How to Prepare a Deck for Stain

There’s your deck; gray and brown, uninviting and driving your guests inside. You could spend thousands to build a new deck, or you could make it look almost new by putting fresh stain on it. Putting stain on a deck does two things that benefit a home and homeowner: 1. It makes the deck look better, and in turn, the house as well. 2. It protects the deck from the elements, including rain, snow, and the harmful effects of sun, which makes the deck last longer. Staining a deck is a fairly easy job for a homeowner as long as prep work is completed properly so that the stain can adhere to the wood properly.

  1. Clean all dirt and debris off of the deck. In most cases a thorough cleaning will require sweeping then spraying it down with a garden hose or power washer with deck cleaner as detergent. In some cases, if pets have been on the deck or if food has been spilled over the course of time, washing the deck cannot get the deck completely clean, so some light sanding may need to be done to remove all residues. Without this thorough cleaning, the stain may not adhere to the deck satisfactorily in those spots with stains, so you could be wasting your time and money. A clean deck is a deck ready for staining!
  2. Once the deck has been swept, the easiest way to apply the cleaner or the soap to the deck is use a hand sprayer that can get the cleaning product between boards.
  3. After the cleaner has been allowed to sit and soak into the wood for 15 minutes, it is time to use a garden hose or a power washer. Take your time to remove as much of the dirt and stains off as possible. If using a power washer, keep the wand at least 10 inches from the deck so the high pressure won’t hurt the wood grain, and move the wand in the same direction as the grain.
  4. Once the deck has dried completely, double check for stains, and prepare to stain your deck to make it look new again.

Looking for a deck stain with lasting power and excellent water repellency? Try Majic Paints Latex House & Deck Stain in solid colors or a semi-transparent finish.