How to Stain a Wood Deck

How to Stain a Wood Deck

Staining your wood deck is crucial for maintaining its aesthetic appeal and durability. Using high-quality products like Cabot Stain and Woodluxe by Benjamin Moore can significantly enhance the longevity and appearance of your deck. This guide provides detailed instructions on how to stain your wood deck effectively.

Step 1: Prep Before Applying Your Exterior Wood Stain

Preparation is key when staining a deck. Here are a few scenarios to guide you:

New/Untreated Wood

New or untreated wood often has a glossy sheen known as “mill glaze,” which can impede the adhesion of the stain. To break the mill glaze, follow these steps:

  1. Apply Woodluxe Wood Brightener & Neutralizer: Thoroughly scrub the wood with this product to break down the glaze.
  2. Rinse the Wood: Remove the product with a hose or power washer.
  3. Drying Time: Allow the wood to dry for at least 48 hours.
  4. Sand the Surface: Sand the entire deck with 80-grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth surface for staining.

Weathered Wood

For decks that have aged and turned gray, restoring their original look involves:

  1. Clean with Woodluxe Wood Restorer: Use a stiff brush to apply the restorer, clean the wood, and remove loose fibers.
  2. Rinse the Deck: Rinse thoroughly to remove the restorer.
  3. Apply Wood Brightener & Neutralizer: Treat the wood to brighten it and neutralize any remaining residues.
  4. Sand the Deck: Sand the surface to prepare it for staining.

Flaking or Peeling Stain

If your deck has previously stained areas that are flaking or peeling, the process involves:

  1. Remove Old Stain: Apply Woodluxe Wood Stain Remover to strip the old stain and expose the healthy wood beneath.
  2. Rinse and Treat: Rinse the deck and apply Wood Brightener & Neutralizer to clean and prepare the surface.
  3. Sand the Surface: Sand the deck thoroughly to create a smooth base for the new stain.

After Preparation:

  1. Drying Period: Allow the wood to dry for 48 hours.
  2. Weather Check: Ensure the forecast predicts rain-free weather for at least 36 hours to ensure optimal stain application conditions.

Step 2: Test Your Exterior Wood Stain’s Color

Before committing to a color, it’s essential to test the stain to ensure it meets your expectations.

  1. Use Stain Samples: Purchase Woodluxe 8 oz. Stain Samples to test different opacities and colors.
  2. Consult Experts: Visit your local Benjamin Moore store for expert advice on selecting the right stain and determining the quantity needed.
  3. Test on Spare Lumber: Apply the stain sample to a spare piece of lumber to preview the finished look.

Step 3: Apply Your Exterior Wood Stain

Deck stain can be applied in two ways: the tried-and-true combo of a roller and brush or with a pad applicator if you’re staining solo.

  1. Use a Roller and Brush: Apply the stain to large areas of wood with a roller, then use a brush to work the stain into the wood, a technique known as back-brushing. This method helps prevent lap marks and ensures an even coat. For best results, have a partner help with the back-brushing.
  2. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Stain dries quickly in direct sunlight, which can cause lap marks. Stain your deck during cooler parts of the day or when it’s shaded.
  3. Recoat Uneven Areas: If any areas dry unevenly, recoat them following the direction of the boards to blend the finish.

Step 4: Let Your Exterior Wood Stain Dry

Allow your newly stained deck to dry thoroughly:

  1. Drying Time: The stain will take about 48 hours to fully dry. Wait at least two days before allowing foot traffic on the deck to ensure the stain has been set properly.

Staining your wood deck enhances its appearance and protects it from environmental elements. You can achieve a professional finish by using premium products like Cabot Stain and Woodluxe by Benjamin Moore and following these detailed steps. For all your staining needs, visit Kucker Haney Paint Co. in Princeton, East Windsor, or Hamilton, NJ. Our expert staff and extensive product range will ensure your deck staining project is a success. Shop local and transform your deck with the best products and advice!