Q. I painted my deck with primer and water-based paint. This year, the paint has chipped off and the wood is showing. What should I do to get an attractive and lasting result?
Corey - Brandon, Manitoba
For beautiful and lasting results, start by washing your deck with either a pressure washer or preferably with a deck preparation cleaner. Allow it to dry and follow up with a good sanding, which will help remove any traces of old paint and open up the pores of the wood. Next, make sure the wood has had a chance to dry out and putty all nail holes with wood filler. After another light sanding of all the rough areas, clean up any dust or debris and carefully cover and tape off areas that you want to keep paint-free.
Apply one coat of oil-based primer, which can take up to 48 hours to dry depending on the weather and humidity level. Once the primer is completely dry, apply at least two coats of oil-based paint, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat.
Another option you might want to consider is outdoor stain. There are many colours and options including opaque, semi-opaque, semi-translucent, translucent and, of course, clear stains. Opaque stains can offer coverage similar to that of paint, allowing no wood grain to show through. Also, the more opaque or solid the stain, the more protection it offers and the longer it will last.