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How to Apply Deck Stain

Deck stain is an important step in your home maintenance routine. Not only does it enhance the look of your wood deck, it also waterproofs it and keeps it from warping. 

Deck stain repels water and can also help protect your wood against UV rays, even when using transparent colors, depending on the brand you use. So let’s get down to it and talk about how to stain your deck. 

The first step to staining is to pick a color and check the weather. You’ll want to stain your deck on a dry day. This is usually not a one day project, so look for a series of a few dry days in a row. When picking a wood stain color choose one that compliments your wood’s natural grain. Woodgrain can be enhanced by transparent or semi-transparent stain and sealer; though semi-transparent, semi-solid, and solid colors will cover the natural color of your wood surfaces. Arborcoat Exterior Stain by Benjamin Moore is a great choice for deck stain and you can find it at your local Brinkmann’s Hardware store. They offer standard and oil-based options of stain and sealer that can be used along with other Benjamin Moore products to get the exact look you want with the protection you need. 

Next, you’ll need to prep the deck by clearing out the area and removing the furnishings. If you see any rough spots on the wood now is the time to sand it down. If there are any missing screws or nails replace them. For plants that may be close to the deck you’ll want to wet them down and cover them with plastic for protection from the stain. 

Once the prep is done it’s time to wash the deck boards. This can be done with a pressure washer or by hand with hard bristle brushes and deck cleaner. Apply deck cleaner and let it soak in for at least ten minutes before brushing or washing it off; cleaning your deck allows for the wood stain to fully penetrate the wood and waterproof it. After this step is done you’ll need to wait at least two days for the deck to dry. Add a day if there is rain (see, we told you to check that forecast!).

Finally, it’s time to apply your stain! Follow these tips to get a perfect application:

  • Before staining use painter’s tape to protect areas like the house’s siding or metal accents 
  • Give the deck one last sweeping to get rid of any debris that settled while the deck was drying
  • Stir stain thoroughly before application and pour it into a paint tray
  • Use a test patch of wood to be 100% sure you’re satisfied with the appearance of the stain before executing the project
  • Start high and work your way down using long, even strokes. This helps prevent drips from ruining an otherwise perfect job.

By taking a little bit of time to prepare your deck, and applying your stain smoothly, you’ll have a gorgeous deck you can be proud of that will last you years and years. If you have any other questions regarding staining your deck ask the people at Brinkmann’s Hardware. Their paint department experts can answer any of your questions and even help you choose the right stain for the look you want. 

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