Are you considering staining your wooden deck in the Woodlands, Texas? Good move. Deck staining is the best way to protect it against harsh exterior conditions such as rain, glaring sunlight, temperature fluctuations, and bugs. Additionally, deck staining adds a beautiful touch to your home’s exterior, especially if it’s a front-facing deck.

But while it might sound like a simple DIY weekend project, deck staining can be quite challenging for people without the right tools and experience. If not done right, the deck definitely won’t look great, and the stain won’t last long either. If you’re planning to stain your own, here are four quick deck staining tips to help you get both great looking and long lasting results.

1. Take Time on Surface Preparation
If you ever read or watched any home painting tutorial, you probably already know that surface preparation is a critical part of any painting process. Without proper surface preparation, your stained deck will look sketchy and start fading sooner than you expected. If it’s a new deck, you might not have much surface preparation to do, however, you will need to allow it time to dry out and settle before staining.

Before painting, make sure the surface is thoroughly cleaned using either a pressure washer or a sponge and water. For decks that have so much accumulated dirt and debris, you will need a wash using a hard broom and some detergent. If there is a buildup of old stains on the deck, you might need something like sodium percarbonate wood cleaners. If there are small spots of stain that won’t come off during cleaning, you might need to use a stain stripper or a palm sander to remove them.

2. Rinse Thoroughly
Most DIY painters tend to skip straight to staining right after the first cleaning process. If you’ve used any chemicals to clean your deck, you need to rinse your deck thoroughly with plenty of clean plain water. While some of these chemicals might seem harmless and safe, they can later resurface down the line and start breaking down your new stain. Rinsing also helps to get rid of any residual dust that might have been created during sanding. Once you’re done rinsing, allow the deck to dry completely before moving to the next step.

3. Choose the Right Quality Stain
There’re three main types of stains to choose from; clear/transparent stains, semi-transparent stains, and solid stains. Clear stains tend to allow the wood characteristic features such as grain and knots to show through –which might be beautiful or unappealing, depending on your taste. Semi-transparent paints alter the color of the wood a little but still allow some of the wood character to show through.

Lastly, solid stains are more like paint –they don’t get absorbed into the wood, instead, they form a solid film on the surface of the wood. Solid stains are typically used on old decks where you want to cover up any surface imperfections. Whichever type of stain you choose, always make sure that it’s high-quality and from a reputable manufacturer.

4. More IS NOT Always Better
If you’re still wondering which type of stain to use, the semi-transparent wood stain is the most appropriate option for most situations. It allows the wood grain to show through, the wood to breathe and still offers effective surface protection qualities. But while at it, don’t use too much stain as it might lead to the formation of puddles and brush marks. Applying just enough stain that can be absorbed prevents peeling and cracking down the line.

The Bottom Line
If you follow the above four4 quick tips, your deck staining in the Woodlands, TX shouldn’t be that much difficult. This is definitely not a definitive guide to painting a deck, but just to point out a few tips that most DIY painters miss.

If you don’t have the experience and right tools, we highly recommend that you hire a professional painting company in the Woodlands, TX such as Streamline Painting & More to help you out. Book a FREE estimate below or simply call us to get started.