Decking and other wood projects can provide an unmatched outdoor living experience. But it’s important to know that a few simple steps upfront, and on a regular basis, can make those projects last a lifetime.
PREP: SANDING, CLEANING, AND PRE-FINISHING
These are optional steps, but we recommend them to ensure the durability and appearance of your deck with minimal maintenance.
After the acclimation period and before fastening the boards, we recommend spot sanding each board (an 80 grit sandpaper works best). Sanding will allow any minor marks, scratches or surface imperfections in the boards to blend for a more balanced appearance and will make the boards even smoother. Sanding should be done with the grain of the board.
Once the boards are sanded, we suggest sweeping the boards of dust then clean the boards with a deck cleaner on all sides. Allow the boards to dry for at least 24 hours.
Once the boards are dry, we recommend oiling/staining the boards on all six sides.
FIRST-TIME OILING AND STAINING
Once your deck is sanded and clean you are ready to finish your wood. If you choose to let the wood age naturally to a patina color, we still recommend you apply one application of a finish. Due to the density and tight grain of Black Locust, many off-the-shelf finishes and oils will not work on it, leaving the wood with a sticky feel. So we developed blends engineered specifically for Black Locust that combine all natural ingredients into a very low VOC finish. These finishes will work on all the Robi Decking species.
Robi oil brings out the natural beauty and grain detail of the wood, dries quickly, and also contains natural UV inhibitors to delay aging.
Robi® Blend (medium brown tint) and Robi® Patina Now (light grey tint) are water based finishes. The formula is easy to apply, dries quickly, and stains the wood.
Your wood will typically need to be re-finished every 1 to 5 years, depending on the environment. At that point, all you have to do is a simple clean and just re-apply. No sanding or stripping of the old finish is needed.
Visit our Accessories page to see all the finishes designed for Black Locust.
ONGOING CARE AND MAINTENANCE
Here are the guidelines we suggest you follow to keep your deck looking great for a lifetime:
We suggest one year after first oiling or staining your deck with our suggested products, that you repeat the process even though your deck may still be looking brand new. After a simple sweeping, clean with soap and water and a stiff brush, allow the deck to completely dry for 24 hours, and then apply your selected oil or stain and make sure the decking is free of rain or moisture for the 24 hours after application.
- We suggest no matter how you finish the deck that you keep the deck clear of dirt, debris, snow, standing water, and leaves. This common cleaning will keep the deck looking nice.
- After the initial staining/oiling, and the repeated process one year later, we suggest repeating the process every one to five years. The frequency will depend on your deck’s exposure to sun and rain.
- Also, periodic cleaning with simple soap and water and a stiff brush will keep your deck looking new.
- Pressure washers are not recommended. Using a pressure washer can have a sand blasting effect and tear wood fibers, causing a course and uneven surface. A simple garden hose with a spray nozzle should be sufficient. The only pressure washing we suggest is with a wide nozzle tip and low pressure.
- If you need to remove aged or failing stains or finishes, use our Robi Deck Clean product.