Disclosure: This post is sponsored by HomeRight. All opinions are my own.
When we purchased our home (which was a foreclosure) in late January of this year, we were pleasantly surprised to find that a brand new deck had recently been added. We knew that one of our big projects this year would be staining and sealing it, and we hoped to get that done in the spring before the heat of summer took over. Then I got pregnant and sick, and our project list grew so long that the poor deck kept getting pushed down on the list. Summer came along and the scorching Atlanta heat prevented us from working on it as early as we would have liked, so now it’s October and here we are. But now we are ready! Before we could really make the deck an inviting, attractive place to hang out, we had to stain and seal it. And by “we,” I mean Chris. (Just another pregnancy perk.) 😉 Luckily he had some help from HomeRight. (Read on for more about that.) Now, let’s walk through the process of how to stain a deck.
Here’s the deck before:
- Tank Sprayer
- Deck Cleaner
- HomeRight DeckPro Stain Stick with Gap Wheel
- HomeRight Deck Washer Broom
- Rubber Gloves
- Paintbrush for Oil-Based Stain
- Deck Stain and Sealer
How to Stain a Deck
Step One: Prep
The first step is to prep the deck. Our deck is made from pretreated wood, but it has weathered long enough to be stained at this point.
Use a deck cleaner to scrub all of the dirt, residue, mildew, etc. off of the surface of the wood. We used Thompson’s Deck Cleaner. The price was very reasonable and it was easy to use.
First, we swept all debris (leaves, twigs, etc) off of the deck. Then, we saturated the surrounding grass with water as directed by the product instructions. Chris donned his protective gear and got to work. (I know he was silently thanking me for the opportunity to wear spiffy yellow rubber gloves in full view of the neighbors.) He applied the deck cleaner with a tank sprayer which you can find at any hardware store, and then he allowed it to sit according to the instructions. (This may vary depending on what brand of deck cleaner you choose.)
Next, he scrubbed it with a broom and rinsed it really well with the hose making sure to wash away all of the residue.
The instructions recommend waiting 3 days before staining. Overall, the cleaning portion was easy and not overly time consuming. We definitely recommend the tank sprayer to apply the cleaner though. It saved a lot of time.
If your deck has been stained previously and is chipping or peeling, you may need to sand it down as part of the preparation process.
Step Two: Stain
After we waited 3 days, which actually turned into a week due to some unexpected rain, and the deck was thoroughly dry, it was time to stain. Now, I’m not going to sugar coat this. Staining a deck is time consuming. We have a pretty large deck, so for this size it took several hours for just one coat. The railings were the most time consuming — the main surface of the deck didn’t take too long. Although the stain we used recommended two thin coats, we went with one since it ended up going on a little thick and providing good coverage, plus the first coat itself took a ridiculous number of hours thanks to the fact that we have so many railing balusters. We may end up adding a second coat to the main surface of the deck. If you don’t have a lot of railing to cover, then this project won’t take you nearly as long. We may end up adding a second coat, but we haven’t decided yet.
One thing that did help the process go more smoothly was this awesome product from HomeRight. Chris used a brush for the railing, but for the bulk of the deck he used the HomeRight DeckPro Stain Stick with Gap Wheel.
This thing is awesome! It allows the stain to glide on evenly, saves time since you don’t have to brush the entire surface by hand, and has a wheel built in to get the stain into the gaps between boards.
Since staining a deck is generally not a super quick process, I know Chris was thankful for this time-saving tool. It took him a long time to stain the whole deck — many hours — so I can’t imagine how much longer it would have taken him without the StainStick. Plus, it saved his back since he didn’t have to bend over the whole time painting each board. You can load the stick with stain and it will dispense it onto the staining pad as you push the handle.
To load the stick with stain, you can attach it to the fill tube which clips directly onto your can of stain and then just twist the handle to draw the stain into the stick.
We decided to go with a transparent stain in a Natural Cedar Tone. We wanted as much of the wood grain to show through as possible, but we wanted a hint of color for added protection and also to make it look a little nicer.
Here is the deck now. (Excuse the uneven lighting.):
Now, we just need to arrange some furniture, add some flowers and make this deck look like an inviting place to hang out!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
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