Staining A Deck

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Equipment list

4-inch stain brush  

9” Roller

9” Roller cover

2-4’ extension pole

2-gallon cut in bucket

1 gallon bucket grid

5-gallon bucket

4’ roller

4” roller cover


Materials list

High quality deck stain such as Superdeck from Sherwin Williams.  If the deck has a previous coating you need to make sure your new coating is compatible or will adhere properly. Decks with multiple coatings or decks that are severely weathered do well with solid color stains.  Solid stains hold up in all conditions better and will last several years longer than semitransparent versions.  The new technology in water based coatings make them just as good if not better than the oil based versions.  The amount of stain you need will depend on what kind it is. Transparent or semi-transparent oil stains can cover 300+ square feet per gallon. Solid color stain might cover as little as 200 square feet.  You will need mineral spirits if you are using an oil based product.



Staining a deck is not difficult but if you are using and oil based product you can really mess it up if not done properly.  Watch my video on staining a deck with oil Click Here.   The first step is pressure washing.  I have several videos explaining and showing how to do this step.  Click Here to watch my latest video on pressure washing a deck. 

Gather all your equipment it is time to stain once your deck is dry.  Get your brush and roller set up.  Cut in bucket with 4” roller and the 9” roller attached to the extension pole. If you’re using oil stain you need lots of rags. The biggest problem most people face when they stain their own deck is “flashing” because they stop staining in the middle of a deck board and allow it to dry.  Work just several boards at a time from end to end.  Work all the way across, and keep a “wet edge”. It also helps to “lay off” all final roller strokes back into the wet edge and gently lift the roller off.  My video staining a deck shows how to do this Click Here to watch it.  Again, always roll in the same direction as the boards and grain. Do 4 or 5 all the way across, then do the next 4 or 5 going back the other direction.  When doing the boards, I brush in between the boards first.

If using an oil based product, you need to work several boards at a time and when done with those boards you have to wipe off all excess stain that did not soak into the wood.  Here is another oil staining video Click Here.  This is critical.  If you get puddling or standing stain that does not soak in, it will stay tacky for months and collect dust and dirt and look bad.  Dispose of all oil based rags, brushes, and rollers properly or you could start a fire.

If your deck has a lot of railing with spindles, a 4” roller setup works well. Roll and back brush one spindle at a time.  Start with your spindles first then move to the decking.  Watch for runs as you go.  Always take a look at all sides of a spindles after you have done about 5. 

If you are staining your deck with some type of sprayer involved, it is always best to back brush in conjunction with spraying as it pushes the stain deeper into the wood fibers which will make your coating adhere better and last longer.  I typically use a sprayer with a 310 tip to spray all the gaps in the deck flooring then go back and brush and roll the rest of the deck. 

Good luck and have fun.