Deck Stain Application Tips

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If you are planning to apply a deck stain to a new or old wooden deck for the first time, a few pointers about stain application could make the process go a lot faster and smoother. Knowing how different methods for applying deck stain work will help you choose the best solutions for the size and shape of your deck.

Pre-staining Tips

Brushing or rolling a stain onto a deck are effective ways of applying a finish to the wood. While they’re different methods, some common tips can apply to either procedure.

Before applying the deck stain, clean the deck thoroughly to make sure the surface is ready to receive the treatment. It’s also a good idea to plan to do the entire deck in one session if possible, since any lapse in time can create mismatched stain patterns.

The Right Tool for Even Application

The biggest issue with staining a deck is getting a smooth, even application of deck stain. This can be exceedingly difficult, since any difference in application over an area can cause the stain to be lighter or darker in any given area. In general, those who are working on staining the deck need to think about how to create the smoothest, most even look possible.

When applying stain with a roller the larger areas tend to look great. The problem with this method is in the way the edges of the roller might contact the deck, creating streaks. There’s also the issue of smaller areas such as corners. So, if you choose to roll on the deck stain, you may find that you still need to do a good amount of brushing, and the difference between the two methods can create some unsightly, uneven patches. In addition, stain can pool at the ends of the roller and drip down onto the deck, creating splotches in the stain.

Because of these pitfalls to using a roller, many experienced deck owners choose to brush the entire deck instead. This will take longer, but in many cases, the result will be a bit smoother. The trick is to brush swiftly and evenly, taking care to avoid buildup in the various nooks and crannies that prove harder to stain correctly.

Planning a Deck Stain Application

Regardless which tool you choose, another problem you may run into is getting trapped in a corner. Just like with painting, it’s important to avoid "painting" yourself into a corner. For the best results, work methodically, planning an exit strategy for finishing up the job on the right side of the deck.

An Application Alternative

For those who see this kind of task as pretty daunting, there’s another way to go about getting a smooth deck stain result. Lots of homeowners are looking at spraying deck stain as a way to get a better finished look. One drawback to this type of application is that a lot of the stain may go beyond the deck and get onto the surrounding landscaping or lawn area.

Armed with the right information, you should have no problem getting a good result for your first stain. Keep this advice in mind so you never have to redo a bad staining job.