Update 2018 for How to Stain a Covered Wood Porch
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Covered wood porches add a lot of curb appeal to your home. They also provide a nice outdoor living space out of the sun and rain. The entrance to your home is the first thing guests see so keeping it maintained is important. Covered wood porches do not take as much abuse from the weather because the roof protects them. But they still need to be waterproofed for them to last many years.
To stain a covered wood porch you will first need to clean the wood. Using a wood cleaner and a pressure washer is a great way to prep the wood prior to staining. Follow the directions on the wood cleaner and be careful not to use excessive pressure so the wood is not damaged. If you do not have access to a pressure washer you can also use a soft scrub brush and garden hose. Let the wood cleaner loosen all the contaminants then wash it away. For covered wood porches that have an old stain on them use a wood stripper. This will loosen the existing stain and make it easier to remove.
Once the wood is clean apply a wood brightener. This neutralizes the wood cleaner and helps open the pores of the wood to accept new stain. The end result will be a more attractive longer lasting finish. Once the brightener is applied to the covered wood porch rinse it well with fresh water and allow the wood to dry for a day or two.
On a clean dry covered wood porch, you can begin applying new stain. Start in a small area and work your way towards the entrance of the porch. To prevent lap marks in the stain, start on one end of a board and coat the entire board before starting a new one. Brush or wipe away any excess stain that does not soak into the wood within 10 minutes or so. Leaving drips and/or puddles of excess stain on the wood can result in a blotchy appearance. It can also lead to flaking and peeling issues once the stain cures. A good rule of thumb is to apply only as much stain as the covered wood porch will absorb. Maintenance should be done every couple of years.