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Deck Staining Brush Roll Spray

Deck Staining – Spray, Roll or Brush

When it comes to deck staining, what’s best? Spray vs Roll vs Brush

We often get the question on what is the best way to stain a deck. For starter, allow me to point out that staining your deck is not like painting a deck and there is little room for error if you want it to look right. As one of only three preferred contractors with PPG in the state of Indiana, Legacy Painting has gone through extensive training to ensure their ProLuxe line of wood stain is applied to the manufactures specification.

What’s The Best Way To Stain?

So to answer the question directly on what is the best way to stain the deck? Spray, Roll or Brush? The simple answer is Brush.

But there is a “however” in this answer and we will mention that here shortly.

For starters, when staining you want to make sure that the stain penetrates deep into the wood to provide a long-lasting stain to protect the surface. Using a brush will certainly allow you to apply the stain well and really work it into the wood grain. When you apply the stain, make sure you keep some spare rags nearby to whip off access stain before it puddles or starts to run.

Can Rollers and Sprayers be used?

Short Answer, Yes. But there are some other things to consider when using rollers or sprayers.

Rollers are a great way to apply wood stain as well for the speed at which you can apply the stain. However, when using rollers can be a disadvantage when you have hard to reach areas. If you are going to use a roller to apply your stain, make sure to have a brush as well for those hard to reach areas.

Applying stain with a sprayer is good too. But, if you are going to use a spray, be sure to set it on low pressure and stay close to the wood. Sprayers are extremely quick and can get into tight spaces – BUT the overspray is one of the biggest downfalls of using a spray gun. We suggest using an airless sprayer if you’re going to use one and take the extra steps in your prep work to protect areas from the overspray.

A few tips on if you’re going to stain a deck yourself.

1. If it is a new deck, be sure to clean the deck using a deck cleaner (yes, even if it’s new). Here’s why we say this – mill glaze. If you are unsure of what it is, we wrote a previous post on “Mill Glaze On Decking And How To Remove It“.

2. If your deck has previously been stained, adding another coat of stain is not going to accomplish the goal of protecting the wood. Every time you restain a deck, the old stain should be removed first. Adding additional stain will not provide longer protection – it may buy you another year, but to achieve best results, the old stain needs to be stripped off first.

3. When applying stain to the deck, we recommend going board by board. The technique of going board by board will help avoid “lap marks.”

4. When using a roller or airless sprayer, ALWAYS back brush the stain to really work it into the wood grain. Spraying is a great application (just be extremely cautious of overspray), but the magic is in back brushing it into the wood. Have another person with you that does the back brushing while you are spraying will make things go much smoother.

How many coats does it take?

Transparent stains are a 1 coat system, but some will argue that in order to protect the wood better, 2 coats is the best. We disagree with multiple coats of transparent stain and here’s why:

Two coats do not provide more protection to the wood. Applying multiple coasts effects the color, but not the protection, especially with an oil based stain. Once the stain is applied, any additional layers will not bond the way the first layer of stain bonded to the wood grain. You are better off with simply one coat. We do not say you can’t apply multiple coats, we’re just implying that if it’s the extra protection you’re looking for, 1 coat will do.

If you are using a solid color stain, that is a 2 coat system. One of the benefits of solid color is it’s easier maintenance and if it needs touchups. A transparent stain is difficult to touch up and still make it look right.

To learn some more deck tips, you can also check out another post we did about “11 Common Deck Staining Questions”.

If you’re looking for quality company for deck staining Indianapolis, IN to stain your deck this year, consider choosing Legacy Painting.

Call us at (317) 560-7428 or fill out our estimate request form.


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