Patio Refresh with Olympic Stain

When updating your patio, you want something that is functional but also beautiful. Corey Decker of Sawdust to Stitches did just that by updating her outdoor furniture with a fresh new coat of stain and sealant and by building an exterior planter wall to house some greenery. Keep reading to see how Corey refreshed her patio with Olympic Stain from The Home Depot.

I’m going to just come right out and say it, our back porch has been neglected. Sure, I purchased some chairs a couple years back, but that’s about it. The last few years have not been kind to said rocking chairs and they are in pretty sad condition. If I am being completely honest, I just haven’t been very motivated. Living in Florida has made me hesitant to give this area a facelift. I didn’t want all my hard work to be destroyed by the Florida heat. Have you ever experienced this fear too? Well, I am happy to report that I have found the answer. The best thing you can do to protect your wood projects is by staining and sealing, and Olympic Stain has just the products you need to do this all in one step!

So let’s get started. Remember those chairs I mentioned? Well, I was actually about to throw in the towel and give up hope on them. I have power washed and sealed these chairs (not with Olympic Stain) multiple times only to find them looking old and cruddy in just a few weeks. It was so frustrating! That song and dance was getting old, so I thought I would try a different approach.

Step 1: Clean Surfaces

In the past, power washing and sanding these chairs took me several days to complete. It was an arduous task and I was not willing to do it again. After a little bit of research and reading reviews, I found something that looked promising. Olympic has a product (Deck Cleaner) specifically made for cleaning outdoor wood projects in preparation to be stained and sealed. Heck, I had tried everything else might as well, right?

Best decision ever! It was the easiest 15-minute project ever. All I needed was a gallon of Olympic Deck Cleaner (about $10) and a plastic spray bottle. If you are doing a large area I would recommend using a 1-Gallon Pump Sprayer. After reading the directions carefully and following the safety precautions, I started spritzing down my first chair. That’s it, you heard that right. All you have to do is spray it on and wait 5-10 minutes. Boom, done.

I set a timer for ten minutes and watched a miracle happen. All of the sun damage and mildew infested grain vanished. No need to scrub, it was just gone! Once the ten minutes was up, I grabbed the garden hose and thoroughly rinsed the chair down.

Take a good look at this before (left) and after (right). All of the weathering and mildew are gone. It had stripped the chair down enough that it was ready to receive a new stain and sealant.

Step 2: Stain and Seal

It’s time to give these chairs a new life. While I like the natural wood tone, I have a vision for this back patio makeover, and it requires something a little moodier. I knew I needed something that would stain as well as seal, and I definitely wanted something that was opaquer than a traditional stain. After doing my research I found that Olympic Elite Solid actually has a ton of color options. They have quite a few samples in store, and there are even more options online. I opted for “Ebony” which is a yummy dark charcoal gray. I went to my local Home Depot paint department and they mixed it right up.

After letting my chairs dry completely, I started applying my Olympic Elite Solid Stain. I don’t want to oversell this, but this stuff goes on super smooth with perfect coverage!

Olympic Elite Solid completely surpassed my expectations. In my limited experience with stain/sealants, they have always been messy, runny and required multiple coats. Not this stuff! I was having great success using a paint brush in the corners and rolling the slats, but then I thought I would try and speed up the process.

I loaded up my paint sprayer with the new “Ebony” color and it went on like butter! In a matter of minutes, I had brand new looking chairs with pristine coverage. Color me impressed.

Step 3: Allow Stain to Dry and Design

I set to work with renewed faith in outdoor furniture. So much so that I decided this patio needed a little bit of interest on the back wall.

I wanted to tie in the beautiful deep Olympic “Ebony” color of my chairs, but I also wanted a bit of contrast and some warmth that wood tones would bring, and I had a great idea.

Just like my hesitancy with staining chairs, I used to have a fear of building outdoor furniture. While there are some woods that have natural/chemical preservatives, they tend to be fairly expensive. On the other hand, a more affordable common board isn’t typically thought of for outdoor use, until now!

Olympic Elite Stain and Sealer allows the best of both worlds. It allows for the use of cost-effective materials with the added protection wood needs to stay looking its best. Feel free to use whatever building material you prefer with full confidence it will stay looking incredible.

Step 4: Prep Materials

Using a miter saw I cut all my boards needed for the build, and then used a sander to achieve a nice smooth finish.

Shop online or head to your nearest Home Depot and pick out your favorite color selection from the Olympic Elite collection. The Olympic Elite collection contains “color rich technology” and “All-Climate” protection. What does that mean for you? That means a one-step finish that will penetrate leaving a rich color and protect your project from all the outdoor elements.

When building a project designed for the outdoors, I prefer to apply my Olympic Elite Stain/Sealer before assembling. This will ensure that all parts of the board are properly protected. Olympic Elite Stain is very easy to work with, it can easily be applied with a brush, roller or sprayer. Just make sure you are working in a well-ventilated area.

Step 5: Build Components

This is a simple build that is essentially three basic builds; a large crate, a small planter box, and a simple shelf. Each of these builds are repeated three times.

The last element needed are the plant ring mounts. I used six 6-inch Vigoro Planter Rings for this design and I love them. The contrast of the matte black against the Olympic Elite “American Chestnut” makes my heart skip a beat.

Step 6: Posts & Assembly

We are so close to finishing up this final project for the patio refresh. All that is needed now is to install the above assembled components to four posts. Before getting “gung-ho” I recommend taking a few extra minutes to mark the back of the four posts with the desired dimensions for crate, planter, ledge, ring mounts and rods.

When assembling start with one side of the structure and work your way across.

Once all of the bars, planter boxes, ledges, and ring mounts are installed, flip the entire unit over and fasten the large crates to the base the posts.

Step 7: Bring It All Together

It’s now the moment we have all been waiting for, it’s time to bring this whole plan together and give new life to this otherwise plain back patio.

Just look at how welcoming this back patio is now. Don’t you just love the rich dark “Ebony” color of the newly refinished rocking chairs?

What about that beautiful wood grain popping through the warm stain color accented with the pops of black that unify the whole space? Doesn’t it just warm your heart? I am thrilled with the outcome and the new knowledge I have on the proper way to tackle outdoor projects. All-in-all I will call this back patio refresh an unmitigated success.

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Weatherproofing Exterior Swings with Olympic Stains and Sealants

Refreshing old wood furniture can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if it’s spent months, even years, outside slowing corroding. Check out the video and blog post below to see how Tyson Moore refreshed and weatherproofed some of his exterior furniture pieces with the help of Olympic stains and sealants.

Hello everyone! My name is Tyson Moore, and I’m excited to show you how my wife and I weatherproofed a two porch swings using Olympic products from The Home Depot!

I recently built our family a brand-new cedar porch swing. As I was preparing for weatherproofing, I looked across the yard and noticed that my neighbor’s porch swing was in rough condition. My wife and I decided that it would also be a fun project to bring our neighbor’s old swing back to life!

Gather Your Supplies

First, we headed to our local Home Depot to gather the supplies we needed. We decided to finish both swings using different  Olympic products. For our swing, we chose the Olympic Maximum Clear Waterproofing Sealer. For my neighbor’s old swing, we picked up Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner and the Olympic Elite Stain + Sealant. We also picked up a pump sprayer, a drop cloth, a couple of good exterior paint brushes, and mineral spirits for clean up.

Transparent vs. Solid Stains

I chose a stain based on the color that drew my attention rather than taking the time to understand the difference between a “transparent” stain and a “solid” stain. If you are like me and get confused by labels (or get distracted by all the options), let me explain what I later learned. “Transparent” wood stains add a hint of color while soaking into the wood and showing off the natural wood grain. They are recommended for  younger wood but offer less protection. “Solid” wood stains are recommended for older wood. They cover the wood grain while highlighting the natural textures. Solid stains show less wood grain but offer the most protection. In hindsight, I think Olympic Elite Solid  may have been a better choice for my neighbor’s swing due to the age and condition of the wood. 

Either way, I think you will agree that the transparent stain we chose still worked wonders on my neighbor’s swing! But first, let’s take a look at how the Olympic Maximum Clear Waterproofing Sealant worked on our brand new cedar swing! Speaking of the cedar swing, if you are interested in learning how I built this porch swing, I invite you to follow along on my Instagram page.

Using Olympic Maximum Clear on the New Swing  

The entire process was simple. First, we laid out a drop cloth. Then, we set the swing on top of a couple of saw horses. Once the wood was clean and dry, we flipped it over to apply the finish to the back.

Olympic Maximum is a clear, durable, waterproofing sealer that offers protection against water damage and UV rays. It’s rated #1 among clear wood sealers and stains. It’s a clear sealer with a slight tint. Use it on any exterior wood like decks, fences, and siding. Apply it anywhere you want to protect against the weather while also bringing out the natural beauty of the wood.

Application was really easy. Applying a thin coat is all that is needed. If you choose to use a roller, you may need to back-brush for best results.

After the first stroke, we knew we had a winner! Just look at that cedar shine! 

I will say that cedar is already a naturally weather resistant type of wood in itself, but we have ease of mind knowing that this swing will have extra protection against water damage and mildew.

Cleaning up was also super easy. All I had to do was pour a few ounces of mineral spirits into a cup and then wash out my brush.

And that’s it! It’s really that simple! Check out this finish after a 24-hour dry time. We loved how this turned out!

Using Olympic Elite Stain + Sealant on the Old Swing  

Now let’s focus our neighbor’s swing. As you can tell, this is still a beautiful swing, but the weather has definitely taken its toll on it.

First, we used Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner  to clean the swing and wash away mildew, dirt, and other contaminants that had accumulated from years of being outdoors.

We added it to a standard pump sprayer and prepared to spray it on the swing. No mixing and no diluting was required. When working with a powerful cleaner like this, it’s important to remember to put on some gloves, long sleeves, and goggles.

We waited 5-10 minutes for it to clean the wood. Since you can use this product to clean any exterior wood, we decided to use it on a little exterior side table while we were at it!

After spraying and letting it sit for a few minutes, we washed it off with water. You don’t need to use a pressure washer; a standard garden hose is just fine. The cleaner also requires no scrubbing!

Once the wood was completely dry, it was time to use the Olympic Elite Stain + Sealant. Olympic Elite is a stain plus sealer all-in-one, and it comes in a variety of colors. We chose a rich, beautiful brown tint called “Kona Brown.” We knew that it would bring some color back into the swing and help protect it from the weather.

All you need is a high quality brush to apply a thin layer directly to the wood. It was amazing seeing this old swing transform before our eyes! After applying stain to the side table and the entire swing, we let them both sit for 24 hours to completely dry.

Ready for the weather!  

A couple days after we applied the stain and sealants we had our first rain. The little side table and the porch swing are already resisting that water!

Before and After

So whether you are working with something old that you want to bring back to life like a weathered deck or an aged fence or yard swing…

… or whether you want to protect and bring out that natural color in something brand new, the Olympic products mentioned above are a great choice for making your projects look amazing while also preparing your exterior wood for spending years outdoors. 

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Protecting Our Fence with Olympic Clear Waterproof Sealant

Stains on our wooden fences can take away from the curb appeal of our beautiful yards. Instead of painting them a different color, which we’ve all thought about, check out the video and blog below to see how Suzannah Stanley was able to refresh and waterproof her wooden fence.

Why we wanted to stain or seal our fence

We had our fence replaced this spring—one of the best things we’ve done at this house! It was previously a dented, mossy, slatted chain link with mismatched cedar gate area. And it wasn’t tall enough or fully sight-obscuring once we had all the ivy and extra vegetation around it removed. We replaced it with a standard cedar fence. It’s common in this area but definitely shows age after lots of Pacific Northwest rain. We definitely wanted to stain or seal it somehow. After research, we learned it’s best to do this 6-8 weeks after installing the fence so the boards can dry out and cure.

Products and Applications

Research on products and application methods followed. The Home Depot carries #1 rated Olympic stains with both weather-ready application and long-lasting durability. We wanted a clear product to protect the fence from aging rather than add color, so we chose the Olympic Maximum Clear Exterior Waterproofing Sealant.

It protects against water damage, UV wear, scuffs, and mildew stains. It also provides 4 years of protection on fences & siding (3 years on decks). Our fence was a big investment so of course we want to take care of it and protect it from weather and aging. It gives me peace of mind that we are set for 4 years! Olympic also offers the #1 rated solid stain, Olympic Elite Solid, if you want to add some color to your fence or deck.

We’re just barely into full-on summer here in Oregon which means we have random rain here and there. The Olympic Maximum Clear Exterior Waterproofing Sealant allows for weather-ready application. So, you can clean and stain the same day even after rain. You only need 8 hours of dry weather after application. You can even apply in weather as cold as 35 degrees!

We also decided to use a professional scale paint sprayer. I’ll share with you the all of the prep materials and safety equipment we used below!

Supplies you’ll need

We had 190 linear feet of fence to stain. Our calculations suggested that we’d need about 6 gallons of sealant. We bought a 1-gallon container of Olympic Maximum Clear Waterproofing Sealant plus a 5-gallon container.

For prep materials, we used the Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner and a 1-gallon pump sprayer.

Because this was a large area to spray, we went for a large, versatile airless paint sprayer. This one is a great price for how much it can do! It comes with some essentials for cleaning the pieces and storing it. Just in case that wasn’t enough storage, we also bought extra Pump Armor for storing. Plus, we purchased mineral spirits for cleaning the oil-based sealant from the  pump and the sprayer pieces.

We also bought some paint rollers to back-roll the stain after spraying. This is an essential step when painting walls or smooth surfaces with a paint sprayer. However, our fence absorbed the sealant really well and we actually didn’t end up using these at all. You might use the paint rollers if you’re sealing a smoother surface, or if your fence doesn’t absorb as much of the stain as ours did.

For safety around clouds of oil-based sealant, we bought a paint suit and used a respirator we already had that’s similar to this one.

Fence

Fence before protection

Even after only 2-3 months of being exposed to the elements, you can see our fence was starting to look a little tired. There was some discoloration at the top and near the nails, and we had dirt splashes at the bottom which are harder to clean off bare wood.

Fence

Fence

Fence

Step 1: Clean the Fence

The first step is cleaning the fence. The pump sprayer is super easy to use, and the Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner product works really well.

Fence

Fence

You can see the fence after cleaning below. We did wait a day to apply the stain, but you don’t have to with this product if you don’t have time or are stuck between rain showers.

Fence

Step 2: Prepare Your Paint Sprayer

The main advantage to using a sprayer is that it’s way faster than other methods. It allows you to easily get the stain into nooks and crannies that would take additional time to do with a roller or brush. However, you do need to do extra prep work to learn how to set up and use the sprayer properly. You also need to wear more safety equipment because of the overspray. For the same reason, you also need to be cautious about covering any cars, plants, or outdoor furniture that you have close to the job so that they don’t get sprayed. This type of paint sprayer is also convenient to use and low-waste since you don’t pour paint into part of the sprayer.

Step 3: Apply the Sealant

After carefully reading the instructions to make sure we understood how to set up and prime the pump so the airless sprayer would work properly, we were ready to spray! We hooked up the sprayer with the sealant gallons and applied in a foot-wide section, side to side moving down. Some key tips for proper technique include: Always spray from the same 12-18” distance from the fence surface, holding the sprayer tip directly perpendicular to the fence (not angled) so that the stain goes on evenly. Work carefully and methodically in small vertical or horizontal sections (depending on which direction you have the spray tip set to). With the proper technique,  a single person can put a smooth, even coat on a large fence in just a few hours.

Fence

Fence

Here you can see the difference; even though there’s no color, it adds a rich finished look to the previously really bare-looking cedar. It dries a little lighter.

Fence

You can see the clouds in the air as we sprayed—it is strong stuff and gets everywhere, so the paint suit is really necessary.

Fence

That’s it—it’s really a 3-step project! There is time associated with prep and cleanup of the paint sprayer in particular, but this went really fast for us. We were able to get it all sealed in one afternoon.

After sealing

You can see a difference for sure. The sealed fence has a really nice, rich, natural look rather than the sort of pale, raw wood that feels unprotected. We are so happy with it!

Fence

Fence

Fence

We’ve added the fence, wood chips, garden, and grass all this year and are so happy with our backyard now. It’s great to have the fence protected so it’ll stay nice for years.

Fence

Fence

This is a fantastic project to do to protect your fence, deck, or siding. It’s absolutely DIY-able! We would definitely recommend the Olympic Maximum Clear Waterproofing Sealant .

Fence

Find more DIY projects and ideas for your outdoor space on The Home Depot blog.

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Stain Your Deck the Right Way with Olympic Stain

There is no better place to spend the warmer months than on your back deck or patio. Timisha Porcher of Tool Box Divas transformed her neighbor’s deck into an oasis by using Olympic Stain to bring it back to its full potential. Read more for a step-by-step tutorial on staining your deck.

With more people home, we are enjoying more aspects of our home. We actually have time to sit outside and enjoy our space. My neighbor loves being outdoors and spending time on her deck. Unfortunately, her deck needed a little TLC. That’s why I’m so grateful to be able to partner with The Home Depot and Olympic Stains to assist my neighbor during these challenging times.

Some of the rails had water damage and the deck floor was discolored and faded. She and I were talking about it one day and she asked me if I could help her give new life to her deck. Well, of course I can! It’s kind of my thing, you know?

Originally, she thought she just wanted to go with a clear sheen that would seal the deck and extend its life for a few more summers. However, once we got into the project and had to replace old and rotten boards it became apparent that a solid stain would be more appealing.

Here’s how we stained my neighbor’s deck. Prior to starting a deck project like washing and staining a deck, you want to check the weather to ensure all of your efforts won’t get rained on.

1. Prep the Surface

Before you can do anything it is extremely important to prepare the deck surface before you do anything. This is probably the most important step because if you bypass this step all your effort will be in vain. Your stain may not adhere to the deck and could chip and peel. Start by securing any loose boards and screw in place any raised deck screws. I’m working with an older deck that was constructed with nails. So in this case I’m removing any raised nails and replacing them with deck screws.

Repair any damaged boards on the patio including the railings and steps. Replace boards that are badly damaged or warped. Patch minor holes and cracks using an exterior wood filler like Bondo to fill small holes and gaps.

Sand the surface of the deck using a belt sander or pole sander. The rails can be sanded using an orbital sander.

2. Clean the Deck

Now it’s time to remove all that gunk and mildew that’s set into the deck boards over the years. To clean the deck we will be using Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner. I love this cleaner because it literally does all the work for you. It comes pre mixed and you don’t have to scrub the surface. Using a pump sprayer and spray liberally on the deck floors. Apply from the bottom to the top on the railings. Allow the cleaner to sit for 5-10 minutes. Like magic you will start to see the dirt and mildew disappear. Seriously, it really is magic.

Thoroughly rinse away the deck cleaner using a hose or pressure washer. If using a pressure washer, ensure you are using the correct nozzle and the pressure setting matches the job. You don’t want to accidentally damage the deck boards.

Allow the deck to dry for 24 hours before applying stain.

4. Apply Stain to the Deck Railings

Now it’s finally time to actually stain your deck.

There is a big long story behind the Olympic Exterior Stain color my neighbor ultimately went with. She literally pondered over the vast color selection of Olympic’s solid stain collection for hours. Finally, I said to her, pick a color that defines how you live your life. And she selected the Olympic Elite Solid Stain in Navajo Red and I couldn’t have been more proud. My neighbor typically opts for the safe neutral tones. Instead, she selected a color that is bold and makes a statement like she does in her everyday life.

The Olympic Elite Solid Stain is an all-in-1 stain and sealant and will undoubtedly extend the life of her deck. Also with a solid stain she doesn’t have to worry about having an uneven finish like she had previously, trying to match new and aged boards.

Apply the stain to the deck railing using a small brush and roller following the grain of the wood.

5. Stain the Deck Floor

The thing about staining a deck, you don’t need a lot of fancy tools. It can all be accomplished with a good brush and and paint rollers with a ¾ in. to 1 in. nap. The roller fabric should also be able to handle rough exterior surfaces.

Start with painting the crevices between the decking. Take an angled brush and paint the space between each board first. This may sound tedious, but this step greatly speeds up the application time. Doing this will ensure full coverage of the stain.

Next take a thick roller designed for deck staining and roll the paint onto the surface of the deck. If you have two people, have one person paint between the boards and the other go behind with the roller.

6. Allow the Deck to Dry for 24-48 Hours

Allow the deck to dry for 24-48 hours before placing the furniture back on the deck.

7. Enjoy

Once it’s dry, sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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