How to Stain a Wood Deck?
A stained deck brings out the rich colors and textures of the wood. Wood stain, on the other hand, does more than enhance the appearance of a deck. A wood stain applied to the exterior of a house provides vital protection from the elements and helps to prevent the lumber from warping.
If you know how to stain a wood deck, you can get results that seem professional. Learn how to stain a deck by reading this article. It explains how to prepare your wood deck for staining as well as how to actually apply the stain.
1. What to use to stain a wood deck
One instrument required for quick and smooth stain application is a paint roller. For this job, get a roller with a nap that can retain a sizable amount of stain and spread it out swiftly. If the deck surface is flat, look for rollers with a nap of 1/4 to 3/16 inches; if the wood surface is rough or textured, look for rollers with a nap of 3/8 to 1/2 inches. Foam and polystyrene fibers are good options for roller materials.
Before you begin, here are some materials needed in preparation to stain your deck:
- Keep rags on hand for cleanup, tape, and plastic on hand to cover nearby surfaces to prevent overspray or roller marks, and rags on standby for cleanup.
- Before applying stain or finish, read the manufacturer’s instructions and put together the appropriate cleaning solutions.
- Consider the weather when organizing this work and make appropriate plans. Prior to exposure to rain, deck coatings normally need 24 hours to cure.
- Early in the day or late at night, or any other time when the sun is not directly shining on the surfaces is the best time to apply stain.
- This could be challenging given how big the decks are. Find the optimal times to apply stain by tracking the path the sun takes along your work surface.
- In order to prevent the finish from drying too soon and give yourself the most time to conceal lap marks and apply the stain as evenly and evenly balancedly as you can, do as such.
For staining a deck, here are a few more options:
- Choose between using a roller and a paint sprayer to apply the stain primarily. A brush is required to cut in corners, other trim areas, and difficult-to-reach places, regardless of the primary application method (roller vs. sprayer).
- You can quickly apply stain to a broad area by using paint brushes. A broader paintbrush enables a more uniform finish and coverage.
- When applying stain by hand, a staining sponge can help you have better control over the amount, especially where the deck boards meet and in places like railings.
- For a nice, even finish and good coverage, use a paint pad applicator. To stain a big deck by hand, an applicator on a pole is easier than a brush and more precise than a pressurized sprayer.
- Applying stain more quickly than you can with a roller or brush is achievable with an airless paint sprayer. While using a sprayer to stain your deck is the quickest method, for the best results it helps to have some expertise in operating a sprayer.
Follow these rules of thumb when staining your deck to stay safe:
- Safety glasses, respirators (in case someone turns out to be odor-sensitive), and nitrile gloves are all examples of personal protection equipment (PPE) (in case someone has sensitive skin).
- Since this work is done outdoors, there should be enough airflow so a respirator is not necessary, but it should be kept about as a backup plan.
- Never put finish rags that have been dipped in oil in the trash. Rags with oil on them have a tendency to catch fire. It is essential that these rags be either soaked in water and then spread out to dry before being disposed of, or just spread out flat where they can dry.
- The same is true for the roller. Although cleaning and salvaging the roller is not worthwhile, it must be left to dry, just like the rags, in order to reduce the chance of a fire. Mineral spirits should always be used to clean brushes.
Related Article: DIY Deck Repair Here are 6 things you should be Aware of
2. Sweep and clean the deck
- Before staining, thoroughly clean the deck surface to ensure that the stain coats are applied uniformly and won’t peel after drying.
- Clear the deck of any patio furniture and potted plants.
- Sweep the deck to get rid of any debris like leaves.
- Apply wood cleaner to the surface of the deck. Let it remain on the wood surface for about 15 minutes, then work the cleaner into the surface of the deck with a scrub brush.
- Scrub thoroughly to remove all residue.
- Rinse the cleaner from the deck using a garden hose or a pressure washer equipped with a 45-degree tip set at 1200 to 1400 psi. Spray with the grain of the wood.
- Allow the deck to dry, which could take as long as a day or two.
- Once the deck is dry, use an orbital sander with 60-grit or 80-grit sandpaper to remove any remaining residue from the deck.
- Pressure washing is also an option for cleaning and prepping the surface of the deck, particularly older decks.
- If a deck is a new build using pressure-treated lumber, the lumber will need to dry for 2 to 4 months to allow the deck stain to adhere properly.
3. Preparing the deck for staining
- The task of how to stain a deck begins with preparation.
- Inspect the deck closely for wood damage. Replace any broken, rotted, or warped boards.
- Check the surface for broken screws or exposed nails and replace them if needed.
- Apply a small amount of deck stripper to an area on the deck, preferably in an inconspicuous area.
- Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then wipe it off with a rag. If the stain comes off, the stain is water-based. Follow the directions on the deck stripper to remove this stain from the deck.
- It’s also important to note that water-based and oil-based finishes aren’t compatible. You can’t (or shouldn’t) put a water-based finish over an oil-based finish.
- If it does not come off, the stain is oil-based. Oil-based stains can be recoated after you use a deck cleaner.
Related Article: How to Repair a wood Deck: 7 Tips to Help you Repair your Wood Deck
4. Maintain the railings and other raised features
- The handrails, balusters, and spindles must first be stained. Use painter’s tape to cover exposed surfaces, such as the siding of the house, before applying stain. To get rid of any leaves, dust, or debris that may have settled while the cleaner was drying, sweep the deck one more.
- Pour the stain onto a paint tray after thoroughly stirring it. Materials need to be stirred often since exterior coatings have a greater solids content.
- To ensure that you are happy with the stain’s colour and appearance, apply it to a test patch of wood.
- Start by using a paintbrush or hand-held paint pad to stain the balusters, posts, and railings. Stroke with lengthy, steady motions.
- Deck stair handrails should be stained on both the inside and outside.
Tip: Before staining the balusters and spindles, cover the deck’s surface with towels or a drop cloth below the stair railing and all around them. They will shield the deck surface by catching dribbles and particles of stain that may fall.
5. Stain the board of the wood deck
- Select whether you want to exit by outdoor stairs or your home’s door before you start staining the deck boards.
- When it is time to complete the subsequent step, this is helpful. Apply the stain while making your way toward the exit. Avoid putting yourself in a tight spot.
- Use a roller or paint pad applicator with a pole to stain the deck boards.
- You can apply stain to a broad deck surface more quickly with an applicator or roller.
- It requires less work than manually staining a large deck with a paintbrush and is more precise than using a pressurized sprayer.
- Long, even strokes are used to apply one coat of stain. Usually, one coat is sufficient.
- Apply stain with a paintbrush in any trouble spots and between cracks.
- Clean the brushes and paint pan when you’re done.
- Give the stain at least 24 hours to dry.
6. Make the stairs look beautiful by staining them
- The steps still need to be stained after the rails and deck floor have been stained.
- For optimal results, apply paint using a big paintbrush or a portable paint pad applicator.
- Apply a uniform coat of stain to the stairs, and if necessary, add another.
- A deck can be shielded against fading, wear from use, and water damage by staining it.
- Preparing and cleaning your deck in advance will make staining simple and ensure professional results.
- Once you know how to stain a deck, you may give it a facelift every few years to keep it looking gorgeous.
Our team at M&Y Home Fix Repair Renovation uses the best quality materials in Burlington, ON, to stain your wood deck. We would love to hear from you contact us today.