The Essentials of Deck Staining and Maintenance


Decks take a lot of abuse from the elements, whether it’s rain, dirt, snow, or heat. Staining your wood deck is a smart and affordable way to protect its integrity and maintain that characteristic luster of natural wood.

Discover the key aspects of deck staining and maintenance with insights from Benchmark Painting & Carpentry of Boynton!

Use a High-Quality Stain

You generally have two options for deck stains: water-based and oil-based.

Water-based stains are the simpler option. They are easier to apply and clean up after, and they are also better at color retention. However, oil-based stains are more durable and longer lasting, though they are also harder to apply and maintain. If you live somewhere with more moderate weather, a water-based stain will be more than adequate, but those who live in rainy areas may want to invest in an oil-based stain for additional water protection.

If you want to let the texture of natural wood shine through, you can buy transparent or semi-transparent stains. However, there are also solid stain options if you want to modify your deck’s coloring

Best Time to Stain a Deck

Staining is much less effective on wet wood, so you want to schedule your staining project on a sunny day when it hasn’t recently rained.

The dryer the wood, the easier the stain will go on. Similarly, you don’t want to stain a deck on an excessively hot and humid day as the excess moisture makes the staining less effective.

Deck Staining & Maintenance Tips

Maintaining deck integrity is a matter of proper care and maintenance. Below are some additional tips about the essentials of deck staining and maintenance.

  • Get in the habit of visually inspecting your deck at least once a year, preferably just before the warm season hits. Common deck problems to look for include nails, splinters, loose boards, and pests (e.g., termites)
  • If you need even more deck protection, consider investing in a deck sealant. Sealants coat your entire deck and create a virtually waterproof layer between it and the elements.
  • When applying deck stain or sealant, make sure you always wear eye protection and gloves. Also, avoid the area for at least 24 hours to let any fumes disperse.
  • Don’t use a high-pressure power washer on your deck. High-pressure jets can not only damage the sealant but can also cause chips, cracks, and splinters in the deck wood.

How Often Do I Need to Stain My Deck?

To maintain your deck, it is recommended to re-stain it every two to three years. If your deck experiences heavy foot traffic or harsh weather conditions like rain, sleet, or snow, you might need to apply stain more often.

DIY or Hiring a Professional

Deck staining is pretty straightforward, and many homeowners perform the project on their own. However, if you are not familiar with deck staining basics and techniques, we highly recommend working with a professional.

Professionals understand deck care best practices and know how to perform essential deck maintenance. With a professional deck stainer, you can expect flawless results that look great and last a long time.

Hiring an expert can also save you money in the long term as you won’t have to spend time and effort correcting any mistakes.

Professional Painting & Carpentry Services

Our experts know the essentials of deck staining and maintenance better than anyone.

Contact Benchmark Painting & Carpentry of Boynton online or call today at 561-375-6249 to discuss options for protecting your deck or to learn more about deck stain application tips!

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Benchmark Painting is your trusted, local contractor for residential and commercial painting services and more. With a commitment to excellence and years of expertise, our team delivers top-notch results for every project. Whether updating your home or transforming your business, trust us to execute your vision with precision.