How Much Deck Stain you Should Buy? 4.5/5 (98)

This post was updated on May 2, 2022

How Much Deck Stain Do I Need

How Much Deck Stain Do I Need?

DeckStainHelp.com has become the Internet’s go-to site for wood surface staining tips. In this article, we offer insight to answer the conundrum of how much stain you should buy to complete a project. If you have questions on how to estimate the number of supplies to purchase for a project, feel free to leave us a comment with pictures.


How Much Deck Stain Should I Buy?

Before staining a deck you need to figure out the deck’s total square footage. Once this calculation is considered, you can figure out how many gallons of deck stain you need by reading the coverage rate of the stain you are buying. On average most deck stains cover 150-300 sq. ft. per gallon depending on the age, condition, and porosity of the wood.

How Much Deck Stain Do I Need?

  1. Measure Deck Floor: To figure out how much deck stain you should buy, start by measuring the deck floor. Take its width times length and write that number down. Besides the main deck floor, be sure to add in any smaller decking areas like a second-tier deck or stair landing platforms.
  2. Measure Deck Railings: Measure the linear feet of all the handrails including stair railings. Then determine the average height of the railing. This is usually around 3 feet on average. Multiply the total linear feet by the height in feet and write that number down next to the total number you got for the deck flooring.
  3. Measure Deck Steps: Determine how many steps you have total on your deck. After counting them up, measure how wide the steps are and then multiply these two numbers to come up with a total.
  4. Add Up Decking Area: Now take all three numbers from the deck flooring, railings, and stairs and add them together. That is the total square footage of your deck. Be sure to measure up and add in any extra areas of the deck that are less common. Add in any lattice, skirting, benches, pergolas, or other wood structures being stained.

Deck Stain Coverage

When measuring your deck it is best to use a tape measure or measuring wheel. If you do not have access to a measuring device you can come up with a close approximation by stepping the deck off. For example, to measure the floor stand on one end and with long strides walk to the opposite end counting each step.

A long step is close to a yard, which equals 3 feet. Multiply the number of steps you took by 3 and that is the total number of feet. Do this for all the steps mentioned above to calculate your deck’s total square footage.

Once you have a total square footage number you will then know how much deck stain you should buy to complete the project. Always buy a little extra if you can just so you do not run short. You can return any unopened cans to the store or just save them for the next time the deck needs to be refinished.

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Chris
Chris
1 month ago

How many hours should it take to apply 1000’gallons of stain

Big me
Big me
2 months ago

I asked your website twice how much does 1 gallon of Olympic stain semi transparent cover on a deck your website does not answer that

Teresa McCullough
Teresa McCullough
1 year ago

If I have a shed 10′ wide by 16′ deep by 14 ‘ tall with a aluminum roof. What amount of stain waterproof sealant would I need?

Donnadonnacravens0@gmail.com
Donnadonnacravens0@gmail.com
1 year ago

Is Olimpic maximum a good stain sealer?

Nikki Smith
Nikki Smith
1 year ago

I am in love with the deck at the very top of this web page. Was wondering what color that was so I could do my deck the same.

Vernelle E Lewis
Vernelle E Lewis
1 year ago

Will 5gal stain cover 18×16 deck floor

Big me
Big me
2 months ago

More than that your average stain will cover 450 to 600 ft.² but you will never get that answer from this website

Dale Roberts
Dale Roberts
1 year ago

16×20 deck and 3 stairs how much stain

Victor
Victor
2 years ago

How many gallon 12×12

Calvin D
Calvin D
2 years ago

It’s Thomson water seat /Timber oil

Calvin D
Calvin D
2 years ago

I am staining a 8by8 porch how much stain do I need

Joe curran
Joe curran
2 years ago

How many gallons does it take to seal 384 square feet with Penofin oil Ipe wood

Dean Yien
Dean Yien
2 years ago

I live on a lake in Indiana, so the walkway, deck and pier are exposed to intense heat and cold. It is a 11 years old and comprised of pressure treated pine. I have power washed the deck and restained every 3 years. The boards are now starting to cup. In the shaded areas they have mold and mildew. The total square footage is approximately 2,000 sq feet. What product do you recommend, how much should I buy, and best method of application?
Thank you
Dean

W T
W T
2 years ago

We are refinishing an older wood deck. It is now powerwashed, drying. There are some open holes….where there were knots that have fallen out. Do those need to be FILLED prior to applying stain? If so, what product and how to do it….thanks

Elen
Elen
2 years ago

Best way to apply semi solid oil stain on old deck

Jon Mihm
Jon Mihm
2 years ago

Best “dark chocolate ” color stain that will last the longest.

beverly
beverly
2 years ago

I have a 20x 20 deck railings the same 4 steps 4×6 how much sealer would i need?

Linda
Linda
2 years ago

Just had 500 sq. Deck installed with rails and 3 sets of steps. What’s the best dealer and best way to apply it

Linda
Linda
2 years ago
Reply to  Linda

I meant sealer, not dealer. Thank you

Michael White
Michael White
2 years ago

After I stain my new treated pine deck will it take the same amount of stain for the second coat or less. How do I figure how much for the second coat?

Lee Jackson
Lee Jackson
2 years ago

How many gallons of stain I need to cover a 9×11, 99 square foot deck for 2 coats and one coat underneath?

Cindy Presley
Cindy Presley
3 years ago

I have a new redwood landing and stairs. About 50 square feet. How much sealer do I need to buy?

Gene Ross
Gene Ross
3 years ago

How much deck stain does it take for 375 square ft

kevin
kevin
3 years ago

I HAVE 27′ x 40′ deck and need to know how much Thompson clear water seal will it take?

kevin
kevin
3 years ago

lol what brand do you recommend?

Dave Bennett
Dave Bennett
3 years ago

How much Stain to cover 50 square metres ?

matthew
matthew
3 years ago

if i am staining a wardrobe 15 x 40 how much stain do i need

David Z Myerberg
David Z Myerberg
3 years ago

Does the above article generate to the amount of stain one needs for one coat?

Anon
Anon
3 years ago

I am re-staining a deck that was done about 4 years ago. It has held up pretty well but will need a good cleaning and light sanding in spots. It is unclear whether on-line calculators used to estimate how much stain to buy assume that the deck has never been stained before or that the deck was stained previously. Would it be correct to assume that if I am using the same product/color in a semi-transparent (water based) that I would not need as much stain? The deck is about 540 sq ft. Thanks!

Anon
Anon
3 years ago

Thanks for the quick response!

anonymous
anonymous
4 years ago

I’m in the Greater Seattle area and need and I’m looking for someone to stain, seal and waterproof my deck and soffits. I had a contractors come out and give me a bid, but I’m wondering if there’s a special way to measure the square footage as the numbers he gave me seem to be way over. I have rails, spindles, steps, soffits and lattice. I’ve measured the soffits and my numbers are significantly less than the contractor’s and my measurement is an over estimate that includes areas where the wood is cutout to for other structures. Their measurement was 375 sqft while mine was 343 sqft.

Patrick Lance Construction
Patrick Lance Construction
3 years ago
Reply to  anonymous

As a contractor myself I never give an estimate in which the number doesnt end in either zero or 5. If a contractor gave you a number like yours, 343 then they usually will end up needing more. Always round up. Here is why, you have waste in materials. You also have the fact that we havent been able to test to see how your wood will soak up the product. Many factors. Also, 32 square feet isnt a huge number. If he was 500 or 1000 square foot off then you would second guess it.

Deborah Pratt
Deborah Pratt
5 years ago

We bought a house with a deck of 350 square feet. The wood is very porous since it should have been done quite awhile ago. We power washed it and now want to apply ‘Woodsman’ premium ‘solid’ stain. How much should we buy?

Michelle
Michelle
5 years ago

We just installed a new 14×16 redwood floating deck. this last week. No railings. How much stain do I need.

Khalil Eid
Khalil Eid
5 years ago

My back yard deck is clear wood about 4 month old and it is 325 SQ feet , how much do I need to buy to stain it . and it is new do I need to clean it first

Khalil Eid
Khalil Eid
5 years ago

No I do not know what brand I am going to use , I was looking to buy a big 5 gallon maybe . Thompson brand I think , or I would like to go Sherman Williams , it is 27 feet long nd 1feet wide ,

Kenneth
Kenneth
5 years ago

Roughly 3000 sq ft for a multiple level deck, railings, steps, lattice etc…..how much AC semitransparent stain for 2 coats? Decks was stained with same AC 3 Years ago

Stephen
Stephen
6 years ago

So I'm restaining my deck. I've striped and sanded the entire deck. Total sq ft is 555 sq ft. How many gallons of stain will I need?

Betty
Betty
7 years ago

How do I figure square footage of deck steps

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