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Best Stain Application Brushes and Pads

Best Applicators for Staining your Deck

As with any wood staining project using the right tools is essential to achieving good results. There are many different types of stain applicators. Several tools can even be combined to get the desired result. Lets look at some of the more common stain applicator tools.

Stain Brushes

A basic white china bristle brush is always a good bet. A big 4 or 6 inch brush can hold a lot of stain for large areas. A brush is also good for getting into hard to reach places and for edging. Use a brush on the whole staining project or use it to cut in before tackling the larger areas.

Exterior Stain Pads

For large areas like a deck floor or handrail tops, a stain pad can be a great tool. With absorbent fibers that hold plenty of stain you get more coverage. An easy to use handle allows for a neater application and easier cleanup. Replacement pads are also available. As contractors, we like stain pad applicators the best. This allows us to work the stain deep into the wood grain. They come in many different sizes. We use small 7-10″ pads for applying to verticals and 12-18″ floor pads for staining horizontal floors.

Truck Brush

A Truck Brush can be used for applying to horizontal floors. Does drip a lot though.

Groove Tool

A brush can be used to get into the cracks but for better efficiency you may want to try a crack and groove applicator tool. This unique narrow tool allows you to stain hard to reach areas like between deck and fence boards.

Pump Sprayer

For spraying cleaners, sealers, and stains a high quality pump sprayer can’t be beat. A pump sprayer can really cut your staining time down and give you a nice even finish. Once the job is done simply clean the sprayer out so it is ready to use the next time. A great method is to use a brush to cut in then hit the large areas with a stain sprayer. We like to lightly apply a first coat of the stain with a pump sprayer, then apply the second coat with a large flooring stain pad.

Using the right tools for any job is crucial especially when it comes to applying wood stains. Become more efficient and get better results by trying any combination of these stain applicator tools on your next project.

10 responses to “Best Stain Application Brushes and Pads”

  1. Ron says:

    Hi, any particular brand/model recommendation for pads to be used on a deck?

  2. dick burns says:

    I'm staining a new cedar deck(quite large)…can a roller be used to apply vs the pad method on the floor surfaces?

  3. Neil says:

    I bought a variety of tools to stain my Cedar Deck with Sikkens Cetol SRD. I bought a a couple of foam applicator pads (one with a gap wheel), however the pads looked so thin and flimsy, that I went and bought a 100% lambswool applicator. I can still return all of them, but I'm wondering which one would be best to use and why? The gaps between my boards are quite large (about an inch) so not sure if the gap wheel would be of much use as I'm pretty sure I can hit the gaps without it.

    Is the lambswool superior to the foam applicator pads?

    • We do not like the lambswool. Very sloppy in our opinion. Many contractors do use them though. We like the stain pads. You can use a brush to get down in the cracks or sometimes the stain will run down the side well when applying to the top.

  4. scott says:

    I have a larger deck with a bunch of with long railings. Can I use a garden sprayer? What is the best way to apply?

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.