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5 Tips for a Professional Decking Finish

5 Tips for a Professional Decking Finish

With summer comes the opportunity to turn your clients' minds to their outdoor spaces. In addition to the upkeep of their masonry and exterior trim, it's worth reminding them that maintenance is crucial for their outdoor wood too. Letting decking go untreated and unloved can lead to deterioration and expensive repairs. Prevention is always better than cure, so a quick re-stain could save them time and money in the long run - not to mention make their outdoor spaces shine. Our resident woodcare expert Chris Wingrove shares his tips and advice on treating decking and landscape wood so that your client’s summer goes as smoothly as possible.

The golden rule of treating exterior wood, as with most surfaces, is to consider its condition prior to coating application. Follow these five golden rules and you'll be on course for a top deck indeed:

1: The surface must be clean, mould or algae-free and dry. If the deck has been un-coated for more than one month then more thorough cleaning and preparation is necessary.

2: After several months, any bare timber will become grey and weathered. The surface fibres will be loose, and should be thoroughly removed (using either a power-wash or thorough scrubbing). If you neglect this step, your coating will become detached, even if your product has been correctly applied - resulting in a waste of time, effort and money.

3: The best results are achieved if deck boards are completely coated on every side prior to fixing, which of course will only be possible when constructing a new deck!

4: If you're not able to coat every side on an existing deck, it's important to coat the end grain and edges of boards as effectively as possible. It's a small thing, but can really impact the durability of your finish.

5: It's important to maintain decking regularly, but do bear in mind that the finish is subjected to foot traffic as well as the weather - more regular attention will be required on areas subjected to heavy or more regular use.

So, now you know how to make sure your job performs and looks the very best it can, but what about the products themselves? Chris Wingrove says: 'While oils are easy to apply, are more forgiving of surfaces in poorer condition, and offer good short-term protection against the rain and other forms of moisture, they have very little to offer in terms of protection against the sun. For this reason, decking stains offer more long-term protection, and are available in a wide range of colours, including slip-resistant finishes.'

Cuprinol UV Guard Decking Oil can be used to penetrate into wood to replace natural oils and resins lost through weathering. Its tinted formula revitalises the colour of weathered wood while the UV guard prevents damage to year-round exposure.

Alternatively, Cuprinol Ultra-Tough Decking Stain has several great features making it suitable for any deck area:

Invisible anti-slip microbeads to make decks safer than untreated wood Durable formula that resists foot traffic Long lasting weather protection Rich semi-transparent colour which enhances the natural look of decking Algicide formulation to prevent mould and algae build up

Go to our outdoor wood products page to find out more.