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How To Stain A Deck In 10 Easy Steps

If you’re a homeowner with a deck, you understand the importance of maintaining its appearance and structural integrity.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire process of deck staining, from cleaning and preparation to choosing the right wood stain and applying it effectively.

Whether you’re dealing with a new deck or looking to rejuvenate an existing one, we’re here to provide you with the insights you need for a successful staining journey. So grab your paint brush, deck cleaner, and a cup of enthusiasm, and let’s dive into the rewarding world of how to stain a deck!

Learn how to stain a deck in TN

What Is Deck Staining?

Deck staining is the process of applying a protective coating to your deck. This fresh coat can help protect the deck from water damage, UV damage, and other types of wear and tear.

It’s important to stain your deck regularly, especially if it’s made from wood, to keep it looking its best.

Some of the best deck stains are the Thompson’s WaterSeal Transparent Wood Sealer, Ready Seal Wood Stain and Sealer, and Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil.

Cedar vs pressure-treated decks maintenance

Exploring Different Types of Deck Stains

When it comes to choosing the right deck stain for your project, you have several options to consider. Each type of deck stain offers unique advantages and finishes, allowing you to achieve the look and protection you desire. Here are some common types of deck stains:
Choosing the right type of deck stain depends on factors like your deck’s age, condition, desired level of coverage, and the look you want to achieve. Take your time to research and consider your options to ensure you select the stain that best suits your needs and preferences.
under deck dry area

How To Stain A Deck

Staining your deck is an essential part of maintaining its longevity and appearance. Follow these detailed steps to achieve a beautifully stained deck that will enhance your outdoor space.
Sweep the deck surface to remove debris. If there’s old stain or sealant, you might need to use a deck cleaner or power washer. A pressure washer can help remove stubborn old stain effectively.
Examine the condition of your deck boards. If they are in good shape, you can move forward with staining. If they’re splintered or damaged, consider replacing them before proceeding.
Opt for a deck stain that suits your desired look. Deck stains come in various shades and finishes, such as semi-transparent or solid stains. Consider the natural wood grain and the color you want to achieve.
Before you apply stain to the entire deck, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure you like the color and finish.
If necessary, use a deck cleaner to remove dirt, mold, and mildew. Scrub with a scrub brush to ensure a clean and fresh surface for the new stain.
Cover nearby plants, furniture, and any surfaces you don’t want stained with plastic sheeting or drop cloths.
Start by applying the deck stain to a 1/4–1/8 section of the deck’s surface. Use a paint brush or paint roller and work along the wood grain for even coverage.
After the first coat dries, usually within a few hours, apply a second coat for a richer color and better protection. Some decks might require a third coat, depending on the wood and desired stain color.
After each application, wipe off any excess stain with a cloth. This prevents a sticky finish and ensures a uniform appearance.
Let the newly stained deck dry for at least 24–48 hours before walking on it or replacing furniture. Make sure it’s completely dry to the touch.

How To Stain A Deck FAQs

For a new deck, a semi-transparent or transparent wood stain is often recommended. These stains allow the natural beauty of the wood to shine through while providing some protection against the elements. They are also easier to apply and tend to work well on newer surfaces.
The number of coats depends on the type of stain and the desired level of coverage. In most cases, applying two coats is a good practice. Apply the first coat, let it dry, and then assess if a second coat is needed for more even color and enhanced protection. Some stains may require only one coat, while others might benefit from a third coat for added durability.

The deck staining process involves several steps. First, clean the deck using a wood cleaner and a garden hose. Allow it to dry completely. Then, apply the chosen wood stain using a paint brush or roller, following the wood grain.

Work in small sections and wipe off excess stain. Allow the stain to dry for the recommended time before applying additional coats if needed. Finally, perform regular deck maintenance to prolong the stain’s lifespan.

Mill glaze is a hard, glossy film that forms on the surface of new wood due to the milling process. It can prevent proper stain absorption and adhesion. If your deck has mill glaze, consider using a wood cleaner or deck brightener to remove it before staining. This step ensures the stain can penetrate the wood effectively and provides better long-term results.
A deck freshly stained

Contact TN's Decking Specialists

Need more free time to enjoy life without worrying about staining your deck? Then it’s time to call in the experts!

Give us a call at (865) 801-4545 and we can connect you with one of our experienced professionals from Riverview Decks. We’re a dedicated team of deck builders and we offer professional deck building and deck repair services for homeowners in Knoxville, TN.