Preparing Wood Surfaces

Exterior Wood Preparation

What steps should be followed to prepare new (treated or natural) or previously painted wood surfaces?

New Wood (treated or natural)

The first step is to make sure there is no mill glaze as it prevents the stain from penetrating into the wood and adhering to the surface. Sand the glazed areas with 60 grade sandpaper to increase surface adhesion. Let the wood dry before staining. The humidity content of the wood must be below 12% otherwise the stain will not penetrate into the wood.

Before applying, make sure there is no sand, soil, grease, or any other contaminants that may prevent the stain from penetrating into the wood. Even if the wood is new, mildew may be present on the surface. To remove mildew, scrub and wash the surface with a solution of three parts water and one part bleach, using a floor brush.


Previously Stained Wood

Check the solidity of each plank and replace those that are too damaged or beginning to rot.

Wash the surface with a solution of three parts water and trisodium phosphate (TSP) and one part bleach. TSP is a degreaser that is used to wash surfaces prior to painting or staining. It can be purchased at MF Paints distributors.

Rub the surface with this solution, using a floor brush or a street broom.
Rinse with clear water and let dry until the humidity content drops to 12% or less. Make sure to thoroughly scrub the surface to remove any loose stain flakes.

You are now ready to apply the stain.

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