With reconnected Christmases and summer plans finally getting the go-ahead from December 15, Kiwis can now turn their thoughts not just to decking the halls with boughs of, let's say, pōhutukawa, but also to giving their outdoor decks a much-needed makeover.
A great deck is an absolute must here in Aotearoa, and it's a good idea to get onto it sooner rather than later so you can spend maximum time relaxing on your finished deck.
"The warmer weather we're having is a great time to get your exterior staining underway," says Resene expert Murdo Shaw. "A deck is an easy job to get done in a weekend and you don't need any DIY experience to get a quality result."
When planning your deck project, think about not only the deck itself but also your outdoor furniture (remember you can paint or stain this too) and any other features such as planter pots that you can rejuvenate with fresh Resene Paints & Colours for a whole new look.
Cleaning timber surfaces before staining will pay dividends. Wood stains are semi-transparent, which means you'll still see the original timber through the new stain – and that will include any marks and gunk. While water-blasting might seem like a good idea, resist the urge, as it can gouge out the timber. Instead, go to town for a gentle yet thorough clean via Resene Timber and Deck Wash.
Choose your finish
Staining or painting your deck will help the timber to last longer and help it look better. Decks that are left unfinished deteriorate faster, which means you'll have a much higher risk of painful splinters – not to mention shabby decks – in future years.
If, after cleaning the timber you discover it's badly marked or stained, you may want to consider painting over it instead. This option can be ideal for older decks, and also works well with heritage properties. If you take the painting route, use Resene Walk-On Paving Paint, adding Resene SRG Grit for a non-slip finish if your deck is prone to getting slippery when wet.
Most homeowners, however, choose to stain or oil their timber deck for a more natural look. Those who prefer a very light coloured finish with as natural a look as possible, are best to opt for the oiling option with Resene Furniture and Decking Oil. This is quick and easy to apply and adds a natural oiled look to the timber. You can also use this on your wooden furniture.
For a stained finish and a wider range of colours, use Resene Woodsman Decking Oil Stain. This waterbased product is especially designed for Kiwi decks and comes in a plethora of colours.
Another option is Resene Woodsman, which is a traditional oil stain that penetrates into the timber. This too comes in a wide range of colours, and gives a natural stained finish, and again you can use it on your wooden furniture as well as fences and weatherboards for a consistent colour finish on different areas of your home.
When it comes to painting plant pots, apply Resene Aquapel & Terracotta Sealer to terracotta pots inside and out. This helps to seal the pot and prevent water coming through it. Once that’s on, the world’s your oyster when it comes to painting the outside in your favourite Resene colour, and Resene test pots are ideal for this. If you have kids who are keen to get involved, you can encourage them to paint their own pot too.
If you decide to go with a dark paint or wood stain, remember to use the Resene CoolColour version. Dark colours can drink in the heat and get very hot in summer, which isn't great for the finish, the timber, or for your bare feet. Resene CoolColours are designed to reflect more heat from the sun, which will help to keep the surface cooler than the same colour in a standard paint or wood stain.
Mind the step
If you have stairs on your deck, you can finish them in the same Resene wood stain or paint as your deck, or consider painting the whole step or the stair edge in Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path. This can help make it easier to see the stair edges and to reduce the risk of falls.
Hot tip for your tools: Most decks will need two coats; when you take a break between coats wrap your brush in a plastic bag or cling wrap to keep it fresh and ready to get stuck straight into the second coat.
Got a brand new deck?
It's best to let new decks weather for two to three months before staining them. This helps the timber to open up and better accept the stain. A word of warning though – whoever's on BBQ duty will need to be careful on the tools, as dropped sausages are not only a devastating loss, they'll leave oily marks on an unstained deck.
For quality NZ made products and expert advice on how to decorate your home, inside or out this summer, see your Resene ColorShop.
This article was created for Resene.