How to Stain a Deck

We’ve stained our deck three times since we moved in (once per summer), and we finally have it down to a science. It’s an afternoon project that makes a BIG difference. And you feel accomplished…a rare feat in home improvement!

Here’s my quick and dirty how-to-stain-your-deck-in-an-afternoon directions:

1.) Power wash your deck. Do it. It makes a difference. Sure it’s a pain and you might not have a power washer handy, but borrow one. It creates a nice “blank slate” to work with.



2.) Clean and scrub. Give your deck a nice long bath. We use Behr’s 2-in-1 Wood Prep mix. It gets rid of the grim and truly preps the wood for a new coat of stain. Hose off your deck to get rid of any leftover suds and let the deck completely dry.




3.) Stain away. We chose Behr’s Semi-Transparent Deck, Fence and Siding Wood stain in coffee. Our deck is fairly old, and we’ve found that the darker the stain, the easier it is to cover imperfections in the wood. We use one paint brush for those hard to reach places and one Shur-Line Deck Pad. This is a must-have. I repeat, this is a must-have. It spreads the stain evenly and makes staining easy. Trust me on this one – I refuse to stain anything without one.





4.) Let the stain dry for a few hours. Then step back and admire your work. And of course, ENJOY the finished product.



As for the rest of our backyard…I’ll be showing you soon!

3 thoughts on “How to Stain a Deck

  1. Two Lovely Spaces Said:

    You make it look so simple. We need to do this on our back deck ASAP. Especially considering the spring we had in Oregon! Thanks for posting, will reference when we attempt to do.

  2. [email protected] Said:

    Wow! You do make it look easy. It looks like such a nice gathering place.

  3. Ella Said:

    Just discovered your blog and deck staining is in my future this summer. We had ours built one month ago and was told to stain and protect it before fall. Yours looks great but I wonder why you do it so often? I was told to do it about every 3-4 years.


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