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.
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.
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 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.