When the summer sun comes out, there’s nothing quite like spending quality time on your deck. If you’re looking to refresh the look of your deck, you might wonder, “Can you spray stain on a deck?”

Decks have become the heart of the home, taking over the role of the kitchen as families gather for delicious meals, conversations, and a chance to soak in the beauty of the garden while sipping coffee or wine. It’s also the perfect spot to entertain guests and fire up the barbeque for some outdoor fun.

Can You Spray Stain On A Deck?

It is possible to spray stain on a deck using a pump sprayer or an airless sprayer. Ensure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and take necessary precautions for a smooth application.

Whether your deck is newly built or needs a facelift, proper preparation is key. For new decks, pressure washing is essential to open up the wood grain, allowing better stain absorption.

Older decks with existing stains will require stripping off the old stain before applying a new one, ensuring consistent color throughout. Using pressure washing and a wood stripper will do the trick, and a light sanding beforehand can enhance the final result for a more professional finish.

Some deck owners opt to stain their decks annually, especially if the deck faces harsh weather conditions. Regular exposure to rain and sun can accelerate wear and tear, necessitating more frequent maintenance.

Exploring Deck Stain Options

how long does deck stain need to dry before rain

Deck stains come in three main types, each offering unique benefits:

1. Solid Deck Stain

Your deck has been the centerpiece of countless gatherings, but over time, it might have picked up a few marks and flaws.

Don’t worry; there’s a solution that can give your deck a fresh lease on life: solid deck stain!

This paint-like stain sits on the surface of the wood, making it perfect for concealing imperfections and blemishes. However, keep in mind that it may be more prone to cracking and peeling as time goes by.

2. Semi-Transparent Deck Stain

This type of stain adds a touch of color to the wood while still allowing the grain to shine through. It strikes a balance between showcasing the wood’s natural beauty and introducing a subtle tint.

With semi-transparent stain, you can get creative and slightly alter the wood’s color to suit your preferences. Just like with transparent stain, one coat is typically enough.

3. Transparent Deck Stain

Transparent stain does not alter the timber’s color; instead, it showcases the natural grain. Besides enhancing the wood’s appearance, it provides essential waterproofing and protection against rot.

However, since it doesn’t add color, transparent stain requires more frequent reapplication. One coat is usually sufficient, and applying a second coat won’t make a significant difference in the finish.

Following The Manufacturer’s Guidance

Before you dive into the world of deck staining, take a moment to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. With so many different products available, it’s wise to opt for a reputable brand that lives up to its promises.

Additionally, remember that darker stains provide better UV protection. Some stains are oil-based, while others are water-soluble, so choose the one that suits your deck’s needs best.

Check out the article: how long should deck stain dry before walking on it?

Choosing The Right Decking Timber

Decks are predominantly constructed using timber, lending a warm and earthy charm to outdoor spaces. The neutral brown tones of the wood complement various styles, making it a popular choice. However, over time, weather conditions can take a toll on the deck, leaving it looking drab, grey, and weathered.

When building a deck, the first crucial decision lies in selecting the right timber. Different types of decking wood offer varying levels of performance and appearance when treated. Manufactured woods, softwoods, and hardwoods are some options.

Additionally, you’ll find composites made of plastic for those who prefer low-maintenance materials. Among the most common choices is southern yellow pine, pressure treated to resist fungus and pests. Cedar, redwood, bamboo, and mahogany are also favored options.

How To Spray Stain A Deck

Now that you’ve chosen the right stain, it’s time to apply it. You have 2 primary options: the traditional brush and roller method or the modern deck stain sprayer.

Whichever method you pick, keep rags and pads close by to clean up spills promptly. If you opt for an oil-based stain, be sure to dispose of these materials responsibly, as they can pose a fire hazard.

Using a sprayer offers the advantage of speed and ensures a more even spread of the stain. Generally, preparing the deck and applying the stain will take about 2 days.

What Is The Best Way To Apply Stain To A Deck?

When applying the stain with a brush, use a 4-inch brush or roller with natural bristles to work the stain deep into the wood, paying special attention to the open end grain of the boards.

Remember, more isn’t always better; applying too much stain can lead to cracking or peeling later on.

Best Sprayer For Deck Stain

There are 2 main types of paint sprayers to choose from: airless sprayers and air sprayers.

Airless sprayers eject stain at high pressure, while air sprayers apply it at a lower pressure. Each type has its pros and cons. Airless sprayers don’t require a compressor but can be more expensive.

On the other hand, air sprayers are budget-friendly but have limited reach. Airless sprayers offer a more even, thicker coat and can work into smaller holes and gaps.

Read more on how to use a paint sprayer.

Can You Spray Stain With An Airless Sprayer?

can you spray paint with an airless sprayer

While airless sprayers are versatile, they operate at high pressure, which can cause damage if not handled properly.

If you’re using a sprayer for the first time, consider practicing on an inconspicuous corner or scrap piece of the same timber to avoid costly mistakes.


1. Is it better to spray or roll stain on a deck?

When it comes to staining a deck, spraying is generally faster and more efficient than rolling.

2. Can I do spraying stain with pump sprayer?

Yes, you can use a pump sprayer to apply stain, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper dilution and technique

3. Can you spray decking oil?

Yes, you can spray decking oil using a pump sprayer, but always check the product label for compatibility and instructions.

4. What is better when it comes to spraying deck stain vs rolling?

Spraying deck stain is better for larger areas and achieving a more even coat, while rolling might be suitable for smaller, detailed sections.

5. How to thin deck stain for a sprayer?

To thin deck stain for a sprayer, add an appropriate amount of water or mineral spirits according to the stain’s instructions until you achieve the desired consistency.

6. Can you use paint in a stain sprayer?

No, you should not use paint in a stain sprayer, as the equipment is designed specifically for different viscosities and textures of materials.

You might also be interested in checking out our top pick for the best deck paint.

7. How to go about spraying stain with pump sprayer?

When spraying the stain with a pump sprayer, make sure to wear protective gear, adjust the nozzle for the desired spray pattern, maintain a consistent distance from the deck, and apply even coats for a smooth and professional finish.

Conclusion: Can You Spray Stain On A Deck?

You can use a pump sprayer or an airless sprayer to apply stain on a deck. However, be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take the necessary precautions to achieve a smooth and successful application.

As you begin staining your deck, take care to protect walls, fixtures, and shrubbery with drop cloths. To ensure you’ll be satisfied with the color and result of the stain, conduct a practice run in an inconspicuous area.

Apply the stain in sections, working from one end of the deck to the other, and avoid stopping in the middle of a section to prevent unsightly marks. For a smooth finish, apply a generous coat of stain and use a long-handled brush to smooth out any pooling.

With solid deck stain and a little know-how, you’ll be amazed at the transformation of your beloved deck, giving it a new lease on life for years to come!

By Robin M

Robin remains an active participant in the skilled trades community. His hands-on involvement in projects, coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for helping others succeed in their home improvement pursuits, reflects his commitment to empowering readers with the knowledge they need to tackle projects confidently.

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