How to Stain Your Deck Like a Pro

Wood has a natural beauty that a lot of construction materials don’t. When paired with a deck stain that complements the exterior of your home and the natural tone of the wood, the effect is quite striking. Stains are applied in one day and you can see immediate effects. Deck stains are also available in a myriad of tints, so finding the right one for your wood deck is easy, all you need to do is decide! We’ve put together some important points about deck stain for you.

What is a Deck Stain?

If you are looking to change the color of your wood, then a deck stain is the place to begin. There are generally 3 types of stains: transparent, translucent, and opaque.

So which do you choose? Our experts recommend using a translucent stain. This option gives you the best balance between UV protection and limited peeling. Keep in mind that peeling is a risk with any stain. As time goes by, you will need to re-stain your deck. Watch for peeling of the stain; that will be the sign that it’s time to reapply your stain.

wooden deck after staining
wooden deck after staining

How do I stain my deck?

  1. It’s important to make sure the deck has been thoroughly cleaned with a wood cleaner and wood brightener - try the cleaning tips on our Cleaning Your Deck post. Cleaning will remove the dirt, UV graying, and mill glaze, which will allow the stain to penetrate.
  2. How opaque do you want the color of your deck? Choose a corresponding stain to match the wood and complement the exterior of your home. Always check your stain in an inconspicuous part of your deck first.
  3. After the deck is completely dry, apply one coat of the deck stain. Experts recommend applying the stain with a brush. It helps to work the stain into the fibers of the wood. Even when applying deck stain with a sprayer, go over it with a brush if you can.

How do I maintain my deck stain?

How often a deck stain needs to be reapplied depends on the type of deck stain, how much is applied and the conditions to which your wood deck is exposed. We recommend annual maintenance to keep your deck looking great and keep it safe, rather than starting over every few years.

Prefer to not do it yourself? Contact us today to learn how the Deck Aficionados at SEAL-A-DECK™ can extend the life of your wood deck.


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