As the warm days of summer approach, homeowners across the country are gearing up to get their outdoor spaces ready for entertaining. One vital step that is often overlooked in this process is deck staining. Choosing the right deck stain can be tricky with the variety of options out there. However, it’s worth the effort as a stain not only safeguards your wood from moisture and sun damage but also provides an attractive finish that can elevate your hosting game. 

At Mountain West Painting, we specialize in professional deck staining services in the Greater Littleton, CO region. Along with our expertise in exterior house painting, we understand the unique needs of each deck staining project. In this article, we’ll provide an insightful overview of different stain options and offer a detailed guide to achieving optimal results on your own or through our pro painters!

Why Deck Staining Matters

Deck staining is more than a cosmetic upgrade—it’s a vital maintenance step that can extend the life and beauty of your outdoor space. Stain serves as a protective shield for your deck, safeguarding the wood from damaging elements such as the harsh Colorado sun, moisture, and even daily foot traffic. 

By infiltrating the wood’s surface, the stain keeps out damaging moisture that can lead to rot and warping. More than that, the right stain can accentuate the natural beauty of the wood, offering a range of finishes from transparent to a solid color, thereby enhancing the visual appeal of your deck. Thus, staining not only ensures that your deck remains structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing but also increases its longevity.

When to Stain Your Deck

Determining the best time to stain your deck can significantly impact the effectiveness of the stain. Ideal staining conditions require warm, dry weather, which is why summer often proves to be the perfect time to undertake this project in the Greater Littleton, CO region. In fact, deck staining should ideally be done when temperatures are between 50-90°F, and there’s no forecast of rain for at least 24-48 hours post-application to allow the stain ample time to dry and properly penetrate the wood.

However, timing isn’t just about the season or the weather. The condition of your deck is an equally crucial factor. If you’re staining a new deck, it needs time to weather and dry out before the stain can effectively bond with the wood. For decks that have already been stained in the past, you’ll need to assess whether or not they require a touch-up or complete stripping and re-staining.

Types of Deck Stains

Choosing the right stain is crucial to protect your deck and make it look good for a longer time. You should take into account the material of the deck, the desired appearance, and the local weather when selecting a stain. Remember that each type of stain provides different levels of coverage and protection. Understanding these differences will allow you to choose the most suitable stain for your deck.

There are 6 types of deck stains, but here are 4 of the commonly used stains:

  • Transparent Stains: These stains provide a clear finish, allowing the natural grain and texture of the wood to shine through. They are best for new, high-quality wood that you’d like to showcase. An example of a trusted brand is Behr Premium Transparent Waterproofing Wood Finish.
  • Semi-Transparent Stains: Offering a bit more color, semi-transparent stains still allow for some wood grain to show through. They provide an excellent balance between aesthetics and protection. Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck Exterior Waterborne Semi-Transparent Stain is a popular choice in this category.
  • Semi-Solid Stains: These stains are more opaque than semi-transparent options but still let some of the wood grain peeks through. They offer greater UV protection and are best for older decks that need a bit more coverage. Olympic ELITE Solid Stain + Sealant is a well-regarded semi-solid stain.
  • Solid Stains: These are the most opaque, behaving almost like paint. They offer maximum protection and hide the wood grain entirely. Solid stains are great for very old, worn decks that require comprehensive coverage and protection. Check out BEHR PREMIUM Solid Color Weatherproofing All-In-One Wood Stain & Sealer for a high-quality option.

Step-by-Step Guide to Deck Staining

Staining your deck is a great way to protect and enhance its appearance, so it’s important to get the process right. Here are the steps you need to take for successful deck staining:

  • Deck Evaluation: Inspect your deck for any damaged or rotting wood. Replace any boards or components that are beyond repair.

  • Cleaning the Deck: A power washer can help remove any dirt or mildew. If your deck has an old stain or paint, you’ll need a stripping agent to remove it. Remember – let your deck dry completely before moving on to the next step.
  • Sanding the Deck: Once your deck is clean and dry, sand it to remove any leftover paint or stain and smooth out any rough spots. This creates a good surface for the stain to adhere to. Use a pole sander with medium-grit sandpaper for the best results.

  • Applying the Stain: Begin staining your deck with a brush or roller, working in sections. Remember to follow the direction of the wood grain. Always double-check the manufacturer’s instructions on your chosen stain for the best application practices.

  • Drying Time: Allow your deck ample time to dry. This can take 24-48 hours or more, depending on the stain type and weather conditions. Ensure the deck is completely dry before you put any furniture back.

  • Regular Maintenance: Once your deck is stained and dry, regular maintenance will keep it looking great for years. Clean it regularly, reapply the stain as necessary, and do a yearly check for any necessary repairs.

Mountain West Painting’s Expert Deck Staining

Get your deck summer-ready with the perfect stain! Opt for warm, dry weather for optimal absorption and performance. But don’t stress – our professionals at Mountain West Painting have got you covered. We offer expert deck staining services in the Greater Evergreen Area, including Highlands Ranch, Evergreen, Lakewood, Centennial, Golden, and Ken Caryl, CO. With more than 20 years of experience, we guarantee a job well done. Call us at (720) 500-6291 to book a free estimate – for a stress-free summer on your beautiful, newly-stained deck.