Simple tips and tricks on how to stain a deck, without a lot of effort for a beautiful finish. Selecting the best deck stain or best deck paint, tools needed and so much more!

I’m not a huge fan of decks – I’d take a beautiful brick patio any day. In fact, that’s one thing I adored about that house that could’ve been. You know, that pretty Colonial that I fell in love with, in a neighborhood that wasn’t quite as charming. I really like when kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms open up to a patio.

How to stain a deck
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Rather than opening up to a space, decks can make you feel confined, limiting both the view and access to your yard. I wanted to find a way to minimize that feeling and redefine this outdoor space as a room on its own.

Get the tips for a beautiful finish for your deck

Our home is built on a hill, making a patio impossible from the main level. It’s partially enclosed by the screened in porch, the house wall and the breakfast nook, with just one side opening to the yard.

Using a solid stain helped to make the wood deck feel like an extension of our home, rather than an enclosure.

Read about the outdoor living room we created with Underdecking with our new Vinyl Deck at the lake!

Learn the tips & tricks for a beautiful deck

The Best Deck Stain

Choosing the best deck stain or best deck paint is essential for a durable, quality finish.

A high quality deck stain is easy to apply, reflects UV rays…

We used Sherwin Williams SuperDeck solid deck stain. After four years and several hail storms, it’s in immaculate condition. It stains and paints offering a beautiful aesthetic.

Best Deck Paint or Solid Stain

A solid stain gives a paint appearance with the protection of a stain. While staining between the deck slats gives it a finished, polished look, almost like painted wood floors.

We said we weren’t going to DIY much at our new home, but it seems sometimes it’s just easier to do it yourself than to get a contractor to show up. My patience was waning, so Chris took over the project and learned how to stain a wood deck.

A color stain is suitable for decks that have been stained time and time again and can no longer benefit from a sheer stain. It’s also a great option to go over darker stains or to blend your deck with your home.

It is the best deck stain for:

  • old wood
  • treated wood
  • dated stain
  • tired stain
  • to blend the deck with your home
  • for a white deck

How you stain a deck and what you use makes all the difference.

To avoid spending endless hours attempting to get a brush to properly cover it. Chris found a staining trick and it made the surface feel more like a floor and less like a deck.

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Staining between deck slats was extremely easy and not overly time consuming. It not only protects the deck, but is visually appealing no matter which direction you’re looking at it. We purchased longer edgers the second time, which made it even easier.

More Paint Tips

The best painting tips for every every surface!

How to Stain a Deck

  1. Don’t use a pressure washer. Powerwashing should be left to professionals. Powerwashing your deck improperly could cause more harm than good. It can cause splintering, gaps, and warping.
  2. Clean your deck thoroughly with a long arm brush and deck cleaner to eliminate mold and mildew, dirt and debris.
  3. Allow it to dry thoroughly – 48 hours minimum, so that moisture doesn’t become trapped when staining.

Materials Needed to Apply Deck Stain Between Slats

  • 2 edging pads with the plastic edges trimmed off
  • a roller on an extension pole
  • a paint tray

How to Apply Deck Stain Between Boards

  1. Place 2 edging pads opposite of one another and dip in stain.
  2. Swipe in between slats.
  3. Using your roller, roll over the surface of the deck to keep the paint “drips” from drying on the surface. The best tips for staining a deck that provide a beautiful finish & save time!
  4. Stain your nails. It’s quick & easy to do this when staining the slats with the side of your roller. The best tips for staining a deck Save time & energy with these quick tips for staining a deck
  5. Roll with an extension handle for a quick, smooth finish {for solid stains you can use standard painting supplies!} Get the quick tips to save time staining a deck

Note: We had Sherwin Williams solid stain tinted in Sherwin Williams Realist Beige. Stop by to see our new outdoor living space.

The transformation is overwhelming, don’t you think?

Outdoor Living | Beautiful decor ideas and how to define your deck or patio as an outdoor living room

You can find all of my paint colors and tips here, and learn all about screen porch kits here. Learn about adding String Lights and Deck Lighting for so much charm in any outdoor space!

More Paint Tips and Colors

Get the tips & tricks how to stain a deck for a beautiful finish with minimal effort
5 from 2 votes

How to Stain a Deck

The best tips and tricks to staining a deck.
Prep: 2 days
Cook: 1 day
Total: 3 days
Servings: 1
Pin Rate Print


  • 1 paint tray
  • 2 edging pads with the plastic edge trimmed off
  • deck cleaner
  • paint


  • Don't use a pressure washer
  • Clean your deck throughly with a long arm brush and deck cleaner
  • Allow deck to dry thoroughly- 48 hours minimum
  • Place 2 edging pads opposite of one another and dip in stain
  • Swipe in between slats
  • Using your roller, roll over the surface of the deck to keep the paint "drips" from drying on the surface.
  • Stain your nails. It's quick and easy to do this when staining the slats with the side of your roller.
  • Roll with an extension handle for a quick, smooth finish. {for solid stains, you can use standard painting supplies}


  • We had Sherman Williams solid stain tinted in Sherman Williams Realist Beige.
  • Having the deck dry for a minimum of 48 hours after thoroughly cleaning makes it so that moisture doesn’t become trapped while staining.


a roller on an extension pole
long arm brush

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  1. I just got done building my first deck in my backyard, and now I’m wanting to stain it soon. The problem is is that I’m not sure how to go about staining it on my own. That being said, I really appreciate you sharing with me some insight about how I can properly stain my new deck. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out after I follow your tips. Thanks a ton for everything.

    1. Congratulations! It’s actually not too bad, just make sure that it’s dry for 3 days before and after you stain so that it doesn’t seal moisture in. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your new deck for years to come!

  2. I just finished stripping my deck of an old orange-brown stain. I love the color you chose for your deck and am considering the same now for mine. Did you use the same color for the railings as well? Thanks!!!

    1. We did! I think that’s what makes it feel less like a deck and more like a room. I’d love to see when you’re done!

  3. I agree. I long for a patio but cannot have one due to the slope of our yard. And our deck is in sorry shape. I love the stain you chose. Can’t wait to see it once you put your finishing touches on it.

    1. Thank you, Kathy! Hopefully you can find a way to make your deck work, they’re ridiculously expensive to replace!

  4. That looks lovely! Great tip about staining in between. I’m sharing this with a friend who was asking for deck staining advice.