HOME SWEET HOME: How to stain your deck

HOME SWEET HOME: How to stain your deck


Staining a deck can be difficult and deciding whether to pay a high price for a professional job or do it yourself is an even harder task.

However, with these simple tips and tricks, you can turn a week-long process into a few days of manageable work, for a reasonable price, and end up with a beautiful deck.

The first thing to consider when staining a deck is the age of your deck, not the stain shade. This will determine the steps that need to be taken before a drop of paint hits the deck floor. A brand new deck requires only a light sweeping and cleaning before beginning the staining process. However, with an older deck that has been on the receiving end of a lot of furniture moving, rain, hail and barbecues, some extra attention is needed.

Prep steps:

  1. If there are rough surfaces, use a sander to get rid of them before cleaning.
  2. Sweep your deck
  3. Use a standard deck cleaner to wash the deck
  4. (Optional) Use a pressure washer to get rid of any extra dirt/ debris that would make the stain bumpy or uneven.

After doing these things, wait at least two days for the deck to dry and then you are ready to begin.

Next, it is important to zero in on a stain shade. Although light and neutral tones are very in demand at the moment, it never hurts to go for a dark, classic stain that is not only elegant, but also hides dirt and grime easily

Hint: If you’re a bit on the messy side or have young kids, a dark-stained deck will be your best friend.

The next step is creating a plan. This may sound daunting, however, all it involves is designating your starting point and picking out the tool you would like to use for staining.

There are a few different options to choose from:

  • Stain pad. A stain pad allows for large amounts of stain to be picked up and applied to a large section of the deck easily.
  • Paint roller with extension wand. This creates even coats and protects your back by preventing the constant bending over.
  • Sprayer. This is the fastest way to stain. However, lots of skill is needed for this tool, so rookies beware.

Pro tip: Two thin coats is ALWAYS better than one thick coat.

To stain, simply do a thin coat over a small section of the deck and move your way across the entire space.

After applying 1-2 coats and making sure to get into all those nooks and crannies with a small brush, wait for it to dry and you have a brand new deck!

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