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How to Stain a Deck

August 15, 2016
Amanda Curry
Read Time
3 minutes

It’s common for homeowners to become frustrated with a deck staining project. They may find that their deck doesn’t look as good as they would have liked or the staining doesn’t last as long. Fortunately, there are several simple tips and tricks you can follow to stain or restain a deck like a professional. LeafFilter recommends the following tips so that you can enjoy attractive, long-lasting results:

1. Don’t Rush

Although you may be tempted to rush through the deck staining process, you must take your time. You should allow new lumbar to weather and dry out for a few months before staining a deck. Additionally, stain strippers should be left on the surface long enough to fade old finishes prior to rinsing. Taking your time will help prevent a variety of problems such as overspray and spills.

2. Prepare Properly

The way you prepare your deck staining project will directly impact your results. Regardless of whether your deck is new or older, you must clean all of the wood with a deck cleaner prior to staining. A wood deck cleaner will help remove mildew, stains, dirt, grease, oil, and other contaminants from your deck to ensure that it is ready for staining. You can find a deck cleaner at your local home improvement store.

3. Use Brighteners

Most homeowners involved in staining a deck fail to take advantage of a wood brightener. A wood brightener is easy to apply and works to open up the surface of the wood in order to restore the look of old wood, improve penetration, and neutralize stain strippers that may have been used. To use a wood brightener, simply spray it on and wait several minutes before rinsing off. This one product can provide your deck with countless benefits that will ensure it remains in optimal condition.

restain a deck

4. Invest in High Quality Stain

After your deck is clean, dry, and ready to be stained, it’s time to find a high quality stain. When it comes to stain, you always get what you pay for so make sure you stay away from the cheap stains and find a more premium product. Investing in a premium product is one of the best ways to guarantee long lasting results.

5. Consider Water-Based Stains

Over the past few years, water-based deck stains have been used by many homeowners. Thanks to air quality regulations, manufacturers have improved the quality of water-based stains. Water-based deck stains are now more durable than traditional oil-based alternatives. Unlike oil-based stains, water-based stains are resistant to weathering, can be used even when the wood is still wet, dry quicker, and are better for the environment.

6. Avoid Using Too Much Stain

When you’re ready to stain or restain a deck, you must understand that more stain is not always better. You should read the directions of your stain product carefully to avoid over application and stain that will inhibit the wood from breathing. Pay attention to how many coats of stain the manufacturer recommends applying, how long you should wait in between coats, and how long to wait for the wood to weather.

7. Expect a Bit of Maintenance

After you restain a deck or stain it for the first time, you should expect a little maintenance to keep it looking great for a longer period of time. On occasion, you should wash down the surface of your deck to keep dirt and leaves from hindering the finish. If you start to notice signs of color loss, simply apply some wood brightener and you’ll be good to go.

Staining a deck does not have to be a challenging task. By making it a priority to follow these handy tips, you’ll enjoy a beautiful deck that will last for years to come.