How to Stain and Seal Your Deck

Installing a new deck is a wonderful addition to your home. A deck can last year after year if taken care of and maintained properly. One maintenance task you need to tackle every year, or every other year (depending on the wear of your deck), is to stain your deck. See below for instructions on how to stain your deck.

Here's What You Need:

  • Stain
  • Brushes
  • Rollers
  • Long-handled extension
  • Power washer
  • Palm sander and fine grit sandpaper
  • Sealer


  1. Begin by cleaning your deck thoroughly to remove mold and mildew, as well as any previous stain or paint on your deck. Use a power washer to clean your deck. If you don't have one, you can rent one. It is a quick and easy way to remove anything from the surface of your deck. Be sure to wear old shoes and clothing, as well as protective eye-wear.
  2. Once the deck is clean and dry, you can begin the process of staining. Before beginning, be sure you have a few days of sunshine and no rain in the forecast.
  3. To stain the deck, use a paintbrush to begin cutting in the stain around small crevices such as between deck boards and to stain the handrails and the railings. 
  4. Next, use the roller and extension pole to roll the stain onto the surface of the deck boards. 
  5. Allow the first coat of stain to dry thoroughly, then apply a second coat if you prefer a darker stain. Allow the second coat to dry.
  6. Apply a sealer to your deck, following the manufacturer's directions on the sealer. The sealer will help protect your stain from fading in the sun and damage from other weather conditions. Apply the sealer using another paintbrush and roller, much the same way you applied the stain.
  7. Allow the sealer to dry and cure according to the manufacturer's directions before putting any furniture out onto your deck.

Staining and sealing your deck each year (or every other year) is an important maintenance task to keep your deck looking beautiful each and every warm weather season. Be sure to also sweep your deck often with a broom to remove debris such as leaves and dirt. Also be sure to spray it with a hose each week to keep it clean, and wipe up stains or spills immediately.  

Staining your deck can be quite a job, but it's definitely worth the time and effort.