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When Should I Stain My Deck?

When Should I Stain My Deck?

Doing routine maintenance to your deck is an important factor in the longevity of your wood. A well-maintained deck will look better, last longer, and also increase your property value if you are looking to sell your home in the future. There is a wide range of factors that impact how often you should stain your deck. When living in a state like Ohio, the main factor that will determine your deck maintenance is the weather. Because we can experience harsh winters and other volatile conditions, your wood needs to be treated properly to keep looking great for years to come. When you consult the experts and have a deck maintenance gameplan ready, you can enjoy all of the outdoor time in comfort during the beautiful Columbus summers.

The Best Time of Year for Deck Staining

The two main factors that determine the best time of year for deck staining are time and weather. Because Ohio weather can be temperamental, this can be tricky. The larger your deck is, the longer your deck staining project will take. A safe estimate for a moderately-sized deck is 1-2 days. If you have an existing deck that is in need of a good power washing, it is safe to add at least an extra day on to your total project time.

A common misconception is that Spring and Summer are the best seasons for deck staining. This is based on the premise that because of the heat, it makes for an ideal time to stain. While this may be true in dry climates, in Ohio, Spring and Summer are the humid months. If staining is done too early it can lead to cracking or peeling. If it’s done when the temperature high, it can lead to the stain evaporating before it’s had ample time to penetrate the wood. The perfect time for deck staining is when the air and wood temperature is between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a time-of-day where you are not applying in direct sunlight and check the forecast to make sure it isn’t going to rain in the next 24-48 hours after staining!

New Deck Staining

If you have a new wooden deck built, it should always be stained. How soon it should be stained depends on the climate and the type of wood your deck is made of. In a climate like the one we have in the Columbus, OH area, it is best to err on the side of caution because we experience higher humidity during the warmer months. There are multiple types of wood that decks may be constructed with, and each has a different recommended time frame for staining.

Green Lumber

Green lumber is the term given to wood that is freshly cut. This wood isn’t best suited for decks, as it can warp and crack when drying, but its availability can make it an attractive option when building. The general rule is to give green lumber at least one year per inch of thickness to dry before staining it. When it is ready for staining, a pressure wash will be needed to get the wood clean and looking new!

Kiln-Dried Lumber

If you bought your wood at a lumber or hardware store, chances are it’s kiln-dried. Because it has been dried already, you will only need to wait 1-2 months before staining/painting.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

Pressure-treated lumber needs the least amount of time before staining. It’s best practice to allow at least six months of drying time before applying staining to pressure-treated lumber. If you aren’t sure that the wood is ready, you can pour water on one of the boards. If the water soaks into the wood, it’s ready to be stained!

Staining Existing Decks

The health and longevity of your deck depend solely on the maintenance gameplan you have set in place. As a general rule, your deck should be stained every 2-3 years. This can change, however, if you are in an area of high-humidity or especially volatile weather. The signs to look for when determining if you need deck staining are:

  • The stain color of the wood is wearing off
  • Water soaks into the boards easily
  • There is visible mold or mildew

Horizontal surfaces tend to wear the fastest and can be treated first if you don’t want to go through the process of staining your entire deck. Keep in mind, however, that it is difficult to have a uniform “look” if parts of your deck are stained at different times from one another. It is important to consult an expert in deck staining services to get a complete evaluation.

Deck Staining Colors

Another thing to consider when starting your deck staining project is the color of staining. There are three main questions you must ask yourself:

What are the weather conditions where your home is located?

Solid stains provide more protection from the damaging rays of the sun, while more transparent stains are better in wet climates because they allow excess moisture to escape.

What type of wood is your deck made of?

If your deck is composed of expensive, beautiful wood, it may behoove you to use a light, transparent stain to highlight the grain and texture. If your deck is older and faded, a solid stain can help mask the mismatched colors of the boards that have been replaced over time.

What is your ideal look?

If you are after the rustic look of natural wood, choosing a light-colored transparent stain can add color while allowing the beautiful wood grain to show. The full coverage of a solid stain gives you a modern look with many color options also available (think fun patterns and designs).

The key to success lies not only in the prep work but also in the selection and application of the deck stain. We are deck staining experts with years of experience working in Columbus area homes. We can provide you with a full evaluation of your deck and offer a wide array of choices when it comes to deck staining. Contact us today to get your project started!

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color for Your Home

How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color for Your Home

Trying to decide what color to paint your house? Whether your home is looking a little worn out or you just want a change, picking an exterior paint color is big decision. Not only should you consider your own personal taste, your neighbors prefer that you chose a color with them in mind too.

Are there laws about what color I can paint my house?

Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) usually have written guidelines called Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that dictate the rules and restrictions homeowners in the community must follow. These rules are meant to keep the neighborhood looking nice. If you live in a community with an HOA, make sure to check if there are any bylaws about house color as it may need to be approved prior to painting.

If you don’t have an HOA, and you don’t have to seek approval with a Historical Commission (if you lived in a century home), then there is nothing stopping you from choosing whatever paint colors you like, except good taste.

How do I know which paint colors will look good on my house?

In general, there are three main colors in a home’s exterior paint scheme: main, accent, and trim. The main color is the predominant color, accent colors are usually on shutters or front doors, and trim colors are reserved for window or door casings. When picking exterior paint colors, here are three things to keep in mind.

1. The style of a home can encourage a paint scheme.

Paint can highlight the beautiful design details of your home’s architecture. Depending on the style, your home may look best in soft, muted colors or big and bold.

Victorian: Pastel colors work well and are period-appropriate. Choosing several different colors will differentiate and highlight the elaborate and ornate details in the design.

Craftsman: Neutral earth tones with bright accents bring attention to architectural details while providing a warm, welcoming, cozy appearance.

Midcentury Modern: Neutrals with bold accents and traditional arts and crafts colors complement the abundance of windows and natural light.

Spanish Colonial: White, off-white, and light cream goes well with the terra cotta roofs, hand painted tiles, ornamental iron work, and graceful archways.

Cottage: This whimsical, fairytale style home can handle more unusual colors that really bring out the charm.

Cape Cod: Light and airy neutrals with contrasting window casings look great with the classic lines of these English homes.

2. Paint colors should coordinate with your roof, landscape and hardscapes.

The color of your home should enhance the parts of your property that cannot be easily changed like the roof, driveway or landscaping.

Roof: What color is your roof? Whether you have dark gray or black shingles, terra cotta or slate tiles, or traditional cedar shakes, your house color can contrast the roof color or blend with it, depending on the affect you want.

Landscape: If your home is surrounded by a natural flowering landscape, lighter shades can make the colors in your blooming foliage really stand out.

Hardscape: Consider the stonework in your driveway, walkways, porch, patio, or walls. Try to pick up on the underlying tones to create a cohesive look.

What are the underlying tones in paint color?

Tones are the dull or bright variations of a color. When you add gray to a color it makes the color less intense, thus creating a different tone of that color. For example, some blues have undertones of purple while others have more green. In general, there are warm, cool and neutral tones.

  • Warm Tones: Red, orange, yellow
  • Cool Tones: Blue, green, purple
  • Neutral Tones: Black, white, gray, brown, beige

Using various paint colors with the same underlying tone creates harmony. If you live in a wooded area, earth tones will help your home blend in with the surrounding nature. Beach houses can be bright saturated colors, like turquoise, while Victorians look great in pastels.

3. Paint color can visually alter the appearance of your house.

Certain color combinations can make a house seem larger, smaller, taller or shorter. Paint color can also make your home appear to come forward or fall back. Lighter and brighter homes stand out while darker ones recede.

Can paint color make my house look bigger or smaller?

Yes. If you have a small house, one way to make it seem larger is to use a medium shade of blue for the main color and a crisp white for the trim. Why does this work? The blue makes the home look more substantial while the white brightens it. Another example is a classic white house with black trim.

If you have a large house that sits on a small lot, avoid light colors or your house will look even bigger. If you have a tall house, paint the top a darker color to scale it down.

Does the color of my house affect the resale value?

If you want to sell your home in the future, consider how your paint color may affect the resale value. You may love Flamingo Pink, but how many other people will too? If you want to be bold without scaring off potential buyers, highlight an accent piece, like the front door, or paint window panes, shutters or trim with a contrasting color.

Exterior home colors can welcome people or make them cringe. You may not want to blend in with the neighbors, but there are beautiful color-combinations that help your house stand out in an unobtrusive way. For a free estimate on painting your house, contact Prim Painting today.


Creating an Organized Basement Storage Area

Creating an Organized Basement Storage Area

Has your basement become an unorganized dumping ground for all kinds of stuff? Now is the perfect time to transform your basement into the storage area of your dreams. Imagine fresh paint on the walls, organized shelving units, neatly arranged totes. It can all be yours. You just need a little nudge to get started. Here are some easy basement storage and organization tips to encourage some spring cleaning.

Basement Storage and Organization Tips

1. De-Clutter

To help you organize when clearing out your clutter, sort items into 4 piles: keep, throw away, donate and sell. Drop off smaller household donations at your local Goodwill. If you have furniture that is still in great shape, contact the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio. They will pick up your furniture and other large household items for free and donate them to a local family in need.

2. Fresh Paint

Brighten up a dark basement, add some personality and pizazz, or cover up old stains and imperfections. KILZ® is an example of a latex primer and sealer that can be applied to almost any surface to hide stains or block odors. After drying, a top coat in a color of your choice can be painted over it.

3. Install Shelves

Wire or plastic shelving is best for preventing potential moisture damage. They are also versatile because you can reconfigure them based on your storage needs.

4. Pack Totes

Store your items in clear plastic totes so you can easily identify the contents. This way, if you don’t want to label every tote you don’t have to.

5. Protect Furniture

If storing furniture, protect it from moisture and dirt by raising each piece off the floor with bricks, covering with drop cloths, and keeping it at least 3 inches away from walls.

6. Hang Tools

Pegboard and wall hooks are an easy and affordable way to neatly store tools; plus, hanging tools from hooks prevents rusting.

7. Get Creative

Take advantage of every nook and cranny by storing items underneath stairs or on overhead racks from the ceiling.

8. Keep It Dry

Once your basement is freshly painted, clean and organized, make sure to run a dehumidifier to help control musty odors and prevent moisture damage.

Tips for Painting a Basement

Painting your basement does more than just make it look fresh and clean, it also protects your basement from moisture damage. Most basement walls are made from concrete, which is a porous material. If moisture accumulates behind the concrete, mold and mildew can grow.

When painting your basement, it’s important to follow these steps. First, make sure to repair cracks and holes in the walls and ceiling. Next, remove mildew stains, if you have any, and clean the walls. When the walls have dried, apply a primer. Finally, paint over the primer with the chosen paint color.

More accessible than attics, a basement can add much-needed storage space to your home. If you have questions, Prim Painting is a Columbus, Ohio, painting company that specializes in interior home painting. Contact us for a free quote today!


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