A Stained Patio or Deck Takes Your Backyard to the Next Level

It may take a bit of time and preparation to get your backyard deck or patio ready for staining, but the result is worth it. These steps will get you started and guide you throughout your latest project.

Use this guide to transform your backyard's old deck into a beautiful outdoor space the whole family will want to spend time on!


It's important to use the right project materials, the wrong tools can really make a difference in the outcome.

The following materials should be on your must-have shopping list:

  • gloves
  • safety glasses
  • drop cloth
  • sanding sponge
  • stiff synthetic brush
  • 4" brush
  • roller
  • extension pole

Choosing the right stain

The stain you choose should depend on the appearance and durability you want to achieve. Remember: not all stains were created equal!

  • Clear: offers the least UV protection, but it provides an optimal view of the natural wood grain
  • Toner: provide a light color that highlights natural wood grain and also provides good durability
  • Semi-Transparent stains: provide very good durability as well as rich, pigmented color that allows the natural wood grain to be seen. (If the wood is badly weathered, apply two coats).
  • Solid color stains: help cover up wood blemishes or unsightly grain while offering maximum durability. (Great choice for composite decking).


Before you stain a deck, make sure the surface is clean, dry and free of mildew. If the deck is not clean, stains and other finishes have a hard time sticking to the wood and may end up peeling.

  1. Sweep the deck well enough to remove leaves and debris.
  2. Apply a deck cleaner using a roller or pump sprayer (make sure to use protective equipment to avoid skin/eye contact!)
    • Let the cleaner set for about 15 minutes. If the work area begins to dry out, lightly mist it with a garden hose while the cleaner soaks in.
    • Use a mild detergent if you find heavy grease stains.
  3. After 15 minutes, rub the cleaner into the surface using a stiff synthetic brush.
  4. Use a garden hose with a strong stream to totally rinse the cleaner from the wood. If you have a pressure washer and prefer to use it, set the tip to 1200-1400psi. Keep a distance of 8-12 inches from the surface and spray with the grain to avoid damage to the surface of the deck.
  5. Once the deck is completely dry, lightly sand any areas of new wood to remove any remaining residue.


This is the fun part! Applying stain to your deck may prove tedious, but take your time and it will turn out beautifully.

  • Before applying stain, make sire the deck was cleaned properly. To check this, sprinkle some water on the surface. If the droplets sink in, the wood is ready.
  • While working with the wood grain, apply an even coat of stain using a 4-inch brush. You may also use a roller brush for application, and then work it into the wood using a still synthetic brush.
  • Avoid staining during the hottest part of the day or in direct sunlight. If a second coat is needed, wait 4 hours between applications.
  • Allow 24-48 hours of dry time (depending on weather conditions) before using your new (or restored!) deck or porch.

Now that you have all the information necessary to stain your deck or patio, check out some of our other blogs about similar topics to get inspiration for your next project!


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