Thursday, October 11, 2012

Staining/Sealing a Porch

Staining/sealing our front porch is complete! 

Sometimes Ben jokes about "his blog about outdoor projects and gardening" because he feels like he's doing the legwork.  It's true in some cases - Ben stained and sealed our porch.  I just helped choose the colour and watched Isaac.  Ha ha.  Thank you Benny!

A little background... we built our porch in May 2011 with pressure-treated wood.  We decided to let it sit for a year without sealing it.  Depending on the stain, you can actually seal it a couple months after building.  Some people (like my daddy-o) decide not to stain/seal pressure-treated wood at all.

We bought an all-in-one semi-transparent stain/sealant from Home Depot that claimed to last about six to eight years.  Here's hoping.  We also bought a heavy-duty biodegradable cleaner, a vinyl scrub brush, and some high-quality brushes.

The colour we chose looked quite light on the paint chip - just a hint of reddish-brown.  It came out quite dark, which took me a while to get used to.  I guess stain is similar to paint - choose the colour you like, then go a bit lighter.

Ben gave the porch a good washing and scrubbing with the cleaner then we let it dry out for about 24 hours.

Some key tips to share:
  • TIMING is everything.  We intended to stain the porch in early September... we ended up getting 'er done in early October.  Why?  It rained every weekend for about four weeks in a row.  Stain is sensitive to the sun, the wood must be dry when it's applied, it requires a longer drying out period than paint, and the temperature has to remain above 10C for about six hours after applying it.  You can imagine in the fall, this timing was a balancing act.  We ended up not worrying as much about the drops in temperature at night.  Cooler weather is ideal for staining and you can't really avoid going below 10C at night at this time of year.  It ended up raining earlier than 24 hours after we applied the stain too.  It looks fine... I guess it dried out enough beforehand.
  • Apply the stain thinly and focus on one or two boards at a time.  Brush strokes show up easily and you can't really patch your stain job after the fact so inconsistencies are very obvious.  That's why you get it right on an entire board the first time.
Here's a BEFORE shot:

And some more REVEAL photos:

Next steps in this porch project are to add some nice pots on either side of the front door and hanging ones too.  In the spring we'll tackle the front walkway and flower garden and we'll hire someone to cover the ceiling over and add eavestroughs.
- Mary Mary 

1 comment:

Jay and Michelle said...

Wow, it looks fantastic guys!