How to Stain a Cedar Deck
LESLIE: Carrie in Nebraska is dealing with a decking nightmare. Tell us what’s going on.
CARRIE: I’m having a problem with black strikes coming from a coated nail that was put into the cedar wood that we – did a replacement on a deck and we found out that was the wrong thing to use. And now we’ve seen that it’s raining so much, oh, we’ve got all these black strikes coming off of each nail head.
TOM: Yeah, cedar is very temperamental that way. If you use the wrong fastener with it, it’s going to tell you about it. You might want to consider staining it.
Now, even though it’s cedar and it’s naturally disease- and decay-resistant, if you don’t stain it, it will check and crack over time. So it’s still a good idea to put in a good-quality sealer. So if you use the semi-transparent or a solid-color sealer on that, you would eliminate the streaking problem.
CARRIE: Well, we had it already bought before this happened but we haven’t gotten to that stage because we wanted to – we thought that removing the stains from each – there’s a million of them in this deck that that should be done first before we seal it with a water …
TOM: Right. But I’m not talking about sealing it; I’m talking about staining it, OK? And if you use semi-transparent or solid color, solid color is going to have more pigment and – but you’ll still see the grain come through it. But either semi-transparent or solid-color exterior stain, I think, is the next step for you. So you don’t necessarily have to seal it; there’s not really a sealing step. You can just stain it with a semi-trans or a solid-color exterior stain and you’ll be good to go.
CARRIE: So, there’s no way to individually address these black marks?
TOM: No, because – I mean sure, you could sand them out and all of that but it would just be crazy to do that because they’re only going to come right back. I’d rather see you apply a stain to the deck and just kind of cover it up.
CARRIE: OK. Alright. Well, thanks for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.