Staining a Deck

Many UK homeowners go into a deck staining project full of enthusiasm as the prospect of keeping the wood safe and strong appeals to them. However, a poor attempt on their part leaves the decking in real danger and their initial delight turns to despair. Luckily for you, we have a step-by-step guide that will have you staining your deck like a professional.

Be Patient!

When staining your deck, you need to take your time and prepare properly. Nothing affects the quality of the task like the length of time you took to complete it. If you rush it, the results will be extremely poor and you’ll have to try again. It is best to wait until the treated decking has weathered for a few months before staining it. If you are staining an older deck, you will need to remove dirt, mildew, greying from the sun and old stains before proceeding. Use a Sodium Percarbonate wood cleaner unless there are lots of old stains in which case you’ll need a paint stripper. If there are small spots left after this process, use sandpaper to get rid of them.

Brighten & Rinse

Apply a wood brightener to open up the wood’s surface which leads to improved penetration and the neutralisation of stain strippers previously used. All you have to do is spray, wait a few minutes and rinse off. When you have finished cleaning, end the task by performing one last rinse to thoroughly remove the chemicals.


A semi-transparent wood stain tends to provide the best deck staining experience. This is because it lets the wood’s natural grain shine through, enables the wood to breathe easily and is easy to clean off and reapply. Always read the directions and resist the temptation to apply an excessive amount because doing this will only give you a shiny finish that will peel off. Additionally, too much staining prevents the wood from breathing which inevitably causes peeling. Therefore, you only need to add an amount of stain that can be comfortably absorbed by the wood.

Although using a paint sprayer will get the job done quickly, there is something to be said for having a traditional paint brush in hand. An old-fashioned brush works the stain deep into the pores of the wood and the friction it causes results in more stain being absorbed. By all means use a paint sprayer but use a brush on the wood when the stain is still wet for superior penetration.


When the deck staining project is completed, give it at least 24 hours to dry fully before use. You can keep your deck looking fantastic with a minimal amount of effort. Wash it down with a water hose every so often to get rid of dirt and other debris. If it starts to lose its colour, add some brightener and a small coat of stain. That’s pretty much all there is to the process of staining your deck. Once you have taken your time and applied it correctly the first time around, very little maintenance needs to be performed and your deck could last for decades.