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Readying Your Deck for Summer Fun

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Preparing Your Deck for Summer Fun Image

Make your deck more inviting than ever with these simple staining techniques.

Bringing out—and protecting—the beauty of your exterior wood surfaces doesn't have to feel like an overwhelming task. Just follow these steps to a spectacular deck.

Preparing Your Deck for Staining

  • Remove as many items as you can (planters, hoses, outdoor furniture, light fixtures) and cover other items (steps, plants, sidewalks/paths) with drop cloths.


  • Examine the deck for surface wear, cracked boards, and popped nails.


  • Make any necessary repairs before staining.

Applying the Stain

Decks are often subjected to extreme environmental conditions (direct sun, cool damp shade, etc.) as well as heavy foot traffic. Proper care of your deck will help ensure the longevity of the finish.

Step 1

After properly preparing the wood, select an inconspicuous place on the wood you will be staining and test the stain to be sure you will be pleased with the final colour results.

Step 2

Stain the vertical sections of the deck, such as the rails and posts, so that drips will not land on previously finished areas.

Step 3

Stain the deck surface. For deck boards, stain two to three boards at a time to avoid lap marks. Do not stop in the middle of a board to avoid the risk of developing lap marks. Make sure to wipe up any excess stain.


Helpful Tips for Staining Your Deck

  • The best way to apply deck stain is to use a roller or spray, followed by back-brushing to even out the stain.


  • Don't let stain puddle on the surface of the deck.


  • Stir the stain frequently during application.


  • Soak the bottom of the deck posts in Benjamin Moore Alkyd Primer (366). This will give the posts added protection from the kind of ground moisture they are subjected to and help extend the life of the posts.

Watch our video on deck staining

Visit our Stain Center for Deck Design Ideas and Stains

Learn about our ARBORCOAT® premium exterior stain system

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