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How to Finish and Maintain Your Cedar Deck

While applying nothing is your lowest maintenance option, here are some best practices for other finishing options.

Prepping Your Deck Prior to Finishing – Get Optimal Results

Want to know how to finish and maintain your cedar deck? The first step to finishing your deck is choosing your finish. New dry cedar decking, not previously exposed to the elements, may be finished immediately. But if reapplying any product, you need to clean your deck using a brush and soapy water. If mold or mildew is present, it needs to be killed. It’s imperative that you never power wash your deck. After it’s clean, you need to let your deck dry thoroughly prior to apply your finishing product.

Application Tips for Finishing Products – Learn How the Pros Do It

When it comes time to application techniques, transparent and semi-transparent stains should be applied by sprayer, brush, pad or roller, followed by back brushing in the direction of the wood’s grain. It’s always best to apply the product liberally to the end grain of deck boards and any cracks in the boards.

For optimal service life of transparent products, you should repeat brush treatment until the wood no longer absorbs any more products (a.k.a. the point of refusal). Semi-transparent stains should be applied to the full length of boards to avoid pigment lap marks. Be careful not to apply more semi-transparent product that the cedar can absorb.

PRO TIPS: For a more even application, try working in the shade because stain products will dry at a slower rate. And of course, no matter what kind of product you’re using, always follow the label’s instructions.

Keep Your Cedar Deck Looking Beautiful – It’s Easier than You Think

Cedar decks require minimal upkeep. A simple cleaning to remove surface dirt once a year will go a long way to extending the service life of your deck. Soap and water will do in most cases, but if there are any signs of mildew you will have to use a diluted oxygen bleach solution. You also need to remove debris between the boards to allow for proper drainage throughout the year.

There are also deck cleaning products on the market. But you need to make sure these products are specially formulated to use on cedar decks. So, it’s always best to use a cleaner from the same manufacturer as your finishing product.

PRO TIP: Moving your patio furniture, BBQ and planters around once in a while will ensure they don’t leave marks on your deck’s surface.