How to Stain a Deck

No matter what type of BEHR® Wood Stain or Finish you choose, good results start with proper preparation.

For Best Results:

Remove old stains and wood finishes with BEHR PREMIUM® Wood Stain & Finish Stripper. For mold and mildew stains, and to restore the wood's natural color use BEHR PREMUIM® All-In-One Wood Cleaner.

Apply stain with quality equipment and start with vertical areas first.

Apply even coats and allow ample dry time before exposing the surface to foot traffic and re-arranging plants and furniture.

  1. Step 1

    Protect plants, furniture and other items with plastic sheeting or a drop cloth.

  2. Step 2

    Remove old stains and finishes with BEHR PREMIUM® Wood Stain and Finish Stripper. See our how-to "Prep Your Wood: Peeling Stain or Finish" for more more guidelines on removing old stains.

  3. Step 3

    For mold and mildew stains, and to restore the wood's natural color, use BEHR PREMIUM® All-in-One Wood Cleaner.  See our how-to's "Prep Your Wood: New Wood" and "Prep Your Wood: Weathered Wood" for guidelines on properly preparing your wood surfaces.

  4. Step 4

    Apply BEHR wood stains and finishes with a quality pad applicator, brush, roller or sprayer. Make sure to follow all label instructions.

  5. Step 5

    A quality pump sprayer may be used when applying wood finishes as well as semi-transparent stains. 

  6. Step 6

    Always back-brush to ensure even application. 

  7. Step 7

    Apply to vertical surfaces first, being careful not to drip onto any horizontal areas. Work with entire board lengths--including the ends.

  8. Step 8

    Apply even coats and allow ample drying time before exposing the surface to foot traffic and rearranging plants and furniture.

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Suggested Tools & Supplies
  • Bucket
  • Broom (Stiff Bristle)
  • Brush (2"-2½")
  • Bucket Grid
  • Chemical Resistant Gloves
  • Drop Cloths
  • Extension Pole
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Hose
  • High Pressure Nozzle

  • Paint Can Opener
  • Paint Tray
  • Paint Tray Liner
  • Painter's Tape
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Pressure Washer
  • Protective Apparel
  • Pump Sprayer
  • Rags
  • Roller Cover and Frame
  • Stir Stick
More How-tos
Additional Resources
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