How do you prepare decking for staining?

Asked By: Zahira Gaston | Last Updated: 24th April, 2020
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Prep the Surface
The wood needs to be free of dirt and stains for the stain to adhere properly. Start by sanding splintered spots, wearing a safety mask to avoid inhaling the dust. Sweep the deck and use a putty knife to clean between the boards. Clean the wood by applying a deck cleaner.

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Likewise, do you need to use deck cleaner before staining?

Applying Deck Cleaner Deck cleaners help remove dirt, nail stains, algae and mildew. If your deck isn't brand-new, always use a cleaner before applying finish.

Likewise, do you have to sand before staining? How To: Sand Wood Before Staining. It all starts with sanding. You need a smooth surface with no blemishes because stain will highlight scratches and dings in the wood. Always sand down to clean wood (if you have enough meat left of the wood) before applying any stain.

In this way, is it better to stain or seal a deck?

Surfaces such as decks, wood siding, fences, and so on need a protective coating to keep from weathering so fast. A deck sealer is typically a clear or transparent finish that either penetrates into the wood or forms a clear film on top. A deck stain has the same water-resistant qualities that a deck sealer does.

How long do you have to wait to stain a deck after power washing?

48 hours

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Do I need to sand my deck after pressure washing?

Once dry, these wood fibers can often remain raised and may cause splinters. For this reason, you should plan on sanding your wood deck after power washing and before staining and sealing. Make sure your deck is thoroughly dry before you sand.

Can I use Dawn to clean my deck?

Apply Soapy Water to Your Deck
Pour a medium amount of Dawn® dishwashing liquid into your bucket—about twice the amount you'd use to wash a sink full of dishes. Using the deck brush, apply the soapy water liberally to all surfaces you want to clean.

How do I know if my deck is dry enough to stain?

One way to measure if the deck is dry enough for staining is by using a moisture meter. A moisture meter measures the amount of moisture in the wood. There are one to two probes on the meter that stick into the wood to give you a reading. If using this method, be sure to check the moisture level in several spots.

Is Deck Cleaner necessary?


Pressure treated wood requires cleaning about every two to three years, but also needs the application of a new finish afterward. Composite material decks do not require refinishing, but the materials are prone to mold and mildew and should be cleaned at least every few years.

How do I stain my new deck for the first time?

Stain New Deck Right Away.
  1. Not the most common approach but can be done if you prep properly.
  2. Apply a wood deck cleaner and thoroughly scrub and or pressure wash lightly. Neutralize with a wood brightener.
  3. Apply a deck stain that is "thin" in viscosity.

How long does deck stain last?

approximately four years

Does wood have to be completely dry to stain?

However, green-treated, pressure-treated wood should be allowed to dry out for 30-90 days before applying the first stain. Always make sure the deck is clean and dry before you begin staining. Wait at least 24 hours after washing your deck to apply stain. Most stains require at least 2-3 hours for drying.

What happens if you stain a wet deck?


You need to avoid staining your deck for at least 24 to 48 hours if it gets wet. Moisture present in the wood prevents the stain from correctly adhering to the deck, resulting in a thinner coat which will result from washing off after a few rainstorms.

Should water bead be stained deck?

It should be. When water beads up on your ipe deck (or any deck for that matter), that means the finish is repelling moisture and doing its job. The finish on your deck sacrifices itself to the elements in the process of protecting the wood.

How often should you stain your deck?

Most pros recommend you restain a horizontal surface every two to three years. That said, properly preparing, cleaning and drying the surface before applying a stain will yield the best results for the stain to last at least that long. You want to make sure there are no traces of sealant present on the deck.

Can you pressure wash stain off a deck?

Pressure washing removes all but the most durable deck finishes, but that's not all it removes. The high-pressure stream of water is effective against finishes because it is actually capable of removing the layer of wood to which the finish adheres.

What color should I stain my deck?

Gray can also work with contrasting colors like black and white to provide a sophisticated palette. Many homeowners like natural wood stain colors like Cedar because they are lighter and work well with country and rustic designs.

How do I Restain my deck the same color?


Remove any existing deck stain color using a paint stripper or sander. Make sure the paint or stain is uniformly removed from the wood surface and no patches remain. This will help your new stain look the same across every part of the deck. Once all of the color is removed, you can proceed to cleaning the deck.

Can you stain a deck that has been painted?

So, you want to stain your painted deck but you don't want to sand off the old paint. Revive the deck using a solid stain. Unlike thin, transparent stains that penetrate into the wood, solid stain sits on top of the wood, like paint, to form a uniform coat. Use a paint roller to get the job done like a professional.

Can I stain over paint?

To stain over paint, you can use gel stain, which is able to stick to painted surfaces. Use a gel stain that's darker than the paint color or else it might not show up very well. Before you apply the gel stain, you'll need to lightly sand the surface to get rid of any bumps.