What is the Easiest Way to Stain a Deck?  5/5 (1)

This post was updated on February 24, 2024

What is the easiest way to apply a deck stain to a deck and which tools to use? This varies on the deck stain type you are using and the brand as well. We will list your best and easiest tool options for applying to each stain type.

See our Deck Stain Facts section with over 150 simple Q&A articles that answer all the questions that you have regarding deck staining, cleaning, and prep.

How to Apply a Clear Sealer Easily

-Clear deck sealers are very easy to apply. Any of these deck staining tools will work:

  • Pump up Sprayer Best way to spray a clear sealer fast.
  • Deck Stain Pads Best option for vertical rails and siding.
  • Floor Soft Bristle Brush Easiest option for floors and horizontals.
  • Brushes Can be messy if the sealer is thin in consistency.
  • Rollers Clear sealers can splatter when applied.

How to Apply a Semi-Transparent Wood Stain Easily

-Transparent and semi-transparent sealers are relatively easy to apply but they can vary based on the brand. Some brands are thicker than others. The thicker the stain, the less chance you will be able to use a pump sprayer and may need to use a roller over a floor brush.

  • Pump up Sprayer Best way to spray a semi-transparent stain fast. Always back wipe drips and runs to ensure it is applied evenly.
  • Professional Airless Paint Sprayer Very easy to apply but watch overspray.
  • Deck Stain Pads Best option for vertical rails and siding.
  • Floor Soft Bristle Brush Easiest option for floors and horizontals.
  • Brushes Can be drippy if the stain is thin in consistency.
  • Rollers Semi-transparent stains can splatter when applied.

How to Apply a Semi-Solid Deck Stain Easily

-Semi-Solid Deck Stains are much thicker and can hide the wood grain. Application varies based on if oil-based or water-based and how thick the viscosity of the stain.

  • Professional Airless Paint Sprayer Best options for fast application.
  • Floor Soft Bristle Brush Easiest option for floors if oil-based. Will not work well for water-based semi-solid stains.
  • Brushes Best option for vertical rails and siding.
  • Rollers Used for deck flooring and horizontals.

How to Apply an Opaque Solid Color Deck Stain Easily

-Solid color deck stains can only be applied with the tools below.

  • Professional Airless Paint Sprayer Best options for fast application.
  • Brushes Used for vertical rails and siding.
  • Rollers Used for deck flooring and horizontals.

More Info on Easiest Way to Stain a Deck

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Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
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.
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