Avoiding lap marks when staining a deck

This is a “before” video of what we normally have to deal with. The deck shows significant lap marks from the previous contractor’s errors. We were able to ease out some of the mistakes, and by carefully applying a new stain, to substantially reduce the uneven contrast without having to resort to prohibitively expensive sanding. A very satisfactory solution for the client at a modest price.

How to stain an Ipe deck

A lovely mountain deck owned by a former Apple Inc Executive. The deck is ipe, a hardwood that traditionalists say needs to be stained every 6 months with a nasty oil-based stain. Well, we used a hybrid oil/water stain and it still looked great 3 years later. A lot less effort and hassle; difficult to get right, tho.

How to stain multi-tier handrails on your deck

The answer is threefold: start at the top, use masses of dropcloths, and spray. You need to start at the top because Gravity will pull any spray or drips downwards onto a deck below; you don’t want to be putting a dropcloth on a fresh deck because it will leave remnants on it. You want to use lots of dropcloths against the walls and everything below and along the ground for some way because overspray can go far. Be careful, also, of oilbased stains which are so thin that they will travel along a dropcloth and then slide underneath. Also, oilbased finishes will stain stone and concrete for many years with a single drip; so be very careful with the dropcloths! Lord help you if you kick a whole can over! Obviously skip windy days. Finally there is no way you can get a neat job and done without vast time by handbrushing; the answer is to spray. Considering the complexity of spraying handrails above stone and walls, we did it very well and it looks lovely, without spills or drips.

Our new Book “Deckology” which tells you about the three most important ways of maintaining your deck.

Yes, we really did write the book on Deck Finishing and Carpentry! It’s called “Deckology’. It’s a 90 page book; you can buy it on amazon.com for $10 – all proceeds go to the Loma Prieta Education Fund. This short video tells you the three most important things you need to know about maintaining your deck: Preparation (repair, cleaning, other prep work), Staining (choosing a stain, applying a stain, when to apply stain) and Getting it Done (Do nothing or get it refinished; Hire a contactor or do it yourself; Working with a contractor). Get the book!

Quick slideshow of our projects

A quick slideshow video of our projects over the years. If you like the beauty of wood, you will enjoy!

Should you Pressure-wash under Your Deck?

It’s expensive, messy and labor-intensive to pressure-wash and fungicide under a deck. Is it worth it? When should you do it? This short video helps you decide.

The 4 types of Fungus under Your Deck

There are 4 different types of fungus under a deck. Each of them poses a different hazard. This short video helps you figure out what you have and how problematic it is.

Spring cleaning of Decks: How to keep your Deck free of fungus

Many decks get slippery in the winter and this causes a very serious hazard for you, your parents, and your kids. The answer is to carefully scrub in fungicide and destroy the fungus that causes the hazard. This short video explains how to do this.

Why decks go gray

Ever wondered why decks go gray? What is that gray stuff? Is it dirt, sun damage, or fungus? Find out!

Why bother to keep your deck stained?

There are several reasons why we think your deck is worth some care and maintenance:

  • A deck is a rather valuable investment. Much of the value of the house derives from the outdoor living space offered by your deck. Replacing it would cost a fortune and take a lot of time. Much cheaper to keep it up.
  • In the countryside, half the pleasure of being on the deck is enjoying a glass of wine with friends in the evening or a cup of coffee in the morning among the trees and views. We all want to be around healthy wood in good repair.      
  • The safety of your family is important. Ignored wood dries out, handrails become wobbly, nails pop up, and the wood starts to splinter. Best not to neglect it for safety reasons.
  • It is environmentally friendly to maximize the life of all that lovely redwood which was sustainably grown, transported, milled, fitted and installed.

All in all, it makes sense to take care of your deck.