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.

how to paint a deck | Easy home project ideas - Fall Makeover

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. Thank you much for your immediate reply. The contractor keeps telling me that there will be a lot of maintenance involved—pressure washing 3/4 months because the deck will stay dirty. Is this true for you?

    1. Not at all – had ours 3 years. We hose it off in spring and fall and that’s because we have a messy tree above it.

  2. Hi Julie, absolutely beautiful deck. I never considered a white solid stain deck. Did you use the same color as the exterior of your home. I’m in the process of getting my deck stained. We have a very similar set up to yours with a porch of the deck off the family room and kitchen is screened. My home exterior is SW Shoji White and windows are trimmed in a dark (almost black) gray. The contractor suggested we match the trim color and go with Behr Slate (tinted by SW). However, now that I’ve seen your deck I’m almost certain I would rather the lighter color. My ultimate question is….should I use the exterior color of my home or choose a complimentary white stain? Or should I follow the contractor’s advice and use the trim color? Thank you for any suggestions you can provide.

    1. I feel like contractors are not decorators – you could totally do that, but you need to do what *you* love! Ours is the darker of the 2 paint colors, but reads much lighter. I’d probably lean to the white over gray, personally. I hope that helps!

  3. It looks great ! Just wanted your thoughts on a couple of things :
    we want to paint/stain our deck white so it will reflect more light into the house – do you think it will serve that purpose?
    Paint or stain – any views on this? Paint might be slippery but might reflect more? Right now, i think our deck has a solid stain ( dark red)
    A little apprehensive about going all white since maintenance (Mold, dirt) might become an issue. Looks like you are finding it easy to keep it clean. Any advice ?


    1. I would definitely use a solid stain then, Tammy! We’ve been really happy with ours. You absolutely should use a stain over paint though to protect the wood, but solid stain has the look of paint, but doesn’t get slippery. Ours looks great – we just hose it every now and then. Also note ours isn’t a true white.

      1. thanks Julie. Will check out the stains.
        Do you see any more reflected light into the room nearest the deck since you painted the deck the lightish color. We are trying to get more light (or more rellected light) into the house and that’s why we are going for White. Thanks

        1. Absolutely – our deck and screened in porch shield our dining room and family room. That’s in large part why we did ours “white” not long after we moved in. Enjoy!

  4. We want to do a similar project with our deck but more of a teal color. I really like the white paint that you used and I think that it turned out really beautiful!