Do you have to stain wood every year?

Author: Kayden Marquardt  |  Last update: Monday, December 25, 2023

Typically, homeowners should restain horizontal surfaces such as decks every two to three years.

What happens to wood if you don't stain it?

But when it happens this wear will be evidenced by greying, as the top layers of the lumber oxidize from sun and rain, and also splintering, warping, rotting, and cracking. It may be many years before an untreated deck becomes completely unusable.

How long does stain last on wood?

You can expect no more than 1-2 years of protection even when using the best exterior deck stains, like TWP. Once the deck stain begins to fade and no longer repels water, you have waited too long and should be re-stained by professionals.

Do I need to stain my deck every year?

As a general rule, your deck should be stained every 2-3 years. This can change, however, if you are in an area of high-humidity or especially volatile weather. The signs to look for when determining if you need deck staining are: The stain color of the wood is wearing off.

How long will a deck last without stain?

After 6 months, the wood will start to lose its color and will begin to fade. Ultimately it will fade to grey or silver. This is not a problem in and of itself, and some people prefer this look for their decks.

Biggest wood staining mistakes and misconceptions | Wood staining BASICS

Is it better to stain a deck or leave it?

Most people apply stain both to protect their decking from weather damage and to make the wood vibrant and beautiful. Without stain, the wood can fade under sunlight and moisture can seep into the wood pores. Over time, this degrades your decking, making it unsightly and weak.

How late in the year can you stain a deck?

Deck stains should be applied between temperatures above 50 and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. These last weeks of September, as well as the upcoming weeks of early October, are ideal for completing this maintenance step for your deck. With this, it is also best to apply your deck stain away from direct sunlight.

What happens if you don't stain a wood deck?

If you decide to leave your deck alone instead, expect the loss of color and shine to progress until your deck takes on a gray-ish, green-ish hue. This coloration (or lack of color) isn't necessarily an issue on its own, but it's often followed by deterioration that takes a toll on your deck's integrity itself.

Why is my deck stain peeling after one year?

Deck stains will generally peel for two basic reasons: over application and poor adhesion.

What months are best to stain a deck?

This varies by season and location, but it's usually best to stain your deck in the spring or fall. You can certainly start staining in the summer, just be sure to do it outside of the direct sunlight. The best time to stain your deck is either the spring or the fall.

How often should a deck be stained and sealed?

It is generally recommended to seal your deck every year or two. Harsh winters or extremely hot summers can cause the sealant to wear away. Plus, it can get scratched from shoes or outdoor furniture. You should also keep up with routine deck maintenance to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.

Can I stain wood over old stain?

Depending on your project, you will not need to remove old stain before restaining. If you want to darken the stain on your wood project, then removing the existing stain is not necessary!

When should you not stain wood?

A common mistake when applying stain is not taking weather, temperature and moisture into account. Staining when the deck surface is too hot or the wood is too wet; when rain is too imminent or when nighttime temperatures are too cold can all lead to problems down the road and shorten the life of your stain.

Can you seal wood without staining?

Now here's the secret to protecting and finishing raw wood while also protecting the raw wood look. Modern Masters Exterior Dead Flat Varnish. This is a water-based sealant that brushes on easily and never leaves streaks. Since it's water-based, it needs to be applied over raw wood or other water-based products.

Do I have to seal wood after staining?

After the stain has dried, it's time for the first finishing coat. Remember, you put the stain on unfinished wood, so you need to seal the stain to protect it.

Can you wait too long to stain a deck?

How Long Should I Wait to Stain My New Deck? Pressure-treated wood has been through a process that applies preservatives into the wood, making the wood wet. It is important to wait for the wood to dry before sealing a new deck, but at the same time, you don't want to wait too long. Drying can take several months.

Why does my deck turn black after staining?

Improper curing usually happens from over applying the stain. In very hot and humid climate types, mold and mildew can actually begin to form on the surface of a deck stain causing it to appear darker. In extreme cases, mold and mildew can grow below or in the stain, further darkening the appearance.

Why does my stained deck always look dirty?

Dust, debris, and an untreated stain can make your deck look dirty. Other factors include damage and discoloration to the wood resulting from weather changes. Therefore, you'll need to clean, organize, or cover your deck. Another alternative is using a high-quality sealer to maintain the wood.

How do I know if my deck needs a second coat of stain?

Water can take a toll on a wood deck's finish, whether it's pounding rain or piles of snow. You can tell whether your deck stain is still protecting the wood if it repels water. If it doesn't, it's time to stain again.

Why stain a deck instead of paint?

Stains soak into the wood of your deck, meaning they are not as affected by seasonal changes. They also will not peel with foot traffic, and they will not trap water inside the wood if any gets in, the way paint does. Finally, stains allow the wood grain to show through more than paints do.

Is it better to stain in fall or spring?

Fall is the perfect time to take on the task of staining your deck. Not only will you not roast in the sweltering summer temperatures, but the cooler fall weather is ideal for staining. Most deck stains recommend that they be used when outdoor temperatures are above 50 and below 90.

How many coats of stain should you put on a deck?

We always recommend two coats of stain for any wood project, but you should only apply as much stain as the wood can absorb. Extremely dense hardwoods may only be able to absorb one coat of wood stain. The general rule of thumb is to apply only as much deck stain as the wood can absorb.

How much does it cost to stain a deck?

According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the average cost to stain a deck ranges from $540 to $1,250, with the national average at $775. You may be wondering, “How much to stain a deck per square foot?” That cost averages out to approximately $2 to $4 per square foot.

What lasts longer on a deck stain or paint?

Deck paint lasts up to 10 years, while stain only lasts two to three years. Stain tends to be easier on the wood, allowing it to breathe and contract more. Both products help protect your deck from the elements, but paint provides more defense against UV rays.

Can you seal a deck without staining?

Wood stain and wood sealant are two different products, each designed to add different characteristics to your deck. You don't necessarily have to choose between staining and sealing. Some products can combine both properties, or you can add both to your deck.

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