Summer is finally here which means BBQ's and family fun on the deck. For many people this also means it's time to give that deck a fresh coat of stain to freshen it up and get it looking nice again. If you're going to stain your deck, you can definitely get professional results. Check out our tips below to help make your deck look great.

1. Before staining, clean it!

Before staining, all decks should be pressure washed. Often times just washing with water works, but if your deck has mold or mildew you will want to mix in a good deck cleaner, or mix one part bleach to one part water. When pressure washing, take care to use just enough pressure to get your deck clean, but not so much that it damages the wood. After washing you will want your deck to dry at least 48 hours before staining.

2. Check the weather

After your deck has dried, you will want to stain during the right weather conditions - not too hot or too cold. You want the temperature to be between 50 and 90 degrees, and on a warmer day, your stain job will work best if you are working in the shade. The reason for this is, a hot deck speeds up the dry time of the stain. If the stain dries too fast it becomes difficult to apply evenly and the finish may turn out blotchy. Additionally you will want to pick a time to stain when there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours after you stain.

3. Oil or water base?

This depends on if you want your deck to be stained with a color that is semi-transparent, or solid. If you're doing a semi transparent, oil base is better because oil does a better job of repelling water. If you want a solid color, water base is best for color retention. Note that solid colors in general do not waterproof as well as semi-transparents because they do not penetrate into the wood as well. Product quality matters here too as better products perform better, look better, and last longer.

4. Use a brush

A deck stain can be initially applied with a brush, sprayer, or roller, but ideally you want to finish the stain with a brush. In order for your stain to work best, it needs to be worked into the wood grain and a brush is the best tool for doing that. When working on a deck floor, ideally you want a brush that is as wide as your planks. On your railings and spindles a 2" to 3" brush is best. When brushing, work with the direction of the wood grains and brush out enough so that the stain doesn't puddle. If you leave puddles behind, normally stains will crack or peel in those areas.

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TWP Stain
PPG Flood Semi-Transparent Stain
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PPG Flood Solid Color Stain


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