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How to Prepare Exterior Wood for Staining

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Benjamin Moore carries a full line of wood stains and finishes to protect and beautify your deck.

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.



Timing
The best time to stain your home's exterior, deck siding, or outdoor furniture is when temperatures are moderate (above 50°F, but below 95°F), 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 wood stains. Alkyd or oil-based stains should be applied with natural-bristle brushes. Synthetic-bristle brushes are ideal for latex or waterborne wood 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
  • Benjamin Moore rollers and roller covers
  • Stain mitt
  • Sprayer
  • Caulk
  • Gloves
  • Hose or power washer
  • Paint scraper
  • Painter's tape
  • Rags
  • Sandpaper
  • Wire brush

Surface Preparation
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 condition of your wood, and how to prepare it for staining.

See all of our deck preparation products and learn about our exterior wood and deck stains.

Watch Videos on preparing your deck for staining, selecting the right stain, applying deck stain, and maintaining your deck.

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