Update for 2018: It Rained Shortly After Staining. What to do?
We continue to appreciate your input, so feel free to leave a comment below if it rained on your deck shortly after the stain was applied. Any pictures of your deck stain project will help.
It is best to never stain any exterior wood when inclement weather is forecasted, especially rain. Most deck stain brands will warn against the application of their product within 12-24 hours of rain being forecast. But as we all know sometimes the weather is not so predictable. So what do you do if it does rain shortly after staining?
You cannot do much until it stops raining once it starts. After the rain has passed and the deck has dried take a closer look. It really depends on how hard it rained and for how long. A light drizzle most likely won’t hurt anything but a good downpour can be a different story. The type and brand of stain can make a difference as well. Some stains can handle rain shortly after being applied better than others.
Look for little pockets, blotches, or white spots normally the size of a dime. Any of these can indicate some damage from the rain. Read the instructions on the stain can for recoating or adding a second coat. Once you are within the time frame recommended for a second coat try applying stain in an inconspicuous spot to see if it fixes the rain damage.
If a light recoat does not fix the problem you can also try using a mix of wood cleaner and a pressure washer to see if you can wash the spots out without harming the stain. Or you can try lightly sanding the rain spots and recoating. Care must be taken though not to over apply the stain as this can cause other issues like flaking and peeling. If you are unable to fix the problem with washing or sanding and recoating, you may have to strip off the stain with a deck stain stripper and start over again.