Deck Staining

Deck Staining

April 7, 2023

Deck Staining in Louisville, KY

Decks are exposed to the elements 365 days a year. They must be durable enough to withstand freezing winters, sweltering summers, hail, rain, snow, and anything else Mother Nature throws at it. Deck staining is an essential part of maintenance and protection. Ensuring your deck is properly stained, and refinished as necessary, is an essential part of keeping your deck looking and functioning like new.

How Do You Know When You Need a Deck Stain?

Your deck is an extension of your home, so it’s important to care for it as you would your carpet or hardwood. It requires the same type of cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep. Here are a few signs that it may be time for a deck stain:

  • Uneven, Patchy Appearance – This is usually what you’ll notice first. The deck will start to look flaky or worn out. If it looks like it needs a fresh seal, it probably does.
  • The Wood Soaks Water Quickly – A deck should repel water, if your deck is soaking up water – it’s time to act quickly before this causes major issues.
  • Signs of Deterioration – This usually includes things like splitting or splintering, soft spots, or rotted boards. In this case, you may need to replace some of the wood – and then follow up with deck staining.

Louisville can be particularly hard on outdoor wood surfaces, so protecting your deck is key to keeping it looking new.

Before and after

10 Reasons Why You Should Stain Your Deck

Even the most durable decks will suffer from wear and tear over time. Staining your deck will protect it from harsh elements and keep it looking new.

  1. Increase the Lifespan of Your Deck: Staining your deck can protect the surface of the wood from water and rot damage and therefore, increase the lifespan of your deck.
  2. Less Work in the Future: If you take care of your deck on a regular basis, you can avoid many costly and time-consuming repairs.
  3. Improves Appearance: A freshly stained deck is a beautiful addition to your home, but a dry and flaky deck can look messy and unsafe.
  4. Prevents Sun Damage: When your deck is stained, it is further protected from harsh UV rays that can cause damage to the surface.
  5. Reduces Moisture: A freshly stained deck repels water and reduces moisture damage significantly.
  6. Easier Than Painting: Staining a deck is significantly easier than painting it because it doesn’t require a primer and lasts longer than paint does.
  7. Rot & Infestation Prevention: Not only does a stained deck look better, but it protects your wood against rot, mold, mildew, and insects.
  8. Cost Efficiency for Walking Surfaces: Paint tends to crack and flake when it’s walked on, leaving you with a dingy appearance almost immediately. Stain is designed to be more durable.
  9. Preservation of Aesthetics: When you paint over wood, you lose all its natural beauty. Stain preserves the natural grain and look of wood.
  10. The Simplicity of Use: Stain is easy to apply and maintain. It requires half the time of paint and lasts several more years.

It’s easy to see why wood stain is such a popular choice for decks, fences, and outdoor furniture. It provides better protection, preservation, and cost savings compared to paint or other materials.

Types of Stains for Decks

Water beading

There are hundreds of deck staining products on the market. Each has its pros and cons. Choosing the best one for your area depends on your deck size, climate, budget, and style preference.

  • Transparent stains are completely clear and add no additional color to the wood used underneath. This is great for protecting the integrity of the wood but doesn’t provide much protection from UV damage.
  • Semi-transparent stains provide a light tint, but not a full-color change to the wood. This allows the grain to show through while providing more protection than a clear stain.
  • Solid stains are fully pigmented stain that looks like paint. They provide the most protection but are more prone to chipping, cracking, and peeling.
  • Water-based stains can last longer than oil-based stains and are more environmentally friendly. However, the renewal process is significantly more difficult because the old stain must be removed completely with each new coat.
  • Oil-based stains can be easier to maintain over time, but be careful not to choose linseed oil, which can act as a food source for mold.
  • Epoxy-fortified stains are the newcomer on the stain market. This has a small amount of synthetic resin mixed in to give a deep sheet, more durability, and color retention. They don’t require frequent refinishing but require complete removal beforehand. It’s almost important to note that this type tends to rot the deck more quickly, so check with a professional before applying this stain.
  • One Time Wood is an acrylic resin product that comes in several colors and lasts up to five years.
  • Cabot’s Stains are a budget-friendly option that is simple to use and fast to apply but must be reapplied every other year.

There is no one-size-fits-all deck stain. The stain you choose can change the look and feel of your deck space.

At Decks Unlimited, we prefer to use transparent and semi-transparent staining, because in our experience they tend to have the best result.

5 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Deck Stainer

There are several pitfalls with DIY deck staining. While the process seems simple (and it can be) it is still important to have the right products, expertise, and time to do a thorough job. Sometimes it’s best to leave this to the professionals who can have your deck stained before you get home from work.

  • Quality Stains and Paints: Anyone can purchase wood stains at the hardware store, but a professional understands what stain to use for your deck’s composition, age, and current condition.
  • Surface Preparation: The best deck staining starts with the best preparation. This means your deck must be cleaned, stripped, and/or sanded. Most homeowners don’t have the time or patience for this process.
  • Making Necessary Repairs: When you’re staining your deck, this is also the time to make necessary repairs like cracks, holes, or missing pieces. Professional deck staining can take care of this for you.
  • Proper Application: Using the wrong technique or tools for your deck staining will leave you with a poor finished product that will only cost you more time and money to fix. Hiring a professional will guarantee it is done right the first time.
  • Easier Maintenance: When you have your deck professionally stained, you know it’s being taken care of and all you have to do is enjoy your beautiful outdoor space.

How We Stain a Deck “Unlimited Style”

Step 1: Inspect the Deck 

Pressure washing

We are going to look over every inch and make any necessary repairs before we get started. We also take care of small problems like broken pieces of wood, raised nails, or broken screws.

Step 2: Clean the Deck

To thoroughly clean the deck, we start by sweeping the surface and then pressure washing the deck. All exterior walls are protected during this process and the pressure washer ensures all dirt, stains, mildew, algae, or mold are removed.

Step 3: Stain the Deck

Typically, we will use either a roller brush or a sprayer to apply an even coat of quality deck stain to provide long-lasting results.

FAQs about Deck Stains

  • How long does Deck Staining last?
    • This greatly depends on the type of stain you use. Some less expensive stains only last a year or two while others can last up to 5 years.
  • How long do you stay off a deck after staining?
    • As a general rule of thumb, we recommend staying off the deck for 24 to 48 hours after it is stained.
  • Will pressure washing remove deck stain?
    • Yes, which is why it’s important to use pressure washing with care. It can remove the deck finish but can also damage the deck surface if you’re not careful.
  • Do you have to remove the old stain before re-staining the deck?
    • Water-based stains must be completely removed before reapplying. Oil-based stains do not, but when your deck stain is flaking away, it will look better if it’s scraped off before a new coat is added.
  • What happens if it rains after staining the deck?
    • You want to wait for a dry forecast to apply deck stain. If it rains before the stain has had time to fully cure, it can peel, flake off, or result in a splotchy surface.
  • How much does staining cost?
    • Our deck staining starts at $600. The size and elevation of the deck along with the type of stain will affect the cost. You can expect to pay roughly $3.75 – $5 per square foot.

There are lots of DIY projects you can complete around your home and yard, but deck staining doesn’t have to be one of them.

Why Choose Decks Unlimited?


Decks Unlimited has been serving Louisville, KY and surrounding areas since 1993. Our goal is to provide a product that lasts a lifetime. We are known for our six core values:

  1. professional staff provides excellent service to each project.
  2. Only the best quality products are used on Decks Unlimited job sites to ensure a beautiful result.
  3. We source our materials from industry-standard brands we know and trust.
  4. We offer each client free quotes with competitive pricing.
  5. Our schedule is based on your schedule, and we are eager to complete every project on time.
  6. Our outstanding customer support, attention to detail, and superior services give you everything you need to create a custom outdoor space.

Decks Unlimited has a hands-on owner, Craig Small, who is on nearly every job site focusing on making sure the design, details, budget, and project management work for you. Our high standards provide for decades of satisfied customers.

Are You Looking for a Deck Staining Company?

Stop looking at your deck wondering when you’re going to have enough time to get it stained. Instead, give us a call at Decks Unlimited in Louisville, KY, and schedule a free estimate for your next deck staining. We get the job done right the first time so you can dedicate your weekends to baseball games and barbeques. Enjoy peace of mind and let Decks Unlimited handle the rest.

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