Tips for Staining Your Deck

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Decks are fantastic additions to any home. They are a great place to entertain friends and family or relax alone. To keep your deck looking great, you will need to protect it from the elements. Staining your deck regularly will ensure your deck remains beautiful for many years. Rhodes Custom Finishes is happy to take care of the whole project for you from start to finish. We will help you pick out the right color stain, do all of the prep work, and apply the stain. To schedule a deck staining, please call us now at (636) 385-6655.

If you’re the adventurous type and would like to attempt this project yourself, here are some simple steps and tips that will help you understand the process of staining a deck.

Preparing The Deck Surface

pressure-washBefore you apply any stain, ensure the wood is dry and clean of any dirt or other contaminate. Stain that is applied to a dirty or damp surface won’t adhere well and will crack or peel prematurely.

A great way to clean a deck before staining is with a power washer. Once you have power washed the deck, let it dry at least 24 hours.

Rules Of Thumb For Applying Stain

Apply stain in outdoor temperatures between 50°—90°F.

Try to avoid applying stain in direct sunlight.

If your staining job requires more than one gallon of stain, mix each gallon together to ensure color consistency.

Always test a small area first and wait for it to dry to be sure you’re happy with the results before proceeding.

How to Apply Stain With a Brush

If you are going to use a brush to apply the stain, brushes with natural bristles are recommended to effectively work the stain into all of the nooks and crannies of the deck boards.

Start with a heavy coating on the open end grain of each board. Then brush 2 to 3 boards at a time from one end to the other in long smooth strokes.

Avoid “lap marks” by making sure any leading edge is kept wet and that wet stain is always brushed into other wet stain.

Applying The Stain By Spraying

spray-deckStart with the railings and deck supports – you will likely need to hold the gun at an angle in to completely coat any inside surfaces. Keep a brush on hand to brush out any areas with too much spray.

For the decking, work in sections as big as you can comfortably reach. Move from section to section, following the boards lengthwise, keeping the spray tip approximately 12 inches from the surface. Spray the outer edges first, “banding” the area that you will spray, and then spray any corners.

Make repeated passes following the boards, overlapping each pass by 50%. Pay special attention to any hard to reach surfaces – you may need to angle the gun to completely spray those difficult areas.

How Much Stain To Apply

On brand new decks, only one coat of oil-based deck finish is required.

For composite decking follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for staining.

Remember that more stain is not better. If you use too much stain, the stain may peel or crack when exposed to the elements or may remain sticky because it cannot dry properly.

Stain Requires Regular Maintenace

Your deck is exposed to the elements 24/7/365. It takes a lot of abuse. You will need to re-stain your deck from time to time to keep it protected. How do you know when it’s time to re-stain? If the stain is still repelling water, it’s still performing well. If water is soaking into the wood, it’s time to reapply.