Find Local Store »

Canada -> For Your Home -> Learn How -> General Preparation

General Preparation

E-mail to a Friend Add to Favourites Print
deck stain centre

Whether you are doing the job yourself
or hiring a contractor to do the work, you should have a thorough understanding of the staining process. The following information offers some guidelines for preparing your home's exterior wood surfaces for staining.

The best time to stain your home's exterior, deck siding, or outdoor furniture is when temperatures are moderate (above 10°C, but below 35°C), the humidity is low to average, and there is no rain in the immediate forecast. Ideally, you should have three to four consecutive dry days prior to beginning any exterior staining project.

Tools for the Job
Benjamin Moore offers a complete line of brushes and rollers designed to work with stain. Alkyd or oil-based stains should be applied with natural-bristle brushes. Synthetic-bristle brushes are ideal for latex stains. The following is a list of tools and supplies for exterior staining projects. Speak to your Benjamin Moore retailer for advice on the right application methods and products for your particular project.

  • Stain brushes or pad applicators
  • Rollers and roller covers
  • Stain mitt
  • Sprayer
  • Caulk
  • Gloves
  • Hose or power washer
  • Paint scraper
  • Painter's tape
  • Rags
  • Sandpaper
  • Wire brush

Preparation (All Exterior Projects)
To achieve the best results, be sure to take the time to properly prepare the surface to be stained. As with paint, proper preparation is the key to a successful staining job that will last. See the following categories to find which best describes the wood condition, and how to prepare its surface.

  • New wood — "mill glaze" is found on new, smooth planed wood, and Interferes with the adhesion and penetration of stain. Use Exterior Wood Deck and Siding Care to remove the mill glaze found on all new wood.
  • Unfinished wood — Use Exterior Wood Deck and Siding Care to prepare wood for staining. CLEAN removes mold and mildew.
  • Maintained finished wood — Use Exterior Wood Deck and Siding Care to keep stained surfaces looking crisp as well as to prepare for regular maintenance touch-ups.
  • Mildewed/neglected wood — Use Exterior Wood Deck and Siding Care to remove dead wood fibres and for cleaning. Please note that Benjamin Moore RESTORE darkens tannin-rich woods such as cedar and redwood. Use Exterior Wood Deck and Siding Care to reverse the darkening effect.
  • Worn/stained wood — Use  Exterior Wood Deck and Siding Care to remove existing oil and/or latex finishes as well as to remove opaque solid colour stains and water sealers from wood prior to refinishing or restoration. Use Exterior Wood Deck and Siding Care to neutralize Benjamin Moore REMOVE residue.
  • Tannin-rich woods — (cedar, redwood) — Use Fresh Start® Fast Dry Exterior Primer to control tannin bleeding when using solid colour stains, particularly under lighter colours.

Watch videos on choosing the right wood stain, preparing your deck for staining, staining your deck, and maintaining your deck. 

Top of Page