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How To Stain Wood - A DIY Wood Staining Guide

Learn how to stain your deck, stress-free


Staining your deck, gazebo, pergola, or fence is a lot easier than you think – provided you follow the right steps. With this simple how-to staining wood guide you’re going to be relaxing outdoors with your project finished quickly and with fantastic looking results.

Staining Wood - Step 1: Inspect Your Wood
This is simple. Check the wooden surface you are going to be staining to make sure there are no nails, screws, broken pieces of wood, or metal staples sticking out of the wood that could cause major issues when trying to coat the surface. If you are staining an old deck or exterior wood structure it can really slow down the wood staining process if you don’t take a few minutes to make sure the surface is fully inspected for this right up front.

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Staining Wood - Step 2: Clean Your Wood
Cleaning your deck isn’t hard – Olympic makes deck cleaners that are perfect for deck staining projects as well as maintenance past your projects’ end. Make sure you apply the cleaner uniformly and that you follow every one of the application instructions listed on the product’s label, as well as the safety precautions.  Once you have applied the cleaner scrub it with a stiff-bristle mop and wash away all of the grime. Then, let the wood surface fully dry before getting to the next step - staining your wood.


Staining Wood - Step 3: Staining Your Wood
Now we are finally here – the moment we’ve all been waiting for: staining your wood deck. After you have  picked out your preferred wood stain colors and once your deck is fully dry after cleaning it grab a roller, a brush, or an excellent hand-pumped wood stain sprayer and apply an even consistent coat of wood stain to the entire surface. If you come across blotches, or if the stain puddles up in any way make sure you grab a roller or a brush and flatten these stain spots out.

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Staining Wood - Step 4: Rest Your Stained Wood
When it comes to staining wood one of the most important steps is letting it rest after applying your wood stain. This works wonders for your project and also lets you enjoy your time outside as well. Most wood stain pros recommend that you should let your stained deck rest 24 to 48 hours while it dries, but different stains call for different measures. Additionally, where you live and the local climate, weather, and humidity can affect this length of time as well.

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Staining Wood - Step 5: Enjoy Your Deck Responsibly
You’re all done! Well, sort of. While you are now free to kick back and enjoy your stained wooden deck you’ve also got to take care of it to make sure it keeps its beautiful appearance – like cleaning it at least once per year. Luckily there are a few products that keep your deck looking great including the cleaner we referenced above. Now go, get outside and enjoy that beautifully stained wooden deck that you worked so hard on. 

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Variance in monitor calibrations can affect the on-screen representations of our actual paint and stain colors. Your local Olympic® Paints & Stains retailer can match and/or order the exact color that you desire with the help of the Olympic Paint or Stain color name or number.

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