7 Key Tips for Staining Your Deck

March 30, 2017 3 min read

Aerial view of an exterior wooden deck with a wooden table and beige chair.

While BBQs and outdoor parties seem like a long way away, the warmer weather will be here before you know it! If you’ve noticed any graying or discoloration on your deck, you’re going to want to fix it before you use it for the summer. Use our tips below to ensure you apply your deck stain the correct way to get the best look possible!


How to Stain Your Deck


1. Take Your Time

While staining your deck may feel like a tedious task, it’s important to take your time throughout the entire process to ensure you love the finished product. Taking your time has the biggest impact on the quality of your stain job. In addition to being careful while applying the stain to prevent overspray and spills, it’s just as important to keep stain strippers on long enough to break down old finishes on the surface. Stay calm and don’t rush the process!


2. Preparation is Key

You can’t stain your deck without the right preparation. Whether your deck is brand new or you have an older deck that’s been out in the weather, all wood needs to be cleaned thoroughly before you can apply any stain. Without cleaning your wood, the stain will not properly penetrate the wood pores.


If you plan on restaining an old deck, it’s crucial that all dirt, mildew and stains are removed prior to applying the new stain. It’s best to use a sodium hydroxide wood cleaner to get the job done, because this type of cleaner is highly effective and won’t harm you or any plant life. If multiple old stains are built up on your deck, you will want to use a stain stripper instead of the wood cleaner mentioned to get the job done.


After you clean the wood, it is imperative that you use plenty of water to wash away the chemicals. Even though the chemicals may be harmless to you, if left in the wood, they can resurface over time and break down the new stain.


3. Purchase the Right Stain

Before you head to your local paint store, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. If you expect premium results, you’re going to have to purchase a premium product. While you think you may be saving money by purchasing a cheaper stain, it won’t last nearly as long. If you are unsure of which stain to purchase, the experts at your local Gleco Paint store will be happy to assist you!


4. Follow the Directions on the Can

Each product is going to be a little different. To get the best results, you’re going to need to read and follow the directions that the manufacturer provides. The directions should give you insight on how many coats of stain to apply, how long to wait between applying coats, how long to wait after cleaning, as well as how long to allow wood to weather. At Gleco Paint, we will walk you through all the steps to insure perfect results.


5. More Isn’t Always Better

Semi-transparent wood stains are best for your deck because they show the wood’s natural grain, allow the wood to breathe, and are easily cleaned and reapplied. When you apply too much of this type of stain, a film can form, which no longer allows the wood to breathe. This results in peeling. That’s why it’s crucial to follow the directions, so you don’t over apply your stain!


6. Keep a Paintbrush Handy

While stains can be applied in several different ways, pump garden sprayers and brushing are two of the more popular methods. No matter how you decide to apply the stain, you should still have a paintbrush close by. A paintbrush can help work the stain deep into the pores of the board, allowing for the wood to absorb more of the stain.


Once you have fully applied the stain, ensure that your deck is completely dry before putting it back in use. The stain needs to cure out before you walk on it or put any furniture on it. Wait at least 24 hours before using it.


7. Keep up Maintenance

Just like you bring your car to the car wash, a little maintenance can go a long way in the appearance of your deck. Wash down your deck occasionally to keep leaves and dirt from damaging the finish. If your deck shows signs of graying or loses its color, it can easily be cleaned with wood brightener.


Deck Stains in Pennsylvania

From deck stains to paint, our Mt. PoconoEaston and Scranton locations can satisfy all of your home exterior needs! Be sure to contact us with any questions that you may have, or stop in today and speak directly to an expert.

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