After taking the painstaking measures of preparing your deck or patio for staining, the most work-intensive part of this DIY project is finished! Now’s it’s time to apply your wood finish, but exactly what is the best way to go about this task? The following are a few tips that can help you perfect the job.

    • Taping off surrounding areas such as the siding of your house can ensure a crisp finished edge, as well as keep those areas free from any product.
    • Carefully consider the directions on the manufacturer’s label – especially in natural/organic alternatives – because every product is different.
    • Testing a small area and allowing it to dry will prevent any surprises and give you a better idea of your final product.
    • Using a stain pad will provide you with a smooth finish without being laborious like other application tools. Note: Using roller covers is highly discouraged for wood finishes.
    • If you choose to use a brush, natural bristled brushes are the most effective for the job.
  • When you begin, stain smaller areas such as tight spaces, molding, and railings first.
  • Start staining from the back of the deck towards its outer edge to avoid cornering yourself.
  • Stain two to three boards at a time from one end to the other using long strokes.
  • Work in the direction of the boards and do not forget to apply the product between the boards.
  • To avoid “lap marks” mid-board, work fast enough so that you are brushing wet stain into wet stain.
  • New decks should only need one coat of oil-based stain, but a second coat may be needed for older decks depending on their condition.
  • It is important to note that more stain is not better, as applying it too heavily may cause it to crack or peel. It may even become a sticky surface that will not properly dry.
  • Upon completion of your project, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on proper follow-up care.

Keeping these tips in mind should make any work you do to your deck or patio a breeze. Being mindful of proper upkeep – such as sweeping leaves and other debris off your deck – will insure the longevity of your deck’s new look.