This post was updated on May 2, 2022
Deck stain sticky after applying?
Staining your deck is not the easiest task as there are lots of things that can go wrong during the whole process. It could be that you applied your stain the day before a rainstorm or you could have over-applied your stain, leaving it sticky and tacky
As a rule, when you make the decision to stain a large area, it’s prudent to invest in proper applicators like a stain pad, a paintbrush, or even some sort of sprayer to apply the stain evenly.
Give the deck approximately half an hour to really soak up all the wood stain and then go over it with a wipe to get rid of any excess liquid. You can use this opportunity to fix any runs or drips, too. If using an oil-based deck stain, make sure to soak all oily rags in water and lay flat to dry outdoors.
The main reason that decks are left with ugly, shiny pockmarks is that the stain did not soak in properly and was left to dry. If you should find yourself in that situation, it’s important to know what to do.
After the drying, take a look at your deck to get an idea of exactly which areas have too much stain. It couldn’t be simpler to remove them, just grab an old rag and a bottle of mineral spirits lightly going over the affected areas.
In the very worst-case scenario, the spots might be a little more troublesome and require a stain stripper. This can be a tricky process so some people prefer the alternative – a sander.
IMPORTANT: When re-applying the stain, do not overapply. A good sign to help you realize the wood has had enough coverage is when the liquid has not been absorbed after 30-60 minutes.
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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.