This post was updated on January 14, 2022
How to Apply A Deck Stain in 2022
Exterior wood deck restoration can be a yearly or every two-year chore for most homeowners. It is understood that you will need to maintain and treat your deck so it is protected from the elements and looks beautiful for many years to come. One popular question we have here at DeckStainHelp.com is “What is the Best Way to Apply a Deck Stain?” The issue with this common question is that most types of stains are applied differently and may require different application methods. We are going to break down the different types of deck stains and sealers and offer advice based on our 25+ years in the deck restoration business as to what is the best way to apply a deck stain.
Note: For additional information on the best way to apply a deck stain, see our new article here: How To Stain A Deck Fast!
Best Way to Apply Deck Sealer
Deck Sealers are clear transparent coatings that are very easy to apply since they do not change the color of the wood and are designed to waterproof the wood only. Clear deck sealer will not provide UV protection
Best Applicators for a Deck Sealer: Stain brushes, stain flooring brush, stain pads, and pump-up deck sprayers are the best for applying a clear deck sealer.
Applicators to Not use for a Deck Sealer: Rollers are not the best option for a clear deck stain as the sealer is very thin and it will splatter and apply unevenly. No need to use an airless sprayer.
Best Way to Apply Semi-Transparent Deck Stain
Semi-Transparent and Transparent Stains are pigmented coatings that show the natural grain of the wood. Typically penetrating and thin in overall consistency as the solid content can range from 30-70%. They provide UV protection to the wood and come in both oil-based and water-based versions.
Best Applicators for a Semi-Transparent Stain: As with a clear deck sealer, stain brushes, stain flooring brushes, stain pads, and pump-up deck sprayers are the best for applying a semi-transparent stain. You may also use an airless sprayer or HVLP Sprayer.
Applicators to Not use for a Semi-Transparent Stain: Rollers are not the best option for a semi-transparent stain as the stain will splatter and apply unevenly.
Best Way to Apply Solid Deck Stain
Solid Color or Opaque Deck Stains look and apply like paint. They are thinner than house paint but still, 100% hide the grain of the wood. Use the same applicator suggestions when using a Semi-Solid Deck Stain.
Best Applicators for a Solid Stain: Brushes, rollers, and airless sprayers are best for applying a solid color or semi-solid deck stain.
Applicators to Not use for a Solid Stain: Do not use a stain pad when applying a solid stain as it will “smear” the finished appearance. A pump-sprayer will not work for a solid stain as a solid stain is too thick.
The Best Way to Apply A Deck Stain
If you would like more information on the different types of applications such as brushes, stain pads, and sprayers, see our article here: Best Deck Stain Applicators
Best Way to Apply a Deck Stain Questions? We are here to help, just ask in our comment area!