Operation Finish the Deck: Part 2

We sent email out last week to those of you (awesome) bloggers who offered to help us out with guest posting while we’re on vacation next month, so if you haven’t seen yours yet let me know !

Yesterday, we shared how we cleaned and prepped our deck for staining.

Today, we’re going to share how we stained our deck ourselves (and I have to say, for two people who had never stained anything before it turned out pretty darn nice).

Deck Stained

Once you’ve cleaned, prepped, and dried for a full 24 hours, you’re ready to stain! We used Baker’s Gray Away, a locally produced oil-based stain (Go Texas!) that our fencing contractors were gracious enough to leave behind. We chose oil-based because it’s the best at protecting outdoor wood, even if it is a bit more of a hassle than latex-based stain.

With any stain, one of the most crucial steps is mixing. We used a large drill mixer, but in a pinch you could go crazy with a paint stick.

Kevin And His Tools

Drill stain Mixer

To apply the stain we used a paint pad on a broom handle and a natural bristle brush recommended for oil based stain. Kevin ran the paint pad, staining three deck boards at a time from top to bottom.

Difference in Stain vs Unstained Wood

I followed behind with the brush and a Solo Cup of stain, back brushing any heavy spots and working the stain into the cracks in the deck. When we finished three boards, we moved onto the next three (we did three at a time because that was a far as I could reach with my brush).

Deck Stain Back Brush

The important thing to remember about staining your deck is that the stain isn’t just there to look good; it does a job protecting your wood, too. That’s why it is really important to make sure that you get any exposed surfaces completely covered with stain. Any area that isn’t stained is a potential weak spot for mold, mildew, and rot.

Once we finished the entire area, we allowed it to dry for about an hour. After an hour, we wiped down any still-wet spots with a lint free cloth. If you skip this step, the still-wet areas will get gummy and attract dust and dirt.

Try to keep off the deck for at least 24-hours after you finish staining.

Deck Stain DIY

Now that we’ve finished staining the deck boards, all we have to do is paint the railings! Operation Finish the Deck is nearing its end!


Have you ever stained a deck before? Did you use oil-based or latex stain? What’s your best deck-staining tip?


24 thoughts on “Operation Finish the Deck: Part 2

  1. It’s looking fantastic! We restained our deck last summer- it was a brutal job and took forever but it was worth it… mostly. For some reason after the winter thaw here we have a few places where the stain has rubbed off the boards….. not sure how / why that happened but we might be doing some touch ups this spring!

  2. I have never stained a deck, but that is on our to do list for this summer. Our deck was built last year and now that the pressure treated wood has dried it is indeed time to put the finishing touches on.
    I love how yours turned out.

  3. Pingback: Gearing Up | Little House. Big Heart.

  4. Pingback: Finishing the Backyard | Little House. Big Heart.

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