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Exterior Staining Tips from Dulux Paints

Dulux Paints has announced Teak as its 2020 Stain Colour of the Year — featured in the Dulux Professional Wood Finishes collection of high-end performance wood care products. With wood and all things natural in vogue for the coming year, and with fall being the best time to stain exterior woodDulux Paints offers these staining tips to ensure best results:

Stain when wood is dry. Wait to start your staining project until at least 16 hours after a light rainfall, or 24 hours after a heavy rainfall or high-pressure cleaning. Test the surface by pushing a blade over top (if there’s any moisture, it’s too wet to stain) or sprinkling a few drops of water (if the water soaks in, the wood is ready to absorb a coat of stain). Avoid application whenever rain or any condensation is expected, such as late in the day as it gets cooler.

Weather matters: Staining in the right temperature can significantly extend the life of your project. The best time to stain is when the temperature is between 10°C and 32°C. Stain shouldn’t be applied if the thermometer falls below 10°C and if rain is expected within 24 hours after application. On a warm day, feel the wood surface before starting the job — if the surface is too hot to touch, it’s too hot to stain, as penetration of the coating will be reduced.

Less is more. Always apply stain in light, even coats along the length of the piece of wood and maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks (especially for semi-transparent stains). Typically, a maximum of two coats is suggested to achieve the desired colour appearance and surface protection. For best performance, never apply more coats than recommended or allow stain to pond on horizontal surfaces. Stains last longest when they penetrate deep into the wood and this can’t be achieved with a thick coating. Rather than protecting the wood, a thick coating of stain prevents breathing room and leads to peeling, flaking and moisture damage.

Coat every surface. Whenever possible and accessible, coat all six surfaces of the wood planks. Pay extra attention to covering end grains and any cut or damaged areas to ensure adequate sealing against moisture absorption. This helps control the amount of moisture that will naturally pass through the wood and allows the wood to breathe.

Apply like a pro:  The ideal application tool for staining is a brush. Rollers, sprays and pads can also be used, but may cause more pooling of the stain. Stir the stain thoroughly in the can with a slow lifting motion before and, occasionally during, use. Some semi-transparent stains require the second coat to be applied ‘wet-on-wet’ — in this case, apply the first, thin coat to the surface, then apply a second, thin coat before the first coat dries. This technique allows the second coat to penetrate the wood. For best results, apply the stain in the shade. Follow the sun as you work so that you’re always out of direct sunlight.

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