(Closed) Have you ever stained a deck or wood fence?

posted 5 years ago in Home
Post # 3
1999 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@Mrs. Wallaby:  My Dad always uses a brush, he says paint pads are rubbish because they make it really hard to spread the paint evenly. 

I’ve helped him a few times and it was pretty easy. Dip, paint, repeat until you’re blue in the face ๐Ÿ™‚ 

But make sure the wood is clean, dry, well sanded off and smooth, otherwise the stain won’t be even!  

Post # 4
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Fence, no, but we do our deck every few years.  It’s a pain in the ass and I always end up covered in stain speckles.  ๐Ÿ™‚

We use a sprayer and brush combo – spray it on and brush it in.  Stain is pretty watery, so it’s hard to get on with a brush.  The sprayer is for stain, but it’s like the lawn ones, just a little bigger.  You do have to be careful up against stuff – we have a big shield with a broomhandle. 

The best thing we bought when we did it this year was a brush the width of the boards on the deck that you can put on a broomhandle, so the brushing person didn’t have to bend over.  One of us would spray (me, he sucks at it), and one of us would brush it in (him, he’s anal about it), then move on to the next set of 3-4 boards (and go back and brush in the overspray).  Our deck is pretty big and we did it all in one weekend (plus I’m an awesome wife and had it powerwashed during the week while he was on a trip so it was good and dry).

Powerwash first – keep it moving so you don’t ding it up, but don’t be afraid to get in there if it’s dirty (shouldn’t be if it’s new construction, but still clean it first).  The first time we did it we used all the nasty strippers since the previous owners had paint on parts of if.  Now I just powerwash whatever comes up and stain over it.  Using the same color and doing two coats you can’t tell.  You might need the neutralizer stuff if it’s green wood, ours is so old and dry it sucks it right up.

My last tip – leave your toenail polish on ’till you’re done.  Stain doesn’t come off my nails, and sticks to my polish, but then it all comes off together.  ๐Ÿ™‚

ETA – we get it all at Home Depot.  A 5 gallon pail does our deck in 2 coats juuuust barely.  We always buy it on a holiday weekend when that stuff is $5/gal or $25/5 gal off. 

Post # 6
9198 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@Mrs. Wallaby:  Do you read Young House Love?  Best home reno blog ever.  They have a ton of posts about staining – just use the search function on their website.

Post # 7
6824 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We stained our deck definately use brush and will probably require more than 1 quote of stain.

Post # 9
46416 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Mrs. Wallaby:  My best advice is to look on the website of the company who makes the stain you are going to use.

Post # 10
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Mrs. Wallaby:  Yes!  We have stained a deck!

We went with Messmer’s UV deck stain.  It gets applied with a sponge, then you let it sit.  Wipe off with cloths after 30 minutes.  I did use a brush to apply it to the stairs and the sides, but the deck surface is where we used the sponge pad (quicker and more even distrubution).  Messmer’s also required a CLEAN deck so we bought a deck cleaner solution.  Then it has to dry for 24 hours. Then you must apply the Messmers after the sun has set (no direct light on the deck as you apply it).  It was kid of a pain in the ass! 

We have also tried Sikkens stain and it did not last one year on a brand new deck.  We had to sand all of that off before we started with the Messmer’s.

The type of wood you have also matters on which type of stain.  Do LOTS of research!  We have tigerwood for our deck.


Post # 11
12248 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

My family re-stains the deck every 3-5 years! It’s easy but time consuming. I would assume a fence wouldn’t be too different…

Post # 12
3773 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

My Darling Husband and I actually built our fence ourselves and this year we re-stained it. We bought a paint gun made to spray stain as well. It worked so well, and was so much faster than when we originally stained it with a brush/cloth.

Post # 14
10573 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

@Mrs. Wallaby:  Post what you do!  It isn’t new, but our deck really needs to be stained.  I don’t think anyone did it after the first time, and it’s 6 years old.  I doubt we’ll get to it before it snows, it’s probably already a little too cold, but next year for sure!

Post # 15
6124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Mrs. Wallaby:  We put it on in June.  It looks better than the Sikkens did at this oint  However, it’s a little ‘dull’ looking so we’re going to put on another coat before the snow flies.  It’s not peeling or bare in places (like Sikkens), but looks like it needs more of a coat.  We’ll probably stick with it for a few years.

No sanding this time, thank goodness!


The Lowe’s lady was raving about Cabot the Australian oil.  I did buy that to restain a wooden bench though.  It’s looking very nice right now (but more protected from elements).

Post # 16
2533 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I would power wash the fence first, just to make sure it’s clean.

Added bonus: power washers feel like flamethrowers but with less fire (hopefully haha)

And then for a fence, I would brush the stain on, starting from the top and brushing toward the bottom. I’d buy a brush the width of a single fence board (well, I’d buy two and try to get a helper) I’ve sprayed stain (well, OK; natural-colored sealer) before and it’s a little tricky to get the correct coverage. I think next time I’d rather just do it with the brush and hope for less touch-ups down the line.

By The Way, try to look at stains which also seal out water. I’m not sure about fences, but it really helped our deck look less shabby.

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