Update for 2019: How Dry Does the Deck Need to be After Cleaning it to Apply the Stain?
Since we published this article, the Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain was introduced, allowing for this stain to be applied to a damp deck. For all other brands of stain, we still recommend you wait until the surface has completely dried before applying. We always appreciate your input, so feel free to leave a comment below with pictures of your deck stain projects.
The first step in deck restoration and/or maintenance is to clean and prep the wood. This is the key to a long-lasting finish. Properly prepped wood will allow the deck stain to penetrate and perform to its full potential. So how dry does the deck need to be after cleaning it to apply the stain? Well, that can be measured in several ways.