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Home Living : March 13th 2012
2 HLS - HOME LIVING: SOUTH, Tuesday, March 13, 2012 MB DECKING UPDATING YOUR DECK FRESH STAIN MOST COST EFFECTIVE WAY Fresh stain is the most cost-effective and simple way to update your deck. Details: shur-line.com or call on 1800 331 491. DESIGNING or updating an alfresco living area into one that is stylish can improve the look of your home and add value. Having a deck is a great place to relax and entertain. But decks need to be planned and require maintenance, at least once every year, because they are exposed to harsh conditions such as the sun and rain as well as regular foot traffic. The most cost-effective and simple way to update your deck is with fresh stain. Here is a simple staining guide to help avoid problems such as discolouration and splinters, giving professional results with the help of industry experts SHUR-LINE. Step 1 -- prepare the surface: Look for any surface problems, such as eroded, rotting or decayed boards, or loose nails and replace them. Sand any cracked or splintered boards and railings then scrub the deck thoroughly with a stiff bristle brush and a deck cleaner to remove mould, discolouration and dirt. Rinse deck with water. Leave it to dry for a few days as moisture can affect the quality and finish of a stain. Step 2 -- mask and cover: Tape off any areas where the stain is not desired and place drop sheets over any shrubs and plants underneath the deck. Step 3 -- start staining: Begin by staining trim work, including railings and spindles, then stain the deck using a reliable stain with brush or stain pad with groove tool. To ensure a smooth and streak-free stain finish, stain with the direction of the boards, apply the stain to a few boards at a time, overlap your strokes when moving from a stained area on to an unstained area, and never stop staining your deck in the middle of the project. Depending on the manufacturer's instructions, a second thin coat of the stain may be required. Step 4 -- maintenance: To keep your deck looking great, regularly sweep off leaves and debris and hose and sweep off pollen and dirt. GET THE JOB DONE RIGHT Boards need to be in good condition to make staining effective. ENSURE the deck surfaces are thoroughly prepped, clean- ed, and rotting or damaged boards are repaired or replaced. Sand the surface before start- ing the staining. Look for clear weather for 24 hours before and 24 hours after staining. This will ensure the stain is absorbed and dries properly. Tape off any areas where stain is not desired (ie house siding, beneath the deck). Begin by staining trim work, including railings, spindles and tight spaces and then move to large surface areas. Stain in the direction of the boards. A properly stained deck re- quires little maintenance. Re- member to regularly sweep off leaves and debris since they trap moisture on the deck sur- face, and routinely hose and sweep off pollen and dirt. RENOVATION THE EASY WAY It is important to plan your kitchen. KITCHENS YOUR kitchen needs to stand up to lots of wear and tear. It may also date and it's likely that even with all the right care and maintenance, it will need renovating at some time. For the project to run smoothly, have all your major cost items like the sink, taps, dishwasher, oven, cooktop, microwave and fridge selected and all codes and model numbers available to the kitchen company before they start building. That way the kitchen company will have all the dimensions of the appliances and it will fit perfectly into the space available the first time. ''I can't tell you how many times cabinets have been taken back to the factory to accommodate an appliance,'' says TV presenter, builder, author, Luke Van Dyck. ''It's also important to plan and be realistic about the timeline.'' 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