Preserving a Deck

Tips for Painting with Decking Preserver

If you are going to use decking preserver this article is for you. Here we explain how to find the right preserver for the job and the best way to use it to get the results that you really want.

Buying your preserver

DeckingDecking preserver comes in an array of colours. You need to bear in mind that the finished tone of any wood you paint will be dependent on how many coats you apply. The colour shown on the tin is usually the tone you would achieve if you apply two coats to fresh wood. If you are painting wood that has previously been stained or painted this will affect the overall look and colour. If you are not sure which colour preserver to buy, ask for advice from the retailer.

Always buy a good quality product. Buying cheap preservers is a false economy. The finish will not be as good and you will have to re-stain or paint far sooner than you would if you use a good quality product. Also, bear in mind that the point of painting your decking is to preserve it and protect it from the elements. If you buy a cheap preserver, it will not be very good at actually protecting your decking.

Prepare the surface well

With decking preserver, good preparation is vital. Take the time to clean the decking down properly. If you use a pressure washer, make sure it has enough time to dry out properly. Sanding the surface down will remove some of the old stain making it easier to achieve a similar colour to that on the tin. If you do this, remember to wash the decking down again after sanding it down and let it dry out.

Apply one coat of preserver and allow it to dry. If the result is patchy or it is too light, apply another coat.

Replacing the screws

A big issue with decking is the fact that the screws tend to rust and rot. When that happens the wood around the screws tends to rot as well. Water tends to pool in these places and sit between the screw and the wood. It is like a mini puddle, which is why the rot sets into these areas.

If you leave things as they are each plank will start to lift and become loose. What happens then is that the wood moves around when people walk on it. It also flexes more as it drys out in the sun and swells when it rains. Over time these actions cause the wood to warp more and is what starts the process of your decking breaking down.

Therefore, you need to pay attention to maintaining your decking screws. Periodically you may need to remove and replace some, or, on occasion all of your screws. When you do so use good quality fasteners that are designed for the job. If necessary remove any rotten wood and fill it, then re-drill the holes. You may have to use larger screws to bolt each plank down securely.

Before you put the screw in, drip some preserver into the hole. Doing so provides an additional layer of protection, and will slow down the degradation process.