Deck Staining Tips for a Professional Finish

Deck Staining Tips for a Professional Finish

Posted on September 18, 2023

Keeping your outdoor space in tip top shape and ready for gatherings includes knowing how to stain your deck like a professional. A well-stained deck not only makes for an inviting space for your family, but it also helps shield it from weather damage! CertaPro Painters® is here to provide some of our top tips for deck staining. From preparing your deck, to getting the right materials, to using the right techniques, we have the knowledge to make your deck look like it was stained by a pro!

Preparing Your Deck for Staining is Essential 

power washing a deck

Properly preparing your deck for staining is probably the most important tip our professionals can provide. Neglecting prep work can lead to an uneven finish that will wear out quickly, especially if you live in an area with harsh weather conditions. Since this is such an important step, we have broken it down into a few small steps. By following our recommendations, your deck staining job should be easier and last longer!

Clean Your Surface: 

Remove as much dirt and debris as you can before moving onto your staining process. Pressure washing your deck is a great way to accomplish this. Additionally, make sure to cover any surfaces you don’t want the stain to get on.     

Sand Rough Areas: 

Sand down any areas that are particularly rough or have a lot of splinters. This will not only make your deck look better, but it will also help the stain adhere evenly across your deck. You can typically rent out a sander from your local hardware store. 

Be Patient: 

Make sure to leave plenty of time for your deck to dry after you do any repairs or pressure wash the surface. The drying process typically takes over 48 hours, but could be more if you’re in a humid area.

Using the Right Materials for the Job

staining a deck with a brush

Staining a deck requires a lot of materials and which ones that are right for you will depend on your specific job. Some of the materials you could need with your project include rollers, brushes, sprayers, oil-based stain, or water-based stain. You’ll want to consider what type of stain you want for your job. Each type of stain has their advantages and disadvantages as well as application methods, so make sure to follow the instructions on the can. Here are a few other tips you can utilize while choosing and using your deck staining materials: 

Choose the Transparency: 

If you have a solid stain on your deck already, a transparent or semi-transparent stain is not going to be able to soak through the wood. However, another solid stain is able to be applied over a previously applied solid stain.

Pad, Roller or Brush: 

You may want to consider using a paint pad applicator attached to a pole over a brush, as it tends to be easier and provides a more even finish. If you do use a brush, synthetic brushes are ideal for water-based stains. 

Mix Multiple Containers Together:

If you have multiple stain containers, mix them all together instead of going through them one container at a time. This way, your stain will be even throughout your project and you’ll end with less patchiness. 

Applying Stain to Make it Last

certapro painter staining a deck

Now that your deck is prepared and you have the right materials, it is time to get to the actual application process. Doing this correctly will result in a stained deck that will last for years to come. Just imagine all those days barbequing and enjoying the outdoors on your newly stained deck. The process is worth it, we promise! Here are a few tips to make the application process easier. 

Work with the Grain:

It may not even need to be said, but just in case it does, make sure to work with the grain of the wood and use long, smooth strokes to two or three boards at once. Back brushing your stain will help the stain soak into your deck! 

Apply Multiple Coats:

We recommend applying two coats of stain for maximum protection. Again, make sure you’re patient between coats and allow plenty of time for your first coat to dry. Following the two coats rule will also ensure there are no missed spots. 

Get it Done by the Professionals: 

Sometimes, projects are best left done by the professionals. Deck staining is most likely one of these projects. Between the prep work and the tricky application, deck staining can quickly turn into the DIYer’s nightmare.  

dinner party on stained deck

Work with the Deck Staining Professionals 

Of course, there is one easy way to make your deck look like it was done by the deck staining professionals: by working with CertaPro Painters® and the Power of Pro! CertaPro Painters® know all the tips for staining decks, and our locally owned and operated businesses are ready to help with your specific project. Learn more about our deck staining process, or go ahead and get started with our team by calling us at 1-800-689-7271 or filling out our free, no-obligation form