Best Applicators for Deck Stains 4.4/5 (24)

by Deck Stain Help

Updated February 2020

Best Applicators for Wood Deck Stains

Welcome to Deckstainhelp.com, your source for industry insights and tips for the perfect deck stain project execution. See below for our ratings of the best applicators for deck stains. We want to hear from you. What are your favorite applicators for deck stain and why? Leave us a comment below.


Best Applicators for Applying Wood and Deck Stains

Like with any job using the proper tools is half the battle. Deck staining is no exception. Using the best applicators for deck stains will make the job that much easier as well as give you better results. Most deck stains are fairly thin and runny so some stain applicator tools will work better than others.

Deck Stain Brushes
Brushes certainly have their place when applying deck stain. Use a brush for cutting in along edges and other hard to reach areas. A white china bristle brush works best for all oil-based stains, sealers, and wood toners. A large 4 or 6-inch brush like the Wooster Pro Stain Brush can be used to back brush large areas to give a more even finish. Use a special “crack and groove” brush for staining between fence or deck boards.

Deck Stain Pad

Deck Stain Pad

Speed Mops and Stain Pads

For larger areas, a stain mop or stain pad is a great applicator tool for deck stains. A speed mop like the one made by Shurline is a professional grade 18-inch wide mop that can make the stain job 50% faster. The speed mop also has replacement pads that can be used. Stain pads like the one from Padco utilize absorbent fibers that hold plenty of deck stain. Pads are great for coverage of large areas like a deck floor. Replacement stain pads are also available. Some of these applicator tools come with a bucket but we recommend one like the Wooster Wide Boy Bucket for holding stain while wetting your pad or mop.

Paint Rollers

A paint roller can be used to roll stain on. Use the right nap of roller for best results but remember that rollers are not really designed to hold deck stain. A wide 18-inch roller may work well for staining a few fence or deck boards at a time but a mop or stain pad will hold more stain lessening the amount of time you have to dip back into the stain bucket.

Sprayers

Sprayers are great for applying thinner deck stains. Some pump-up sprayers are decent but it can be difficult to get a nice even application. Using a sprayer like the Chapin Stain Sprayer will help. This durable sprayer comes with 3 different nozzles to get the right spray pattern. An airless sprayer is another option but they are expensive to buy or rent. An airless sprayer can have a bit of a learning curve so you may want to practice a little before taking on a big project. With stain sprayers, it is best to back brush the stain for a nice even finish.

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Thomas
Thomas

I’m staining a new deck. Its 28×85. Brushing is taking forever. Do you recommend a pad or roller?

John
John

Can you stain over mold?

Jeff Knecht
Jeff Knecht

Staining 16 foot x 6 inch, Pine deck boards with Cabot Oil Based Semi Solid in garage, before installing on dock. Trying to avoid hot temps in NC. What would be best applicator(s) method ?

Thinking of using 6 inch pad then back brushing with natural bristle brush.

Dan E
Dan E

Staining a new (7 months old) deck. Stain rails and spindles before the floor? Should floor be covered to avoid dark areas caused by drips?

David C Stoltzfus
David C Stoltzfus

I want to stain the underside of my deck boards, I tried a cotton cloth but that didn’t work very well.

Que
Que

Can you recommend the best way of staining around the aluminum spindles other than taping off every single one?

tom
tom

Is it ok to use another wood brightener other than armstrong clark, if we decide to use armstrong clark deck stain? Also, is the minimum recommended over an existing treated pine deck and dock which is 20 years old to do brightener . We have treated previously with various transparent and semi-transparent products? Thank you