How to Stain a Deck: From Prep to Finished Product

How to Stain a Deck From Prep to Finished Product

With the warmer weather, you have certainly been spending more time outside. In New York, sometimes you want to escape the hustle and bustle and come home to calm and quiet in your outdoor oasis. City and five-boro homes are not known to have always had wood decks, but if you do, the following is a guide to refresh your space with deck stain.

How to stain a deck step by step

Make sure to give yourself time for this project. You want to ensure the wood stays dry and the stain fully dries.

  1. Picking a stain color

What are you trying to achieve with your outdoor space? Customize your deck with a stain that matches your style. Translucent and light-toned stains are natural, allowing the wood grain to show through. Semi-solids and solid stains cover the wood more and offer a color with a longer-lasting finish. We suggest Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT Semi-Solid Stain. You can customize solids with any color as well! Ask a Loconsolo associate to help with paint color and tints—Shop wood stain at your nearest Loconsolo store or online.

  1. Cleaning and prepping the deck

Before applying your stain, you need to prepare your surface. What condition is your deck? If the old paint is chipping or the wood is splintering, you must sand it down. This can be done by hand or with a machine if you are working with a larger area. Sanders, sanding blocks, and sanding belts are all available at BM2Home. Make sure your wood is clean and free of mildew and debris. You can brush off the surface or wash it down with bleach. If your lumber was pre-treated, a light wash might be enough. If needed, repair loose or damaged boards and hammer in popped-out nails.

  1. Testing your stain

If you have the same type of wood lying around, use it to test your stain. If not, try the stain in an area that is not visible. Some stains dry lighter or darker, depending on the kind of wood.

  1. Staining

Tools used for staining.

Use Painters tape to cover areas you do not want stained or painted. Use a stiff brush or roller to apply the stain. If applying a semi-solid stain or paint, you will want to use a primer first. Wait until completely dry, then apply the color.

Is it better to brush or roll on deck stain?

This is a personal choice. However, if the area is larger, applying with a roller will take less time. Whichever method you prefer, make sure you go in the same direction as the wood grain.

  1. Drying Process

Paint and stain are usually safe to the touch after 48 hours. Make sure there is low humidity and no rain during this time. If you are sealing your deck, do so after thoroughly dried again for 48 hours, then seal it. Please wait at least another 48 hours to walk on it.

Tips and Tricks

How many coats of stain should you put on a deck? Like painting, you should apply two coats of stain on your deck to get a more uniform finish.

How much does a gallon of deck stain cover? One gallon of stain can cover approximately 175 square feet.

What happens if it rains on a freshly stained deck? If your stain is not completely dry and it rains, the wood will absorb the rain in some areas, and the stain will appear blotchy. You may have to go back, clean or sand some areas and reapply the stain.

How do I know if my deck is dry enough to stain? Again, it would help if you waited for the total recommended 48 hours. If you cannot wait, drop a few drops of water on your stained wood. If droplets form, it’s mostly dry. If the wood absorbs the water, the surface is not dry yet.

Loconsolo Paints can help you with your project from start to finish. We are conveniently located with four stores in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Or, shop at our new online store,