How to Stain a Deck? | Step By Step Process of Deck Staining

As time passes, even the nicest wood deck will feel the impact of sunlight, snow, and rain and begin to fade. But if there are no structural issues, you can easily breathe new life into your old deck by applying a new stain.

A new stain can do more than just enhance your deck’s appearance. External wood stains also provide vital protection from the elements and keep your lumber from warping and decaying.

In this blog, we will give you the step-by-step process of how to stain a deck and answer some of the most common questions.

How to Stain a Deck? | Step By Step Process

First of all, knowing the process of staining a deck, do you know what should you use for staining a deck? Let’s find out.

What to use to stain a deck

There are several application options to stain your deck: paint rollers, brushes, a sprayer, or a paint pad applicator. Regardless of which of these you choose, you will still require brushes of varying widths for corners, trim, and other hard-to-reach areas.

You will also need rags for cleanup, plastic and tape to protect surfaces you don’t want to stain, and PPE for your protection, including safety glasses and, if you are sensitive, a respirator or nitrile gloves. 

It is important to note to never dispose of oil-soaked finish rags directly into the trash. Oil-soaked rags can spontaneously combust, so it is critical to soak them in water and then allow them to dry before disposing of them or just lay them out flat to let them dry. The same goes for the roller. While it’s not worth cleaning the roller to reuse, it must also be allowed to dry before disposing of it.

If you’re wondering how to stain a deck for the first time, if a deck is new, with pressure-treated lumber, the lumber will need to dry for 2 to 4 months to allow the deck stain to adhere properly.

Clear and sweep the deck

  • Next, clear your deck, removing all furniture, plants, and decor.
  • Sweep the deck to remove any dirt and debris
  • Inspect the deck for loose nails, broken screws, warped or cracked lumber, and other problems. It is vital to make any repairs before you begin staining your deck.
  • Apply wood cleaner to the surface and let it remain for about 15 minutes before working it into the surface with a scrub brush until all residue is removed.
  • Rinse the deck with a pressure washer or garden hose with high pressure. Allow for it to dry.
  • Use an orbital or belt sander to remove any remaining residue from the deck, sanding with the grain of the wood.

Stain the railing and other raised features

Start the staining process with the handrails and spindles. Use painter’s tape to protect any areas that should not be stained, such as the siding of your house. Sweep the deck again to remove any dust or debris that may have settled while the cleaner was drying.

  • Stir the stain well before pouring it into a paint tray. It is important to note that you must stir exterior finishes more frequently as they have a higher solids content.
  • Apply the stain to a test area of wood to determine that the colour and appearance are what you are looking for.
  • Use long, even strokes to apply the stain to the railings and posts and stain both the inner and outer sides of the handrails.

Stain the deck boards

Before beginning to stain the deck boards, plan how you will apply the stain. You don’t want to stain yourself into a corner.

  • Use a roller or paint pad applicator attached to a pole to apply the stain. This will allow you to cover large areas quickly, making it less labour-intensive than using a paintbrush and enabling you to apply a more even coat. This method also gives you more control than a sprayer.
  • Again, use long, even strokes to apply one coat. In most cases, one coat will be enough.
  • Use a paintbrush to cover cracks and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Clean the brushes and the tray.
  • Allow the stain to dry for at least 24 hours.
  • Consider using a sealant to protect your deck and have it look its best even longer.

Stain the Stairs

The last part that will be left to stain after the railings and the floor is the stairs. You can apply an even coat to the stairs with a large paintbrush or a hand-held paint pad applicator. 

How long does deck stain take to dry?

Depending on the temperature and humidity in your area, it can take between 24-48 hours for the deck stain to dry thoroughly.

Contact Professionals For Deck Staining

Staining your deck can breathe new life into the faded wood and protect the lumber against the impact of UV rays, water, and wear and tear. It also is an excellent opportunity to change the look of your deck by choosing a different shade or color. The deck staining process can be time and labor-intensive if you calculate the drying time, so to save time and effort, consider contacting a professional deck staining company.

If you are looking for professional and reliable deck staining services in Toronto and the GTA, contact the experts at Shine Windows. 

Our goal at Shine Windows is to have the utmost integrity in performing the highest quality work for you while providing a turnkey solution for easy booking, coordination, and experience.

We put our clients first. That is why we have a 100% satisfaction process. We only take final payments once you have done a thorough walk-around and signed off on the work.

Contact Shine Windows today at 416-949-3874 to schedule an appointment for a free estimate!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to apply stain to a deck?

There are several application options to stain your deck, paint rollers, brushes, a sprayer, or a paint pad applicator. Regardless of these you choose, you will still require brushes of varying widths for corners, trim, and other hard-to-reach areas.

How do you stain a deck for beginners?

Prepare your deck by clearing it and cleaning it thoroughly with wood cleaner and a pressure washer. Allow it to dry, sand the surface and clean it again. Apply the stain with a roller, brush, or sprayer and allow it to dry.

Is it better to brush or roll stain on a deck?

It depends on the area you are trying to cover. Generally, rollers on a pole allow you longer, more even strokes but especially in corners or more challenging-to-reach places, a brush will be the best way to apply the stain.

Do I need to sand the deck before staining?

Not only when staining a deck that is already stained, but it is also recommended to sand all surfaces before applying the stain to make the wood better absorb the coating. It will also remove old gloss and smooth out rough areas on decking boards, guaranteeing an even stain. You may need to use a sanding sponge on the railings or fences.

How to stain a deck quickly?

If you want to apply stain quicker than with a roller or a brush, you can use an airless paint sprayer. It is the fastest way but also more challenging to control the spray, and for best results, it is recommended to have some previous experience.

Get in touch with Shine Windows today at 416-949-3874 to schedule an appointment for a free estimate!

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