Colorado Springs, Colorado (NAPSI) - Caring for exterior wood surfaces such as decks, fences, siding and furniture does more than just help the outside of your home look its best; it can protect your investment.

Weatherproofing stains and finishes help protect wood surfaces from the harmful effects of the elements, ensuring a beautiful, long-lasting finish.

According to the experts, weatherproofing protection for your deck and other exterior wood care projects can be broken down into three easy steps: preparation, color selection and staining/finishing. Here are some tips from Eric Lundquist, director of marketing for Stain & Specialty Products at Behr:

1. Preparation. Before you apply the stain, you need to properly prepare the surface. That’s the key to attaining a beautiful appearance and achieving long-lasting durability. Wood that has a peeling stain or finish, or is in poor condition, should be stripped to remove all previous coatings. Then clean with a wood cleaner such as the recently reformulated BEHR Premium All-In-One Wood Cleaner. The cleaner can be used to brighten and remove mildew stains in a single step. New or weathered wood should also be cleaned to remove any existing mold or mildew stains, open clogged pores on the surface, and to restore the wood to its original, natural color.

2. Color Selection. This is an opportunity for you to use your favorite colors on the outside living spaces of your home. And remember that color changes and/or improvements you make to your home’s exterior can enhance your home’s curb appeal. A wide variety of shades is available so finding the one that’s right for you is easy. Behr’s color offerings include Redwood and Cedar Naturaltone, Woodland Green and Cape Cod Gray, as well as custom wood stain colors.

Behr’sExteriorWoodCareCenterat The Home Depot offers color chips in-store and visualization tools so you can see what the colors will look like on a deck, fence, siding, furniture or composite surface. Plus, you can find 8-ounce samples for testing color before applying to a large area.

3. Staining and Finishing. When you are ready to stain, be sure to use a 100-percent acrylic resin formulated to protect decks, siding and fences year-round. Your options include:

• A solid color weatherproofing wood stain, which reveals the wood texture but conceals the grain, offering the most durable and long-lasting finish and vibrant color. It hides blemishes, imperfections and signs of aging wood.

• A semi-transparent weatherproofing wood stain that lets natural wood grain and texture show through and provides more durability than clear or wood-toned products. It adds subtle color and is ideal for new or unstained surfaces.

• A transparent weatherproofing wood finish adding color to the wood while enhancing the wood’s natural beauty.

Visitors to Behr’s ExteriorWoodCareCentercan scan a QR code found on the back panel of their wood stains and finishes brochure for a short informative video. For more information, including exterior how-to instructions, visit WoodSmart by BEHR at To find and share tips and inspiration, fans can also “like” Behr on Facebook, follow Behr on Twitter and bookmark Behr’s blog all about color and design at