Deck Staining in South Bend, IN

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House Painting > Exterior Painting Services > Deck Staining in South Bend

Deck Staining & Painting Services in South Bend

If you have a deck, fence, patio, or archways around your home, you know that the varying weather elements can take a toll on your wooden surfaces. If you don’t take proper care of them by re-sealing and re-staining at the right times, they can become a costly home maintenance expenditure that can significantly decrease the value of your home. The longer you wait to hire a painting contractor the more expensive this undertaking will become.

The CertaPro South Bend painting crews have years of experience sealing and staining decks to protect them from all types of weather conditions. Depending on your project, our professional surface prep and deck staining process may include:


Your deck and/or fence must be properly cleaned prior to applying a new stain. Pressure washing the surfaces will help eliminate mold, mildew, algae, etc as well as help remove any loose/peeling coatings. Using the proper cleaning solution is important depending on the conditions of the deck or fence. Depending on the desired finish, a full strip (chemical or sanding) and/or a brightening process may be necessary.


Proper cleaning and preparation are the key to getting the most out of your deck/fence staining. Any remaining loose coatings after the pressure wash must be scraped and or wire brushed off. Depending on the desired finish, sanding may also be necessary. Any loose nails, screws, and boards should be resecured. Caulking is generally not necessary for these structures as the stain will need to breath (release moisture).


Paint should never be applied to deck flooring. Using a quality stain is the best practice. If paint is used on vertical surfaces, any bare wood should be primed prior to applying the paint. Stains come in various finishes: transparent/translucent, semi-transparent, semi-solid, and solid (see “Stain Finishes” for more detail). Stains do not require a prime coat and should always be applied with a brush and roller. If a sprayer is used, a back-brush or back-roll should be performed to create an even finish as well as work the product into the wood.


With weather conditions in South Bend, having a nice deck or fence is like having a nice yard, it requires fairly regular maintenance and upkeep. A simple wash, using a basic deck/fence cleaner, should be performed at least once a year. Depending on the kind of stain used, horizontal surfaces (ie: flooring, tops of railing, etc) will likely need touchups or even fresh coats every 1-4 years. Vertical surfaces will usually hold up longer because they are not walked on and moisture does not sit on them for extended periods of time. Touchups and fresh coats are usually completed on these every other round of horizontal surface reworks.

Stain Finishes

Transparent or Translucent

this is what most people think of when looking at stained floors or furniture. They can be clear or tinted but will leave the most natural wood grain showing after being applied. These are usually oil-based products that will penetrate deep into wood surfaces and are single coat applications. Wood MUST be bare to use these products in most situations. These are usually the best products to use on new decks or fences. Colors choices are limited and changing colors will usually require removal of previous coating.

Typical maintenance cycle (horizontal surfaces) = 1-3 years.

Semi-Transparent and Semi-Solid

These products are in between transparent and solid (some wood grain will show through). These products are usually water-based and don’t necessarily require removal of previous coatings to be used. Depending on desired outcome and product used, a one or two coat application may be necessary. There are numerous color options when using these stains and custom colors can be created as well. Changing colors with these stains usually limit options to similar or darker colors from current coating. Some situations call for a “wet-on-wet” 2 coat application with these products. This consists of applying a second coat before the first coat is fully dry.

Typical maintenance cycle (horizontal surfaces) = 2-4 years


Solid stains have the same appearance as a paint (no visible wood grain). The bonding process for these stains gives much higher durability to walking surfaces than paint. Solid stains are usually water-based and can be applied over previous coatings. Any color can be made with solid stains. Color changes can be done with solid stains and will generally require at least two finish coats depending on colors. Wear and tear will be more visible with solid stains, but touch-ups are fairly easy to perform..

Typical maintenance cycle (horizontal surfaces) = 3-5 years

Tips For Decks in South Bend

Having a beautiful deck is like having a beautiful lawn. It takes upkeep and maintenance. Here are some tips for keeping that deck looking nice and pretty:

1. When initially finishing your deck, it’s all about the PREP and quality stain products. There are numerous sources and knowledgeable experts out there to help decide the best process for your deck.
2. Moisture is a decks #1 enemy! Going into winter and coming out, give her a simple wash and make sure any bare spots due to weather and wear & tear are sealed up. This will not only prolong the lifespan of the stain but will protect the wood as well.
3. Horizontal surfaces such as flooring and the tops of railing are where moisture sits for prolonged periods. This is where failure will inevitably happen first. With the climate in South Bend, we recommend cleaning and restaining these surfaces usually every other year. Vertical surfaces will hold up longer so restain these every other time you do the horizontal surfaces.

Deck Staining Estimates

Get a fair and reasonable estimate for deck staining services by contacting our team of experts at CertaPro Painters®.


Common Questions About Deck & Fence Staining Projects

How often should I stain my deck or fence

With a transparent stain you should restrain every 1 to 3 years. With a solid stain you can recoat ever 2 – 5 years

How do I know if I want a solid stain vs a transparent or semi transparent?

The less pigment (color) your product has, the less protection you’ll get over time. If you’ve already used a solid stain or a paint in the past, transparent options are no longer viable. Many folk prefer the transparent look that allows the natural color of the wood to show through, but it does require more maintenance to sustain this look.

Do I need to strip my deck every time I stain it?

Technically the answer is yes, and we usually recommend it. However, most customers don’t have the budget to do this. In this case the next best option is to reapply the same product used last.