THE BASICS OF EXTERIOR STAINING PREP
We know you want to be proud of the way your stained wood looks—and one of the secrets for success is to prep the wood before you begin. These easy-to-follow steps will help you get pro-like results, right from the start.
HOW TO REMOVE CONTAMINANTS
Over time, the surface of wood can become contaminated with a wide range of substances, such as mildew, soot, rust and tannin bleed. Each of these contaminants has its own tell-tale signs—and each one requires a different treatment.
TEST FOR FLAKING STAIN AND LOOSE FIBERS
Flakes of old stain or loose wood fibers can cause problems when staining, so they should be removed before you begin your project. Fortunately, it's easy to check for this problem: Just press a piece of household tape firmly against the wood. When you tear it away, look for flakes or fibers. If you see any, you'll want to sand, scrape or power wash your wood surface to remove loose debris before you stain. (Always follow the manufacturer's directions when using a power washer.)
WARNING! If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to www.epa.gov/lead.
The time you spend prepping your exterior wood surfaces is time well spent. And you'll be reminded of that whenever you look at how beautiful your siding, deck, fence and furniture looks when they're stained.