Want to Know When to Stain a Deck? Here Are 5 Things You Should Keep in Mind

June 8, 2021

Does your deck need an upgrade? Have you noticed it cracking and peeling lately? Maybe you just built a new deck but have no idea what to do next.

Give your deck a makeover by staining it! Staining not only looks great but also protects the wood from water damage and revitalizes your backyard and home. 

How do you know when to stain a deck? Here are the 5 things to think about when you're preparing your new or well-loved deck for the staining process.

1. Why Is It Important to Stain Your Deck?

Deck staining is essential to the health and upkeep of your deck. Rain and snow can damage your deck over time if you don't stain and seal the wood.

Not only does staining help keep your deck healthy, but it also looks fantastic. If your wood looks weathered or is peeling, now is an excellent time to considering staining and sealing your deck. The stain will help keep the splinters at bay, allowing your deck to be used for many more years.

If your deck is new, there are many benefits to staining and finishing your deck now. A new deck can be costly, and you want to make sure you protect your investment for years to come.

A new deck with exposed wood will need to be stained and sealed within 2-3 months. Keep this in mind when you start building.

2. What Kind of Wood is Your Deck Made From?

Determining what kind of wood your deck is made from can help you decide how often you need to refinish and stain your deck. The most common types of wood are redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated. Each of these types of wood has its benefits. You want to pick a stain that matches the natural wood finish of your deck. 

Different types of wood will need to be treated in different ways. For example, pressure-treated wood will resist rot but can more easily warp or shrink due to its lower price.

Cedar planking is used fairly often in deck building. Cedar is a softwood and can get banged up pretty easily. You want to stain and seal cedar as soon as possible.

3. When to Stain Your Deck

Determining the right time to stain and seal your deck is essential. There are certain times of year that are better for this kind of work than others. Figuring out the best time to get started comes down to a few things. 

Figuring out the best temperature is critical to consider when staining a deck. You might think that the middle of summer would be the best time for this kind of work, but harsh UV light can cause the stain not to adhere properly.

Late spring and early fall are much better for refinishing your deck. During these times of the year, the temperatures generally aren't extreme. You don't want to be refinishing your deck when it's very humid or hot. If it's too humid, the wood will absorb the moisture in the air; if it's too hot, the stain can dry too quickly, causing streaks.  

The other thing you need to keep in mind is the daily forecast. Ensure there isn't any rain coming up. The stain will not soak in if the wood is wet. Keep in mind, if you have decided to stain and seal your deck in the fall, wet leaves are not your friend. If they fall on your deck, it can cause imperfections. 

Find a week where the temperature is between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Sunny and dry for at least two days. This is the perfect deck staining weather!

Understanding when to stain your deck can help you prepare for when the time comes.

4. Preparing Your Deck 

Staining your deck is a great way to increase its longevity and protect against the elements, but if you don't prepare it for refinishing, it can cause many problems in the future.  


Your deck should be cleaned before refinishing. If you use a pressure washer, you need to make sure your deck has a few rain-free days to dry before staining.

Check to make sure there are no oil stains. You want to ensure all dust and dirt have been swept away. Make sure you get into all of the cracks and crevices with a tool to dig out any dirt that may have collected around screws or hard-to-reach places. If you desire, you can use a deck cleaner to help with the process. 

If your deck is attached to the house, make sure you protect the siding of your house with painter's tape before the staining and refinishing process. 

5. Other Things You Should Know About Deck Staining

Applying too much stain to a deck can cause a ton of issues down the line. You don't want there to be puddles of stain that won't soak into the wood.

If your deck is covered, you will probably still need to stain it and refinish it at some point. The rain and snow can still soak into the wood even if it's covered. 

Damaging the wood on your deck can be costly to replace. Hiring a professional for your deck resurfacing needs can save you time and money down the line. 

Are You Ready to Refinish Your Deck?

When the weather is nice, you want to spend as much time as possible out on your deck. If you want a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing place to spend your summers with family and friends, reach out and book an appointment

Still don't know if it's the right time to stain your deck? If you have any further questions, you can also reach us through our contact page.

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