There’s no doubt that a stained deck can really bring a sense of class to your home, with the deep color of the wood having a more expensive and well-maintained look about it. Staining your deck can also help to bring new life to it when it’s starting to get a little old, and Atlanta painting contractors such as ourselves have lots of experiencing in high-quality deck staining. Nonetheless, here we offer you our top tips for DIY deck staining!
1. Test a small area
Be sure to clean your deck thoroughly, removing any dirt or debris on the surface of the wood (we suggest pressure washing). Then, you need to choose a small inconspicuous area of the deck to test the color out on, seeing if you like it and if they stain takes to the wood as it should.
2. Invest in a paint sprayer
After stirring or straining your stain to ensure that it is smooth and consistent, try using a paint sprayer for your application. This will allow you to ensure that the coverage is nice, even, and uniform across all the deck. It’s advisable to do a test spray first, preferably on an old piece of wood which you don’t need to look nice. This spray test is designed to see if you’ve got too much (or too little) stain coming out of the nozzle. Too much stain and the deck will be drippy… too little and the stain won’t be effective.
3. Do the railing first
It makes sense to do the railing first because you’ll be able to move freely on the deck flooring without getting covered in stain and stepping all over it.
4. Keep it moving!
When spraying, avoid spraying in one spot for too long, as this will cause the stain to build up and produce drips, making for an uneven finish! Move the sprayer nozzle around slowly as you stain, ensuring a nice and consistent finish with no drips.
5. Dress wisely
Although it should be rather obvious, you’re best off wearing clothes which you don’t mind ruining! Also, bear in mind that you’ll be doing a lot of bending and leaning, so make sure you don’t wear anything too restrictive.
6. Try using a StainStick
A StainStick is a purpose-built tool which is designed to easily apply and smooth the finish of the stain on a deck. There are many different brands and varieties available, such as Finish Max and StainStick, so be sure to look at their reviews and see which one you think may be best for your deck staining. As an Atlanta painting contractor with many years of deck-staining experience, we tend to use StainStick products, although your opinion may be different!
7. Be very careful not to step on your stained deck!
Although it seems like it should be obvious, it can be easy to forgo common sense when you’re so busy working on a complex deck staining project! When staining, start with the rail first, before then starting to stain in a corner which you can work backward from, meaning your exit isn’t impeded. You may be tempted to step over your freshly-stained deck in an attempt to fix minor errors, but we strongly encourage you to leave them until they’re dry and then come back. This segues nicely into our next tip…
8. Apply two coats for a fresh finish
If you’re looking to get the deepest and most pleasing finish possible, it may be worth applying two coats of stain after the first one has dried. Although you don’t technically have to, applying two coats of stain allows you to ensure that you’ve covered the deck evenly, mitigating the chance that you’ve “missed a spot” here and there. In addition to looking nicer, applying two coats also helps your new deck staining to last longer and keep its color for longer than a single-coat application would.
9. Keep children and pets away!
This is another tip which may seem obvious in hindsight, but many people overlook it at the time. If you’ve got kids or grandkids running around, try to stain your deck while they’re away at school, daycare, or with a babysitter – you don’t want them to run over your deck when the stain is still wet! Also, if you’ve got cats or dogs, be sure to lock them away while you stain your deck, as they may innocently walk over it and ruin both your deck and their paws! If your cat tends to wander around the neighborhood, coming and going as she pleases, you should call her in and lock her in the house to ensure that she doesn’t casually stroll across your wet deck mid-stain.
Staining your deck is a great way to breathe new life into your garden’s wooden structure without shelling out for a total replacement. If you’re not feeling up to a DIY deck staining project, why not hire an experienced Atlanta painting contractor instead? J Stevens Painting is an experienced Atlanta painting contractor with many years of experience in deck staining projects. Get in touch today!