How to Spray a Deck Stain 5/5 (16)

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How To Spray A Deck Stain

How To Spray A Deck Stain

Updated February 2020

How to Spray a Deck Stain Tips

We appreciate your input here at as we continue to be your go-to source for the latest in deck restoration news and trending topics through 2020. See below for an article about How to Spray a Deck Stain.

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How to Spray a Deck Stain properly and evenly.

We here at hear a lot about different methods and tools people use to stain their decks. Luckily, there are options so you don’t have to be tied down and committed to staining your deck any certain way. One way to apply stain onto your deck is by using a low-pressure pump sprayer. We hear positive results from people who use a sprayer to stain their decks from its ease of use. Best of all, if you use a sprayer and follow these directions, you can complete your deck stain project in as little as two hours.

Here’s how to do it.

Please note: Read all the manufacturer’s directions before you begin. This is a general guide to stain using a transparent or semi-transparent stain, but manufacturer directions override any discrepancies. In many cases, an Airless Sprayer or HVLP Sprayer will work with these steps and most stain brands. When spraying, wide fan tips are best. Avoid “cone” spray patterns. Some additional Deck Stain Pads, Brushes, and Tools can be found on that link.

Steps To Spray Your Deck Stain

  1. Mix stain thoroughly. Add stain to a paint tray and a pump sprayer. Take caution to avoid spillage and clean spills quickly.
  2. Start with wood railings first. If you do not have any railings, move on to #8. Cover outside surrounding areas such as concrete, grass, and shrubs with a large Poly Tarp(s). Tarp below deck if a raised deck.
  3. Hang a canvas tarp (9×12) 4 feet on one side, 4 feet on the opposite side, and 12 feet along the railings. The tarp is used as a backdrop for overspray.
  4. Apply the stain using the sprayer to one side of the railing, lifting one end of the canvas tarp. The opposite side of the canvas tarp will catch the overspray. Walk around to the opposite side and repeat this process, applying the stain on both sides. Make sure to get the outside edge of deck floor as well. Note: Keep Sprayer pressurized fully for even spray pattern
  5. Slide the canvas tarp down the railing and adjust the poly tarp if needed to match on the outside/below. Immediately back wipe excess stain on the section just completed that may have dripped on the floor using a brush or stain pads.
  6. Wipe any drips on the completed railing section using a brush or stain pad and scan the area for missed spots. Apply a second coat if needed to the top of the railings with the brush/pad. Check over the completed section for drips, missed spots, etc. before moving on to the next section of railings.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 around the railings until you reach the opposite side. Check once more for drips or missed spots.
  8. Move on to flooring. Slowly edge out flooring (1-2 feet) that butts up to the house using a staggered line. Use a stain pad or brush for this process.
  9. Lightly saturate remainder of flooring using the pump sprayer. Be careful to not spray on house!
  10. Apply a second coat evenly to the flooring using the pad or brush. Use caution to only apply as much as the wood will take, as overapplying will lead to premature stain failure.
  11. If applicable, move on to stairs repeating the above steps.
  12. Very Important! Promptly dispose of rags and tarps by following the manufacturer’s directions. Most manufacturers suggest soaking any oily rags/tarps in water and lay flat to dry outside. Do not leave materials in tight balls or inside garages, trash cans, or homes as this could be a fire hazard if using an oil-based stain.

Have you used a low-pressure pump sprayer to stain your deck? We want to hear about your projects. Feel free to leave us any comments, questions, or feedback in the comments section below.

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Can I clean a pressure-treated swing set with RAD Cleaner and Brightener Kit and use RAD solid stain for protection? We are in south Florida where it gets a lot of sun, heat, and humidity. Will a gallon of stain be sufficient?


Can I use solid stain in a deck sprayer.


Does not emphasize the need for back brushing?


Hi! I’m planning on using the spray method to stain a new cedar deck for the first time. (After waiting about 8 months for the wood to dry) I’ll be using TWP 100 series, after reading your reviews. But I have black aluminum balusters. Do I need to tape these, or will the oil based stain wipe off without any issues?

Also, is there a pump sprayer that you recommend?



Hello, what does the canvas tarp do? Doesn’t it get in the way and stick to the stain?