How to Stain a Deck for the First Time

So, here’s how to stain a deck for the first time? After you have completed the construction of that new deck, this should be the next step.

How to Stain a Deck for the First Time If you don’t stain your deck, it may be exposed to harsh weather conditions. It’s not easy to stain a deck for the first time, whether new or old. There’s a whole procedure waiting for you to get a professional, attractive result.

In summary, here’s how to stain your deck for the first time – Select a stain, prepare the deck, power wash it, and apply the stain. Also, you must know how to get rid of the spray paint smell


  • A broom, Orbital Sander or Strap
  • Rigid brush, Paint, or Deck Stain
  • Power Washer, 5-6-inch broad paintbrush
  • 2-3-inch wide paintbrush, A Paint Roller, and a Sandpaper

How to Stain a Deck for the First Time (Step by Step)

1. First Step – Choose a Stain

This is the first thing to do on how to stain a deck for the first time. Decking stains are available in oil and water-based form, and each has its own advantages.

Oil-based stain gets into wood perfectly but takes a long time to dry and usually recoats more often. Water-based stain dries quicker, has a gentler smell, and can be washed using water.

Several of them are formulated to last longer than oil-based stains. All of them are formulated to keep water away, repel mold, and stop fading caused by UV light exposure.

2. Second Step – Prepare the Deck

It’s good to start by preparing the deck’s surface before you can apply any paint or stain.

Use a strap or orbital sander for sanding the deck lightly towards the wood grain. Sweep the deck thoroughly to get rid of wood dust particles.

Then blend a batch of the deck cleaner as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply it, and then rub hard using a rigid brush.

Ensure you scrub to the direction of the wood grain so that the surface can be cleaned completely.

Repeat the procedure to clean the wood completely. However, this depends on how dirty your deck is. Also, here’re the quality deck stain for any weathered wood

3. Third Step – Power Wash

After rubbing hard, rinse the cleaner off the deck using a pressure washer. For those who use a pressure washer, use the fan or the nozzle at 40 degrees.

Be cautious not to get near the wood. The hefty, direct water pressure may cause damage to the surface of the deck.

Let the deck dry totally. This takes between 12 to 24 hours. For those without a pressure washer, rent one from your local hardware store. A garden hose can also be used with a sprayer jet on the jet spray.

4. Fourth Step – Apply the Stain

When the deck is fully dry, use painter’s tape to safeguard your home’s siding next to the deck. Use a roller to apply paint or stain. To avoid clumps and streaks, work carefully.

Paint small, 3-square feet pieces at a time, then stop for a moment with the roller and use your large paintbrush to brush the surface. This step gets rid of drips and puddles and produces a more natural brushstroke. Ensure you only stain in the wood grain.

Having someone to assist you makes the staining procedure simpler. One of you should roll the stain while the other person brushes. Consider also some swing set stains

5. Fifth Step – Paint Details

A smaller paintbrush should be used to paint deck rails, stairs, and any other remaining parts of the deck. Ensure you pay attention to the board edges so that no brushstrokes run contrary to the grain.

Allow the paint 48 hours of drying time before you can walk on it. There are various ways on how to stain a deck for the first time. See Also: Painting Vs. Staining Deck

Some of the questions you should ask yourself are, “How do I pressure wash a deck?” “How do you clean a deck using a brightener?” “How do you select a deck stain?” Well, let’s look at these few questions. 

How do you Power Wash a Deck?

If you’re doing a facelift to an old deck as a portion of your home improvement project, get rid of mold, dust, and grease before painting it.

You may desire to use a deck power washer to get the job done more effectively. A power washer may have multiple household uses in the home and is often used for most home improvement projects.

You don’t necessarily require buying a new power washer if you won’t use it often. Most of the home improvement centers like Home Depot usually rent out power washers. 

See Also: Semi-Transparent Deck Stain

How to Clean your Deck Using a Brightener?

Usually, plain water can be used to pressure wash a deck adequately. If the wood is blackened heavily by mold and mildew, you may require a wood cleaner with sodium chloride.

If you do so, this brightens the deck and restores its natural color. See Also: What are the best deck stains for pressure-treated wood?

How To Select a Deck Stain?

There are diverse ranges of stains in the market, from clear to solid ones. There’s also another class of semi-clear or semi-solid stains. The ultimate choice relies on your individual preference and condition. Here’ a hint on the two-deck stains.

1. Solid-based stain

It offers more protection and doesn’t require retouch for a long time. Powerful solid stains are ideal for providing cover to your deck’s natural wood shade.

2. Clear Stain

This type of stain requires a lot of work. The best thing about them is that they are perfect at showing wood grain. However, if you choose this stain, you have to re-stain it now and then.


If you’re new to deck staining, follow the guidelines stated above. You’ll possibly be smiling after completing the procedure when you look at the attractive deck.

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