Water repellant wood requires 1 year drying time before application. Freshly sawn wood must be washed using a hard brush to remove dirt and fibres.

Source : Les idées de ma maison Author : Chantal Lapointe