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Deck Staining and Sealing Instructions

Deck Staining and Sealing Instructions and How To Tips for Best Results

The instructions for staining and sealing a deck will vary from product to product. It’s always best to follow the manufacturers suggested application instructions for the best results. There are however some basic tips and techniques that will aid in staining and sealing with any deck protection product.With a new deck stain or sealer application it is important to remember that the product needs to penetrate the wood for optimal protection. The wood should be cleaned thoroughly prior to any type of application. Any old existing deck stain or sealer also needs to be removed from the wood prior to a new coat.

With most wood cleaning or stain removal products, it is necessary to apply a wood deck brightener to correct the pH level of the wood. Once the wood is allowed to dry for a few days then it is ready to be stained or sealed.

Like previously stated, it is important to follow the deck stain label instructions before beginning. Generally speaking most deck stains and sealers can be applied using a brush, roller, stain pad, pump, or airless sprayer.

The most common mistake made is to over apply the deck stain or sealer. When stain puddles up and is allowed to dry it will leave an inconsistent shiny look on the surface.

These puddles of over-applied stain will eventually begin to crack, peel, and flake off the wood jeopardizing the wood’s appearance and integrity. Once the wood stain or sealer soaks into the wood wipe or back brush any excessive puddles, drips, or runs to prevent over application. Only apply as much stain as the wood will soak up.

Another unwanted occurrence when it comes to deck staining and sealing instructions is leaving lap marks. This occurs when you stop and start staining in the middle of a board during application. To avoid lap marks continue applying stain to an entire board once you have started. Then move to the next board and coat it entirely from one end to the other before moving on to the next board and so on.

Following these basic deck staining and sealing instructions will give your deck better protection and a better overall finish.

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10 responses to “Deck Staining and Sealing Instructions”

  1. Dave says:

    I replaced some rotted boards on my 30 yr old redwood deck, stripped/brightened(RAD) and lightly sanded my entire deck 2 months ago. I waited the 2 months to let the new boards age before I stained with Armstrong semi-solid. The old boards soaked up the stain instantly to a point where I was wondering if I needed a second coat. I only got 2/3 thru staining yesterday before dark and it rained 3 hrs later (I need to wait until dry again before finishing). However this morning I noticed water beading ONLY on the new boards, the old boards are just damp. Furthermore I ran my hand across some old boards and a little stain appeared on my hands.
    1) Did the rain 3 hrs later create a problem with drying?
    2) Do I need a second AC coat on the old boards since no water is beading?
    3) If I need a second coat, would a clear coat be okay since 2 coats of semi-solid will look too solid?

    • 1. Possibly but doubt it
      2. Beading water is a misconception and is not needed. Only beading on new wood since the wood is less absorbent.
      2. Do not do a clear coat, it will not work. If you do a second coat then use the same color. Just do a very light coat.

  2. Lori says:

    We are staining our deck with TWP 100 – Redwood. Ten days ago, we stripped it and brightened it with Restore-A-Deck. Since then, the weather has not cooperated. It rained on and off all last week. It rained on Monday night, and I had planned to stain today (Wed) since the deck seemed to be dry last night. It was cold last night and the deck was damp this morning from dew or frost. The deck does not get much sun and did not completely dry out today. I am hoping to stain tomorrow. Can I cover the deck with plastic to prevent the dew from getting it wet again tonight? If I stain tomorrow, will the dew hurt it tomorrow night? It is 67 degrees right now and a low of 45 is predicted for tonight. In the next week, there is no rain in the forecast, and it is not supposed to be much cooler than it was today. Thanks for your help.

    • Deck Stain Help says:

      You could try covering to prevent the dew. Remove though first thing in the am. Dew the morning after application will not have an issue.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I'm confused about the back wiping. It says to back wipe here, but in another section of your site it says NOT to backwipe because it won't cure correctly and stain will come off on your hands, clothes, etc.

    • All deck stain brands are different and it always best to follow their directions on applying. Back wiping is needed for 95% of deck stains but a few that have both drying and non-drying oils should not be back wiped. Armstrong Clark is an example of one such stain.

  4. Jay says:

    Is it better to start with the railing or decking when applying stain for the first time?

  5. Debbie says:

    I Have been trying to get my deck stained, but Every morning my deck is wet from dew! Can I still go ahead and stain or will that ruin the wood or how the stain adheres to the wood???

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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.