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How To Stain Wood - 5 Steps To Take The Pain Out Of Stain

Don't feel intimidated by DIY staining, just follow these simple steps*

Don’t feel intimidated by the challenges commonly associated with staining an old deck. Imagine your end goal and use this guide to structure your process. Take your time and methodically handle each challenge that comes your way. After all, you’re only a few simple steps away from enjoying a beautifully refinished deck!


Check for nails popping out of the wood, broken screws, and any warped or broken pieces of wood. Replace any pieces that could lead to greater problems.


If you have been a dedicated deck owner (and by "dedicated" we mean that you properly clean the deck at least once a year) then cleaning shouldn’t be hard. If you’ve been slightly less dedicated, don’t fret. There are some brilliant deck cleaners that will refurbish your deck in no time. Apply the cleaner in a uniform layer- taking care to follow all safety precautions and application instructions as described on the product label. Then, scrub it with a stiff-bristle mop. Once scrubbed, wash away the grime and any old stain with a pressure washer. Let the deck completely dry.


Let the clean deck dry completely before you move on to the staining. Try using a roller, brush or a hand-pumped sprayer to apply a consistent coat. If any blotches or puddles appear, use a roller or brush to flatten them.


This step may be for the wood, but you can enjoy the drying period too with a little relaxation. Professionals say that stain needs 24 to 48 hours to dry, but read your specific stain container to make sure you’re following the directions correctly. Your region’s temperature and humidity will affect this time respectively. 

If your stain has Weather-Ready™ technology, like our MAXIMUM Clear, Toner, Semi-Transparent and Solid stains, you have a greater temperature window to apply your stain. With Weather-Ready Application, you can apply the stain to your wood in temperatures that dip to 35°F and still get great results. 

Enjoy (and Maintain)

Now get out there and enjoy! Professionals agree that you should clean your deck at least once a year. Luckily for all of us, there are  products out there that make upkeep easier than ever. Cleaners will help you keep your deck grime-free. Resurfacers make your annual maintenance, aka the gorgeous colour of your wood, easier than ever. Other than some simple maintenance, you should be all set to enjoy your deck for years to come.

*Remember to read your product's label for the most relevant and accurate prep and application instructions.

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