How To Stain A Deck Fast! 4.8/5 (16)

This post was updated on January 14, 2022

Deck Staining Tips 2022

How To Stain A Deck Fast

How To Stain A Deck Fast

We have been restoring decks in the midwest for over 25+ years now and have used numerous different methods, applicators, sprayers, staining pads, and brushes when it comes to applying a deck stain. We average around 500 deck restorations in a year and when dealing with a shortened season and constant weather-related issues, we have to be as efficient as possible when applying a deck stain so we can get as many done in a day as possible. On average it will take a 2 man crew 1-2 hours to stain a 500 sq foot deck when using the proper tools and techniques.

Following these tips, any residential homeowner will be able to stain a deck within a few hours.

Note: Always read and follow the stain brand manufactures directions. Not all stains are applied exactly the same and some will require 1-2 coats. Use these tips as a guide and modify as needed depending on the brand and type of stain being used.

See below for more info on Staining Tools Needed.

Deck Staining Fast Tips

  1. Open the stain and mix for one minute. Drill paddle mixers on a cordless drill work great. Try to mix every 30 minutes while using it as the stain can settle.
  2. Cover the outside and below the deck to protect concrete, bushes, grass, etc, with poly tarps or plastic. You may need to weight down the tarps to keep them from blowing in the wind.
  3. Start with railing first if applicable. No railings, skip to step #8. Using a smaller stain pad or brush start the section of railings near the house and stain a section of the rails 4-5 feet away from the house by hand. Make sure to use cardboard to catch any drips under the railings from staining the flooring prematurely. Staining Fast Tip: You will need to do all railings that butt up to the house by hand to avoid overspray on the house.
  4. Using a canvas tarp that is 9×12, hang it so it is 12 feet across the railings with 4.5 feet down on each side of the railing.
  5. Using a sprayer apply the stain by lifting up one side of the canvas tarp. The other side of the canvas will prevent over-spray. Walk around and do the opposite side the same way. Include outside edge of deck flooring as well.
  6. Move the canvas down the railings to the next section. Look over the section that was just sprayed and touch up any areas that were missed. Check for any runs or drips and even those spots out with a pad applicator or brush. Move cardboard under the railings to the next section that is about to be done.
  7. Repeat Steps 3-6 until railings are completed.
  8. Starting on the flooring, use a stain pad or brush to “edge” out the house so that you are at least 2-3 feet away from the home with the stain
  9. Using a sprayer apply one coat of stain to the rest of the flooring. Staining Fast Tip: If only applying one coat of stain to the deck, skip this step and move directly to Step 10.
  10. Using a wider floor stain pad or brush on an extension pole, apply a coat of stain evenly over the entire surface. Staining Fast Tip: Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions as to how long to wait between the first and second coat. Some will say apply wet on wet while others want the first coat to fully dry before the second coat is applied.
  11. Always finish steps last using the same methods.

Important Safety Note: When applying an Oil-Based Stain, canvas tarps and any rags should be saturated with water and allowed to dry before disposing of. DO NOT leave tarps or any rags in direct sunlight or in/near the house. They can cause a fire!

Fast Deck Stain Application Tools

  • Deck Staining Brush

    Deck Staining Floor Brush

    Stain Pad Applicator or Floor Brush with Threaded pole. This is used for the flooring. Wider pads or brushes are better for faster application.

  • Stain Pad Applicator or Brush for Railings. Typically 3-7 inches wide
  • Optional Sprayer. Spraying a deck stain will speed up the process immensely. Take precautions to cover any bushes, concrete patios, etc. Pump sprayers can be used for many semi-transparent and transparent stains. Thicker stains such as semi-solid or solid stains will require an airless sprayer.
  • Canvas tarps, poly tarps, paint trays, etc.

Do you have any questions as to Applying a Deck Stain Fast? If so, ask below in our comment area.

Please Rate This. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

Related Deck Stain Help Articles & Reviews

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Chuck
Chuck
11 months ago

I am removing my stain (1 year old Sherwin Williams super deck semi transparent on cedar deck) by sanding to bare wood. The sherwin Williams product had almost immediate mold issues and flaking where exposed to direct sunlight. I am replacing it with TWP 101. My question is, since sanding to bare wood do I need to treat the wood other than washing it down prior to applying the stain?

Last edited 11 months ago by ChuckZ
Bob
Bob
11 months ago

Is it recommended to mix outdoor deck stain/sealant with polyurethane at 50/50 ratio and apply to outdoor decking? Pros & cons?

Becky Lagrone
Becky Lagrone
1 year ago

Can you use a solid color stain on top of paint that has been used on the decking of a large covered wood porch? The porch is 28 1/2 ft. 8’ deep and all of it is painted white, including the decking. The paint closest to the house is mostly intact but is flaking off as it gets nearer to the weather. There are also steps built 3 months ago with treated lumber. I would like to use solid color stain on both the steps and the porch in the same color. Will the stain, in a darker color, cover and adhere to the paint, and will it blend in with the areas that have bare wood? The home is owned by a church and I do not think they plan to sand all the paint off except for the loose places. The home is owned by a church and they are planning to use porch paint on the porch and steps but I think a solid stain would be more durable and attractive if it can be used. What do you suggest? I need some advice as soon as possible.

Gabe
Gabe
1 year ago

My porch was stained with a solid stain by the pervious owner and not sure how long ago. Well it started to flake off this year so I power washed it, waited 2 days and then stained it with a very similar color today. I used the Sherwin Williams Superdeck stuff since I use their house paint.

I seen you don’t recommend the product though, so how long should it hold up? It’s under the roof so won’t see rain and stays shaded most of the day.

Gabe
Gabe
1 year ago

Next time I do it, can I apply one of the TWP products over top of the Superdeck Solid stain or do I have to strip it off completely?

Gabe
Gabe
1 year ago

OK it’s been a few days since staining it and the porch is still tacky and grabs at feet, shoes, boxes, ect… After some research that seems to be from using too much stain. Anyway to solve this problem?

Brett
Brett
1 year ago

Should I apply restore a deck stain with a sprayer or a brush or a pad to a horizontal deck?

Hude Robinson
Hude Robinson
1 year ago

can you apply a sealer to the deck after staining

Brett
Brett
1 year ago

In your experience, can TWP 100 be sprayed on, specifically on railings and spindles? Thank you!

KARL
KARL
1 year ago

I have the same question as Kathy asked previously. If you are working by yourself, how do you lift one side of the tarp and keep it up without the whole tarp falling. I need one hand to hold the sprayer and another to do the spraying. If I lift the tarp up to the top of the rail, the whole tarp falls. Seems that it might be better to cover the deck flooring so the overspray doesn’t get on it and this leaves the whole railing exposed for staining.

Kathy
Kathy
1 year ago

Please post a video on how to spray the railings using a tarp. Do you hold half of the tarp up in the air (so the other half is behind the railing spindles) with one hand while holding the sprayer with the other hand? It seems awkward.

Jack Lang
Jack Lang
2 years ago

How do I find my post from yesterday to see if I had a reply from YOU??

James Perry
James Perry
2 years ago

When using Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Wood Stain 1 Gallon Stain Color Dark Walnut Semi-Transparent on a new deck, do you recommend using a brush or Chapin Clean & Stain Sprayer for
application? Thanks in advance for the insight.

sheena winters
sheena winters
2 years ago

So i just stained a new deck and i had a few workers helping me well one guy said he knew what he was doing. Well he had a bug sprayer and put way to much on one part of the deck so its really dark then he walked over it and now that it is dry u can see shoe marks in it bad how do i fox this

Ashley
Ashley
2 years ago

For RAD semi transparent, can you spray floor for both coats, or do you suggest spraying only the 1st coat? Do spindles and railing need 2 coats, or is 1 enough? If 2 coats are needed for spindles and railing, can both coats be sprayed, or does 2nd coat need to be brushed on?

Any concern about sanding deck 2+ weeks before cleaning/brightening/staining, or should it be sanded closer to stain application? Very old, splintery deck.

Ashley Berliner
Ashley Berliner
2 years ago

I am power sanding the deck. So if only one coat of RAD, does that need to be applied with a pad or can I spray it on? Thanks so much!

Kimberley
Kimberley
2 years ago

12 years ago I stained barn with Behr oil based cedar naturaltone 2 coats and then added Marine (man o war) high performance sealer 2 coats – it looks beautiful. I love the color and faded in the sun mostly so I added another coat of the marine uv protector 3 times since. The south and east side is starting to peel – how do I fix it – I sanded down to the wood in some places and when you add the stain again it peels after 1 year. Do I need to start over or what?

Dan
Dan
2 years ago

Our deck starts getting the sun early a.m. Is it okay to apply deck stain in some sunlight?

Greg
Greg
2 years ago

Great site. What sprayers do you recommend? Thank you for your time.

Greg
Greg
2 years ago
Reply to  Greg

This is for a long fence btw

Greg
Greg
2 years ago

Thank you. What Airless Paint Sprayers do you recommend?

S Forondo
S Forondo
2 years ago

is it advisable to put a transparent oil based stain over a semi-transparent oil stain a year after I stained the deck?
steve

JudyB
JudyB
2 years ago

Wow! make deck is 500 sq feet and it took my 2 days to stain it. Will this work with Thompsons? I applied it last year and it failed within a few months. Might switch brands if you suggest it?

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