How to Stain an Old Deck

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Old decks can come back to life just by applying stain. All you need is a few tools, ladder, deck stain and a nice dry day. Here's tips on making the your project go smoothly.

Things You'll Need

  • Deck cleaning products or power washer
  • Deck stain
  • Rollers, brushes, paint tray
  • Ladder if needed
  • Gather material. Prepare your project of staining an old deck by gathering the materials needed; paint brushes, rollers, paint tray, deck stain, ladder and power washer. Deck cleaning products can be used instead of a power washer and are available at any home improvement store. If you prefer a power washer and don't own one, check out your local rental store for availability.

  • Prep. Before cleaning, inspect the deck for loose or rotted boards and replace if needed. Hammer loose nails back in or better yet, replace with screws. Using a power washer or deck cleaning products clean the deck thoroughly. Get in between the planks and clean off any mildew. Be sure to clean everywhere you need to stain.

  • Stain deck. After the deck has dried from cleaning it's time to stain you old deck. Use the paint brushes to stain railing and slats making sure to get stain on both sides. A roller can be used on the floor of your old deck and will make the job go faster. Be generous with the stain so it will soak into the wood and protect it from the weather.

  • After the stain is applied, it's time to clean up. Follow manufacturer's directions on the deck stain container for instructions on how to clean up. When completely dry enjoy your old deck that looks new again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spraying stain on is an option instead of rolling.
  • Keep safety in mind while using any chemical. Read the manufacturer's label.
  • Keep ladder on level surface.

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  • Photo Credit Mary Lou Mortorff
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