With summer at full tilt, we are all spending a lot of time on our natural wood decks to enjoy the summer weather, have barbecues, and just relaxing with a book.  We can't help but compare our decks to our neighbors, we are all just striving to have the best looking deck around, isn't that why you chose to have a natural wood deck instead of TREX or some other synthetic product.  

If you think you can do it with just a hose and a prayer, well......I've got some bad news for you :)  If you are ready to do it like a pro, here is the top 3 tips to get it done faster and better than you ever thought possible.

First, have you ever washed your hands with just water?  It does knock off the top layer, but to really get your hands clean you need to use soap.  The same applies to cleaning your decking, you have to use a product designed for deck cleaning and brightening/neutralization of the cleaner to achieve the spectacular results you want. 

Our favorite product is Lovitt's Wood Cleaner & Brightener, it is a 2-step cleaning process that restores old wood decks, removes failed oil and clay based stains that have darkened, and kills off the mold all in the process. Here's a link to that product: Lovitt's Wood Cleaner & Brightener Kit

Once completed with Lovitt's Wood Cleaner & Brightener 2-step process, the wood decking, railings, and pickets look brand new and are ready for light sanding and application of a fresh coat of deck stain.

Second, if you think you are saving money and go out and buy an over the counter deck stain at the local box store, news flash, you are NOT getting the highest quality product available and will be doing the labor portion more frequently between coats.  
Why?  Because that store has to sell a product that a little old lady can use and get decent results, as well as the professional or high quality minded customer?  Not a chance they can put a higher quality product on the shelf that has to be applied correctly, back-brushed into the wood, and properly applied at the correct rates, so the products are "watered down" to apply easily.  

For those who are searching for a higher level of performance, Lovitt's Coatings has a modern, technologically-advanced product Lovitt's Deck Beast -5 Gallons that uses the latest in nano-technology and micro-acrylic resins, that's quite a mouthful, but the bottom line is that it is an environmentally safe, long lasting deck stain that is easy to apply and maintain over time, best of all - clean up with soap and water.  Here's a link to that product:  Lovitt's Emerald Gold - 5 gallons

You say you like "old school" high solids, oil-based stains, well here's a modern twist on an oil base stain that was originally designed for coating log homes, but is equally impressive on decking and rails Lovitt's Natural Gold - 5 gallons

Third, if you think you are going to get this job done in a day, don't attempt it.  To do a proper job you need to schedule out 2 weekends, the first weekend do the cleaning and brightening of your wood deck and railings.  Let it dry for a week.
Come back on Saturday the next weekend and use a sanding sponge 3M Medium Grit Sanding Sponge to wipe over all your wood pickets to remove wood fracturing (fuzz) and prepare the wood for the stain.  You can also use these sponges on the surface of the deck, but most professionals who use the Lovitt's C/B system don't have to sand the deck it comes out so good.

Time to apply your stain!  The best tool we've seen for application of stain on the deck is to use a pump jug or airless sprayer and a Ettore 14" T-Bar and Adapter and a 14" Dura Sleeve Applicator Pad to help spread the stain over the decking and leave a perfect finish (way better and faster than a roller).  

We hope these tips help you to do an outstanding job on your natural wood deck and if you are impressed with the results, please share this with your friends and family so they too can save time and effort on their natural wood decks.  Visit our site at www.logstains.com to learn more about decking, railing and picket care.