Applying stain to a deck can turn an old, worn deck into a beautiful outdoor addition. Decks can become discolored over time due to their extreme exposure to the elements. Staining a deck will not only spruce it up, but also provide some protection to the wood.
Although there are a variety of ways to apply deck stain, using a sprayer is among the quickest. Staining a deck with a sprayer provides an even coating of deck stain in a fraction of the time it would take to apply deck stain with a brush or roller.
Remove everything from the deck. This includes furniture, plants, grills and anything sitting on the railing.
Tape off the area of the house that attaches to the deck using painters tape to avoid stain getting on the house.
Cover any electrical outlets with duct tape to prevent water or stain from getting into them. Cover plants and shrubs below the deck with plastic or tarps to protect them from the stain and cleaning agents.
Sand any splintered areas of the deck with an 80-grit sandpaper.
Sweep the entire deck with a push broom. This will remove all loose dirt and debris from the deck.
Clean the deck with a deck cleaner.
Fill a garden sprayer or airless sprayer with the deck stain. If using an airless sprayer, set the sprayer on a Low Pressure setting to minimize over-spray. Refer to the label on the deck stain for specific mixing and preparation instructions. Some stains will require the deck to be dry prior to application while others will work better if the deck is damp.
Apply the stain to the deck by holding the tip of the sprayer about six inches from the wood. Apply the stain in sections of about six square feet at a time. Move the tip of the sprayer in a back and forth motion over the wood using smooth strokes. Apply the deck stain liberally, working in the direction of the woods' grain. This will ensure that the stain is soaked into the cracks of the wood to provide an even coat.
Back brush the deck. Enlist a helper to assist in the staining process. Although the sprayer is a quick method for applying deck stain, the stain needs to be back brushed. To do this, as one person is applying the stain with the sprayer, another person should go behind him with a painting pad attached to a long-handled roller pole to even out the stain. This is important to prevent puddles of stain from forming, leaving an even coat of stain on the deck.
Allow the stain to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. Apply a second coat of stain, if necessary.