Don't Let This Happen To You! The Cedar Deck Incident!
TO STAIN OR NOT TO STAIN? THAT IS THE QUESTION!
Three years ago, my wife and I undertook the sometimes painful task of home remodeling. We added a 20 x 20 room and a beautiful cedar plank and rail deck. The room is beautiful. So is the deck (in theory).
The problem was this. We messed up big time waiting to stain the fresh cedar! Being so dazzled by it's beauty, we were completely stupefied! Blinded!Too much time was spent in ignorant admiration and not enough in effort. We simply waited too long to stain the wood! Blasted!
Here's our story:
After countless hours of laborious planning and construction, my 'brilliant' thought process went something like this. Wow! This deck is beautiful! Just look at how nice that fresh-off-the-truck cedar looks! I want to keep it that way!
Let's stain it! -- Now!
Yeah! That would be great!! -- (That would've also been smart). -- But we waited some more. Don't know why. Still blinded I guess. Or cedar drunk!
"Let's pick out a color," my wife chimed.
"Not a problem," I added. "And the best deck sealant as well." (By this time the deck had been weathered but still looked decent; or so we assumed).
So off we go to the local Lowe's and get our stain. And much to our happy, happy joy, the search didn't take long. We quickly found what we were looking for and motored back home. Our shiny new deck would soon be encapsulated for generations; or so we assumed (again).
After sun bathing for about 5 weeks, most of the deck's shiny new skin could still be seen. So we joyfully applied the most expensive deck stain our rollers could dip into and journeyed on toward deck nirvana. That was the last of the happy, happy joy time.
I can't recall the exact date and time but it wasn't long before our freshly-stained deck morphed into our freshly-peeling deck. And then our freshly-diminishing-in-appearance deck. And eventually our headache deck of epic proportion. It looked awful. Still does. See the photos! Ugh!
In short, allow your new cedar deck to be naked for two weeks max. If you wait longer than that, the woody freshness (all nice and sexy for sure) will wane to a dull gray. The window of opportunity will shut tighter than a croc on a log.
For us, the task ahead is the painstaking process of sanding, power washing, and finally restaining our deck. Not a happy, happy, joy time for sure!
Oh, and did I mention we used the most expensive stain we could find. Brilliant!
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