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 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!

How to get your deck to look good for 10 years

Most deck stains, applied by most contractors, have 95% disappeared by the end of the second year. Yes, you read that right. It is a dirty secret of the industry. But it need not be that way. We, at Summit Deck Doctor, have found that, by careful application of dek stain, can get twice the life out of the stain. This effectively halves the cost of refinishing your deck. Let us help you save money!

Holding down Deck Boards with Screws: a Simpler Method

The funny thing about decks is that, by just walking on it, the nails are caused to rise up and get in the way! In this short video, we talk about how to overcome that problem by inserting a screw between the nails. This is a much more effective solution than the usual technique of pulling out all the nails…….and a lot faster, too!

Why you should Choose Summit Deck Doctor

Summit Deck Doctor is a Bay Area leader in deck finishing and carpentry. We recognize you have a choice and we would like you to choose us. This short video features a deck whose stain is still intact 10 years later (yes, amazing!), and a chat with our favorite client, Barbara Morgan, talking about her experience with Summit Deck Doctor. If you are thinking of hiring Summit Deck Doctor, you should watch this video. Yes, it’s an unabashed promotional video, but a real client’s words are worth 2 minutes of your time!

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.

How to Choose between Powder-coated screws and Zinc-coated Screws

When holding down deck boards, you can use zinc-coated screws or powder-coated screws. You might think it doesn’t matter. But you would be wrong! This short video explains the three reasons why you should use powder-coated screws, even if they are 3 times as expensive.

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.

Opaque stain vs paint on your deck: how to choose?

So your deck is old and doesn’t look so good. Should you use opaque (or solid color stain) or paint? How do they cope comparatively with sunlight, moisture, foot wear, cost and wear mode? Click on to find out.