LESLIE: Howard in Michigan, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
HOWARD: I built a cedar deck about 10 years ago and I cleaned it and stained it about 4 or 5 years ago. And it needs to be stained again. And I’m just wondering – when I stained it the first time, I washed it. I didn’t sand it; I just washed it really good with deck cleaner and stained it.
Now, I’m wondering if I should wash it and sand it and stain it again or if I should use a darker stain.
LESLIE: Well, you got four years out of it, correct?
LESLIE: And that’s generally – you know, with a good-quality stain on a horizontal surface, you’re going to get three to five years as a duration.
LESLIE: So at this point – and was it a solid-color stain or a sheer or semi-transparent? I’m sorry.
HOWARD: Yeah, I used a semi-transparent stain the first time.
LESLIE: OK. So at this point, I don’t think you need to sand it down. I would do the same thing. I would do a good deck cleaning, get off whatever is loose. If there are some areas that are troublesome or it seems as if the stain is doing something tricky, you could strip it but I don’t think you really need to.
And once you’ve prepped it properly, I would go with a solid-color stain at this point, because you’re getting more graying, because you’ve done a semi-transparent before. And a solid-color stain is going to give you a heavier pigmentation but still allow you to see the graining through, to let the natural beauty of the wood show. But it’s going to last you a little bit longer; you’re looking at a five- to seven-year duration if everything is prepped properly.
HOWARD: OK. That’s what I want.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project, Howard. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.