How to Stain a Deck for Rain


Decks made of wood are very susceptible to the elements because plain wood may absorb water, which can lead to deterioration of the wood. One way to protect a wooden deck from rain and give the wood a darker, more desirable color is treating it with wood stain. Wood stain contains materials that absorb into wood and then bond with it as they dry, which prevents water from readily absorbing into the wood and causing damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Paintbrush
  • Paint Roller
  • Paint Tray
  • Deck Stain
  • Broom
  • Leaf Blower
  • Thin Chisel
  • Check the forecast every day and wait for a day that has little to no chance of rain to begin staining.

  • Use a chisel or other flat implement to clear out any gunk between the boards of the deck. Twigs, dirt and other things caught between the boards may interfere with staining and can dirty paintbrushes and stain quickly.

  • Use a broom to sweep off the surface of the deck prior to staining. Sweep along the direction of the grain, otherwise you will likely sweep pebbles and twigs back into the cracks between the deck boards. If you have access to a leaf blower, use it to blow off any particles that you miss.

  • Read the directions on your can of wood stain carefully and make sure to follow any special recommended preparations.

  • Starting from one side of the deck, use your paintbrush to paint stain onto the deck boards, painting with the grain. You can paint three or four boards at a time as you move down the deck. Make sure you plan your staining in such a way that you will not have to walk across an area that you have already stained until it is dry. Do not touch any area that you have stained.

  • Pour stain into a paint tray and use a paint roller to roll stain over large areas of deck more quickly. Using a paintbrush can be more precise than using a paint roller, but it also takes more time. If you have the time, you can use a paint brush to finish the whole job, but if you want to finish faster, especially if bad weather is coming, consider using a roller.

  • Use a paintbrush to spread stain between the boards. This also smooths any drips caused by the roller.

Tips & Warnings

  • * Spread stain evenly and do not coat the deck with too much stain. * After you start staining a deck you should finish staining the whole thing in one work period. This will help all the stain dry under similar conditions, which will make the deck look better. * Deck stain can wear out over time; you may wish to restain your deck every few years to maintain its resistance to train. * After a rain shower you may wish to push water off the deck with wet mop. Rain tends to bead up and sit in puddles on top of a stained deck instead of penetrating the wood, but allowing water to sit on stained wood can still wear it down over time.
  • * Wood stain fumes can be harmful to breathe; always use stain in well ventilated areas. Decks are usually well ventilated, but avoid opening stain cans in an enclosed space like a basement.

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