The Best Time to Stain a Deck


Staining a deck brings out the wood's natural grain while offering it a vivid flush of color. It does not peel the way paint will. Choose the best conditions for staining your deck.

Time Frame

  • Before a deck can be stained, it needs to be washed. Wash the deck with a pressure washer or by hand, and then allow it to dry for 24 hours before applying the stain. This helps the stain adhere to the wood more effectively. If the wood is new, wait until it has been weathered for a few months before staining.


  • According to Al's Home Improvement Center, solvent-base stains can be applied when the temperature ranges from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while water-based stains should not be applied unless the temperatures remain reliably above 50 degrees for at least 24 hours after staining.


  • When deciding when to stain your deck, wait for a window when there will be no rain for between 12 and 24 hours after you apply the stain. This prevents the stain from acquiring water spotting or even washing off.

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