When you think of being out on your deck, what comes to mind? Relaxing with a book in the shade? Sharing a meal with your family? You’d think decks are supposed to be relaxing, and they can be. But if the deck isn’t properly protected, you’ll find it can actually require a lot more maintenance than your interior. Generally speaking, decks need more maintenance than fences or sheds because they are more exposed to direct sunlight, water absorption, and wear from shoes and furniture. If you want to reduce the amount of stress your deck takes, it’s important to keep it safe.

I cannot stress this enough: paint does not protect your deck!

Sure, you can find paints with special protective coatings, but those are usually designed to maintain the colour and consistency of the paint rather than the actual surface the paint is covering.

When my family renovated out deck years ago, we trusted the painter to stain the deck while we were out of town. When we returned, we discovered he had used paint instead of a finish. Being the naïve child I was back then, the solution seemed simple to me – just stain over it. Unfortunately, this wasn’t so simple as the stain is meant to protect the wood itself, not the paint. If the paint were to start peeling off, it would take the stain with it.

Every summer or two the paint would chip away leaving us with two options:

  1. Repaint the deck. This became pointless, as the remaining paint would eventually weaken underneath the new coat, forcing both layers off, as it would have with the stain.
  2. Leave the deck alone. Not only did our deck look run down, but it also became unsafe to walk on without shoes.

When we finally had enough of not being able to use or enjoy our deck, we spend several weekends working on a DIY project:

  • We scrapped off all the paint
  • Re-sanded the wood
  • Replaced any rotten boards (including buying new material, sizing it properly, and reinforcing it)
  • Properly applied a new stain and coat of paint.

before and after deck

To avoid going through the same ordeal, be sure to have your deck stained first. There are two types of stains you can use. “Semi-Transparent” stains need to be replaced every 18 month or so, and allow both the woods’ grain and texture to show through. Alternatively, a “Solid Colour” stain will last you roughly 3-5 years. Though it only shows the texture, it will help make your coat of paint pop. Be sure to also keep an eye out for water-based stains that are 100% acrylic. These not only last longer, but also better protect against sun and mildew. If you just want a general stainer, you can’t go wrong with either option; of course, depending on the added benefits you want (i.e waterproof, sun resistant, mildew- resistant, etc.) the price can rise dramatically. If you’re unsure of what you want, check out the line of Solid Colour stainers, which come in more options at more affordable prices. Keep in mind that even if you purchase a more expensive Solid Colour stainer, they last a lot longer than the Semi-Transparent variety, which could end up saving you more in the long run.

Need more advice? Hear from real customers to help determine which line and brand of stainer or paint are best suited for your project!



So you’ve built a new deck and you want to show if off? Now that you have the extra space, maybe its time to bring out the barbeque. Who doesn’t enjoy a good BBQ? Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, or refining your culinary skills, it’s a great- and delicious, way of bringing friends, family, and even some stray neighbours together. Don’t bring those steaks out just yet! If you’re planning a big summer cookout, there are a few things you should consider if you want to protect your deck, your grill, and most importantly, yourself.

When it comes to barbecuing, a lot of people are too concerned with the grill to think about what it’s doing to the ground. Charcoal grills should generally be kept away from the deck at all times, but if you have a gas barbeque, moving it up to the deck will save space, and clear some of that smoke. Be sure to place your grill towards an outer railing to keep the smoke clear of your walls.

BBQ protective matKinds of mats

There are several kinds of makeshift mats you can make with easily accessible materials. These mats are great for catching charcoal ash and grease stains that would otherwise cause damage to your deck, especially if it is untreated. If you’re worried about the wood or the space in between the boards, try placing a thin sheet of metal under your grill. Keep in mind that it won’t burn, but it does get hot fast. Another option is to use a thick board. Alternatively, you can skip the boards and build a sandbox – if you don’t have any cats of course. Being fire resistant, grease absorbent, and easily replicable, this is probably your best bet. If you’d prefer not to go the DIY route, your local hardware store should carry specially designed mats.

Check out the link below to hear what people have to say about their DIY projects!.