This post was updated on January 18, 2023
How long will your can of deck stain last?
You might find that when you’ve finished that big staining project, you’re left with a bunch of deck stain leftover. Well, it would be a shame to throw it away, wouldn’t it? But if you intend to store it, then there are a few things you should know first. Your stains can stay usable if following these simple guidelines.
Unopened cans of deck stain
Unopened cans of deck stain – just like regular paint – have a shelf-life of up to 5 or 6 years before they start to deteriorate. So if you didn’t have time to start your project this year then there’s no reason to worry. You can use the paint at any time that suits you within this timeframe. Make sure to store the deck stain in a temperature-controlled room. Do not let the stain freeze.
In the case that your stain has been stored for quite a while, it is recommended to take the can to a DIY store and have them use the shaker to help remix the stain and make sure it is ready for use.
Partially used cans
A more common problem is that you have already opened the can of stain, completed your deck and it is now only half-used. What can you do in this case? Most opened stains can last 12+ months if stored correctly with the lid tightly sealed. If the substance has contact with the air, the solvents will evaporate and you won’t be able to use your stain again so it’s important to ensure the container is sealed correctly.
Things to note when putting your deck stains away
The ideal environment for storing your deck stain is a cool, dry room with a steady temperature. You should also ensure that the stain cans are not exposed to direct sunlight.
Sometimes you are left with a few half-used cans of stain. In this case, you’re better off mixing them together.
The tips outlined in this article are there to help you save money. If you follow them, you will increase the shelf-life of your deck stains.
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As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.