How to Apply most Deck Stains and Sealers. These tips are for Transparent, Semi-Transparent, and Semi-Solid deck coatings.
If you have a wood deck, at some point, you will have to stain and seal it. Staining your deck allows it to withstand the elements such as severe weather, foot traffic, and scuffing from heavy furniture.
Before you begin, make sure you plan ahead. Ensure there’s no rain in the forecast or excessive pollen levels that create an ideal environment for mold to grow. Please note that instructions for staining and sealing a deck will vary from product to product, so read the instructions for best results. These are some basic tips that will aid in deck staining and sealing. First, clean off the wood deck thoroughly if the wood is gray or if repeating the use of the same brand previously. If there is any existing deck stain or sealer, that must be removed by stripping and or sanding the wood prior to applying a new coat. How to remove the old coating will vary based on the brand type of stain that was previously. We have numerous articles on our website and sanding or striping deck stains.
Next, apply a wood deck brightener to neutralize the pH level of the wood. Allow the wood to dry a few days before staining unless you are using Restore-A-Deck, which can be used the same day as the prep.
Read the directions on the stain can for suggestions for the best tools to get the job done. Most deck stains and sealers can be applied using a brush, roller, stain pad, pump, or airless sprayer. The best way to apply will vary though based on the type of stain you are using. Any questions on this, please ask below with the brand and type of stain you are using.
Apply the stain or sealer evenly and do not over-apply. If the stain puddles up, it means you’ve applied too much. It may leave an inconsistent shiny look on the surface that may not dry properly. If over-applied, the stain may crack, peel, and flake off, which is not only unsightly but jeopardizes the longevity of the wood. To further prevent over-application, brush back any excess stain so the surface is evenly applied. Be careful to apply only as much stain as the wood will soak up.
Another common problem when applying deck stain or sealer is when there are lap marks made. Lap marks occur when you start and stop staining in the middle of a board during application. To avoid them, do not stop applying stain to a board once you have started. Do one board at a time. Move onto the next board entirely and evenly from one end to the other and always keep a wet edge from one board to the next. Continue until all the boards are finished.
Do you have any questions about how to apply deck stain? We want to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave us a comment below.