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Deck Staining: How to Prepare Your Deck for Summer Fun, Part Two


Staining your deck is only one step to making it look amazing and protecting it from elemental damage. Sealing it is also extremely important. But today we’re going to talk about the materials and steps required to stain your deck. Make sure to look at our other recent articles to see how to pressure wash your deck.

What You Will Need

  • Clear Plastic
  • A Broom
  • Garden Hose
  • Sander
  • Putty Knife
  • Paint Brush
  • Paint Roller
  • Eye Protection
  • Safety Mask
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Pump Sprayer (Optional)
  • Stain
  • 80 Grit Sandpaper

Test Your Deck

Water will bead up on the deck under ideal circumstances. Spray water on your deck to see if it soaks in or if it beads. Beading means that the previous sealant is still protecting the wood, and that’s a good thing! If you still intend to stain the deck, you will need to remove the existing sealant. If the water soaks into the wood, it means that the sealant is not protecting the wood and it will need to be sealed after it is stained.

Clean the Deck

Refer to our other article about pressure washing the deck if you’re just getting started. The very first steps are:

  • Remove all furnishings, decor, and potted plants
  • Sweep
  • Use a putty knife to clean out debris between the boards
  • Wet surrounding plants and shrubs and cover them with plastic
  • Sand as needed to ensure the boards are ready to accept stain

Apply the Stain

You need a good two days of good weather, no rain, to apply the stain. The temperatures need to be between 50 and 90 degrees for those two days. Stir the stain thoroughly before applying it with a brush, roller, or paint sprayer. Apply a thin coat to two or three boards at a time so you can keep a good pace.

Don’t allow the finish to puddle, keep it as uniform as possible. You can back roll using a paint roller to make sure there are no puddles and that you’re getting a nice, even coat. Allow the stain to dry completely before applying a second coat.

Finish Up and Enjoy!

After the stain has dried, apply the sealant to protect it from elemental damage. Rinse the plastic that’s covering your plants and remove it. Spray the area to ensure that the cleaners or other overspray is diluted so it doesn’t damage your plants. Clean up all of your tools and you’re finished!

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