What You Need To Know Before Staining Your Own Deck

Posted on: 3 September 2014

Depending on the type of stain and sealant you use, you should generally have your wooden deck re-stained and sealed every one to five years. The cost of hiring a professional to do the staining for you can be quite high, however--especially if you have a larger-sized deck. Therefore, you might be considering the option of doing your own deck staining and sealing. While this can certainly be a great way to save money, there are a few vital things you'll want to know before you decide to take on a deck staining project yourself.

Railings Will Take Awhile

If your deck has railings, you should anticipate that they're take a long time to stain and seal. Some homeowners underestimate the amount of time the project will take because they fail to realize this. Unlike staining the floorboards of your deck, which can be done with a paint sprayer or a large paint roller, your deck's railings will require a more precise and careful touch. Depending on the size of your deck and the number of railings and spindles your deck has, you should set aside the appropriate amount of extra time. As a general rule of thumb, it'll take one person about an hour to stain a 3-meter section of deck railing with spindles.

Preparation is Key

If you want the stain and sealant to properly adhere to your deck, then you'll want to make sure that you properly clean the wood ahead of time. This includes not only power washing the wood (using a power setting no greater than 2.8 GPM) to remove any dirt and debris, but also carefully sanding down any rough areas. If your deck is in particularly rough shape, there are products made specifically for deck cleaning and restoring that you can find at your local home improvement store.

Regardless, cleaning your deck before staining is important and will help ensure the best results. Just be sure that, after cleaning, the deck is dry for at least 24 hours before you begin staining.

Working in Small Areas is Best

As you're staining your deck, be sure to work in small areas at a time, being careful to apply the stain evenly and avoid any puddling of the stain. This will not only help to ensure that the stain is properly applied and will adhere well to the wood, but working in small areas at a time will also help you to avoid "track marks" that can detract from the overall look of your freshly stained deck. Typically, it's best to work on no more than one section of two to three boards at a time, and that section should be no more than about a meter and a half long.

For more decking information and products to assist you, contact a specialist like Coast Fiber-Tek Products Ltd.