14 Oct 2020

How to Stain Your Decking: DIY Tips

Staining a deck can be a time-consuming job, but the end results are extremely rewarding. If you’ve decided to stain your decking, then before you start, we highly recommend you read our article on 5 Signs Your Decking is Weathering, so that your hard work is not in vain.

As with all things, you only get out what you put in, so remember that your level of effort will play a big part in the results you’ll see. If you’re someone who won’t settle for anything less than perfect, then we’d recommend giving us a call to come out and assess your decking for free. We’ll provide you with a quote and give you some alternative recommendations that will have your decking looking new in no time.

If you’ve got that ‘can do’ attitude, then below you’ll find some of our DIY tips to help make your staining process easier and enable you to achieve better results.


As my dad would say, you’re only as good as the tools you use, so a word of advice, make sure you buy quality products. Keeping in mind that quality doesn’t mean the most expensive. Not only will quality products make your life easier, but they will give you an edge in achieving the results you desire.

If you’re unsure what stain to use to get the best results for your decking then have a quick read of our article, Choosing the right stain for your decking.

Product Checklist:

–        Strong bristled broom

–        Regular bristled broom

–        Small hand broom

–        Butter knife

–        Bucket

–        Hose

–        High pressure cleaner (optional)

–        Good quality decking cleaner solution

–        Mask

–        Gloves

–        Safety glasses

–        Measuring cup

–        Painters tape

–        Decking stain

–        Synthetic paint brush

–        Paint stirrer

–        Paint Tray

–        Cloth

–        Lambswool applicator

Please note: Whilst you can use a high-pressure hose, this can be detrimental to your decking and end up causing damage to the wood if the water-pressure is set to high. It’s difficult to make a recommendation on what high-pressure hose setting will be best for you to use, as different woods will be impacted by different pressure, and we don’t know what wood your decking is made out of.

We’d advise against using a high-pressure hose and simply spending more time putting some elbow grease in with your strong bristled broom. If you want to use a high-pressure hose, then please ensure you look up what wood your decking is made from and then seek advice on the correct pressure before starting. Also ensure you wear correct safety equipment when operating a high-pressure hose.

Before you start it’s important to look at the weather forecast. We recommend choosing a time where you’ll have at least 2 days of good weather. Try to avoid staining your decking in direct harsh sunlight as this can cause the stain to dry unevenly and causes your deck to look ‘patchy’.


Cleaning is the most important process if you want the best results for your decking. Ensuring that all the dirt, dust, and grime are gone is paramount to your success.

Step 1: Dry Cleaning

Whilst your decking is dry, use your strong bristled broom to thoroughly sweep any debris and dust off your deck. Once you’ve done this, go in with your small brush and butter knife to work on scrubbing and removing any lingering dirt or grime from around your nails and screws. Ensuring not to chip or scratch your decking with the knife. Then brush over the decking with a soft bristle broom for a finer sweep.

Step 2: Wet Cleaning

Using your hose, or high-pressure hose, wet and clean your deck with water only. Then mix the decking cleaning solution with water into your bucket. Make sure you read and follow the instructions on your solutions packaging. Use your measure cup to make sure you are accurately following the dilution recommendations. Then thoroughly mix your solutioning into the water before applying to your decking.

It’s best practice to wear a mask, gloves and goggles when handing your cleaning solution.

Step 3: Cleaning Solution Application

Using your strong bristled brush, apply your cleaning solution to your deck. This will further remove all contaminants that remain. If your decking has staining spots, this is where you’ll be required to put in some elbow grease.

Different products have different times they require your cleaning solution to stay on your decking. Again, follow the instructions for your chosen product. Then thoroughly hose or high-pressure hose your solution off. Make sure all visible signs of the solution are completely washed away. Then wait for your decking to dry.

Step 4: Stain Application

Once your decking is dry begin taping all skirting boards, or other surfaces adjacent to your decking that you want to protect from the stain. Before you start to apply the stain, make sure you map out your staining route, so you don’t paint yourself into a corner. Begin by using your brush to cut in around the sides of the decking.

Before using your lamb’s wool applicator we highly recommend you wash it the day prior to staining your deck so that you get rid of any loose fibres that could linger and get stuck to your freshly applied stain. Ensure you let your applicator fully dry before use.

When using an applicator ensure you are doing long and evenly pressured strokes, and that you are always applying the stain in the direction of your wood grain. This will ensure that any streaking that might occur won’t become too visible.

You can then repeat the process if more than one coat is recommended by your chosen stain product. Be sure that if you do more than one coat that you have more than enough stain left to complete the second coat. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through the job only to run out of stain.

We hope this helped, and if you have any feedback or before and after photos of your project we’d love to hear from you, so feel free to email us at info@mocaconstruction.com.

Good luck!