Outdoor Pursuits…Freshen up, then sit back and enjoy!

The arrival of May means to most that we can finally get outside of our homes after a long-endured winter!  For me, it means my annual Mother’s Day trip to the local greenhouses…even if it is too cold to plant, it is so fantastic to just wander through the greenery, smell the fresh aroma of the newly planted seedlings, and admire the gorgeous floral baskets that I don’t dare purchase because it’s still just too cold out! 

For the painter in me, May is the perfect time for a fresh coat of stain on outdoor decks.  It is great to get this task out of the way before the rest of summer hits!  Our family has recently moved into our 5th home and through my 20+ years of renovating, I am staining yet another deck.  Through the years, the products available have improved greatly.  For this latest project, I have chosen SICO’s Exterior Wood Protector in Driftwood.  It is a great color to harmonize with my beige exterior.  It has a blue tinge going on, but dries down to a beautiful weathered-grey color.  This works well with the stone accents on the front of our home that have my favorite shades of caramels, tans, and greys. 

Even if your deck is constructed of pressure-treated wood, it is desirable to stain it.  If your home is brand new, then let it sit for a year to weather a bit as it will take the stain better.  Staining pressure treated wood gives it a finished look and reduces the signs of water staining.  Don’t be afraid!!  As with anything connected with your home, upkeep is the key.  There are so many great Exterior Stain Products out there…their resilience to wear and UV damage is greatly improved and once that initial coat has been applied, you can even skip a year before re-coating.  And of course, the vertical surfaces of your structures are going to weather far less than the horizontal, so they require less re-coating over the years.

To those who know me really well, it will be no surprise, that I am not just going to use one color of stain on my decking!  Choose your shades according to your needs and requirements of your home.  My previous two properties, which were acreages, both led me to use a sandstone shade for all horizontal surfaces.  Anyone living in the country, and also any lake or beach property, will find blending your surface to the mud and sand tracking up to your door to be a sanity-saving move!!  For my current decking, I am adding a second shade (yet to be determined…) to break up the length of the deck surface.  And the designer in me has to add the creativity to jazz it up a bit.  Stay tuned…


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