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For this particular deck in Ben Lomond area I finished half of it and then came back like a week later to finish the second half. Long story. Nonetheless, I quickly rewashed the side that I hadn’t put stain on and because of that I was able to get a picture that might just be worth those thousand words.
The boards on the right side of the picture are the deck boards that just got washed again and are in the process of drying. These are new boards. Actually they are about 14 months new. Most people with new decks, when referencing a tone, say that they like how the deck looks when the boards are wet. And I understand what they mean by that. And what they really mean by that is that they like how clean, new, and wet boards look. And that’s because dirty, new, wet boards are too slick to appreciate the tone.
This is a blend of sorts. A little red, some cedar, some butternut tone. The mistake is usually to use too light of a tone. And it’s not that the darker the tone, the better. There is a way to make a tone appear dark when it needs to appear dark, yet appear light when it should seem light.
The boards on the left side of this picture are finished. Washed, Stained, dried, finished. It’s about as natural as one would ever want, yet this is NOT the result of using a quote unquote natural tone.
Deck Maintenance, staining and sealing, Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel, Scotts Valley, San Lorenzo Valley, and beyond.
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Here’s a fairly new hardwood deck, three years old max. This picture shows a finished swatch up against boards that haven’t even been washed. The home is off Graham Hill Road between Santa Cruz and Roaring Camp. The picture was taken at 10:45am, without sun, in early May 2020 as the morning dew was finally burning off.
Note to all Deck Builders.
Space out the boards properly or you are doing your client a major disservice in the end. The boards need to be separated beyond the old school of thought that suggested the separation needs to be no wider than the width of the nail or screw heads that are being used to build the deck. How much wider depends on many factors. Too many factors to mention actually. Just make sure they are spaced out properly for long term wear/tear and of course maintenance. And while you are at it, you might suggest softening the edges for your client. Softening along the boards, AND the ends of the boards make so much difference in look and feel.
*Here’s a real nice example in Capitola. I could have chosen perhaps a more relatable measuring device like the depth of an iPhone8 inside one of those fat Otterbox cases, not the iPhone8 itself. And there in lies the difference!
These are steps obviously. These steps lead up to a front door. They are used fairly regularly though not everyday, all day. The steps get filtered afternoon sun. The steps were built in summer 2018, and a few months after being built, the client wanted them stained with a very dark tone that the stain manufacturer calls Butternut. It turned out beautiful. To die for actually.
Fast forward one year, and just one year and this is what the steps look like. Warn down in the middle of each and every step yet holding stain nicely on both sides of the middle. Could this have been prevented?
The answer is Yes and No.
Santa Cruz Aptos Soquel Seascape Scotts Valley Felton Live Oak Capitola
This brand new deck in Santa Cruz was a pleasure and challenge wrapped into one. Springtime proved to be way too consistently variable with heavy rains and winds during the three week span it took me to properly wash and stain this Clear Cedar Deck near Steamer Lane.
These pictures are both taken around 11am after one of the heavier springtime Santa Cruz storms in decades. I chose to showcase them side by side because they tell one of the more important stories regarding deck maintenance. For another time…..
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Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Felton, Boulder Creek
Not sure why I decided to put these two photos together in the same post. Each photo represents a completely different section of this glorious deck, facing a different direction altogether. And of course it’s a different time of day after a much stormier kind of night.
One common bond is that both pictures represent a finished look after a fresh coat of high end water based transparent stain. This deck is 10 months new. Good times.
Santa Cruz County Deck Staining & Maintenance
Santa Cruz County Deck Staining & Maintenance
With our winter weather being so unseasonably warm and cooperative, this spring project got moved up to January/February 2018. This is an enormous East Facing side of a shingle home in South Santa Cruz. These closeup shots make a couple of points. First, every shingle will forever appear different, regardless of how well maintained they are. And second, you are looking at a very custom marriage between white exterior paint and transparent stain.
Every so often the entire deck is stained and sealed. If you have the disposable income, and you have a deck that you want to have last forever and ever, then it should seem reasonable that at least every other year it should be loved up. At least the horizontal boards that comprise the deck. The other parts, may I suggest every so often.
Wood Restoration Santa Cruz County
March 2017, Scotts Valley
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