Brush applying stain on a wooden deck

Revive Your Deck with Paint or Stain

Revitalize a deck that has seen better days with a fresh coat of paint or stain. In addition to upgrading the structure’s appearance, this step will provide a protective finish to help keep your deck in good condition for many summers to come. Best of all, applying a fresh coat of paint or stain can be done in a single weekend.

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
2 days

Pro Tip

To Start Off: Whether it’s made of treated or untreated wood, exposed to the elements or not, or subject to lots or little foot traffic, every deck is different. Remember to take a good look at your deck before choosing which products to apply and to adapt your project accordingly.

Inspect the Wood Structure

  • 1.1Ensure that support structures like rim joists, intermediate joists, and pillars are in good condition.
  • 1.2Examine the wood elements touching the ground for signs of rot.
  • 1.3Inspect all railings and confirm that they are solid.
  • 1.4Make any necessary repairs or replacements.
  • 1.5Check the tightness of all nails, screws, and bolts. Replace protruding or loose nails with screws.

Strip Old Paint

  • 2.1Use an electric sander with 80- to 100-grit sandpaper to sand down the flat surfaces.
  • 2.2Sweep the area clean.
  • 2.3Apply paint stripper in a thick coat using a silk-bristle paint brush.
  • 2.4Wait for the stripper to penetrate and the old paint to begin peeling away.
  • 2.5Scrape the old paint away using a wood scraper, a hard brush, and a finishing pad or steel wool.
  • 2.6Clean the surface with a pressure washer and apply more paint stripper if needed.
  • 2.7Remove all remaining residue from horizontal surfaces using 80-grit sandpaper and from vertical surfaces using 120-grit sandpaper.
  • 2.8Rinse all surfaces, then clean them off using a broom or a shop vac.
Old paint stripped from a wooden deck

Clean the Surfaces

  • 3.1Hose down the entire surface of the deck or wood structure.
  • 3.2Use a sprayer to apply the deck cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • 3.3Brush down surfaces, focusing on stains and areas that receive high traffic.
  • 3.4Wait for the cleaner to act and do not allow it to dry.
  • 3.5Use a pressure washer to thoroughly rinse all surfaces.
  • 3.6Rinse any plants or other surfaces near the structure.

Apply Primer and Paint or Stain

  • 4.1Wait for all prepped and cleaned surfaces to dry.
  • 4.2Check the forecast for the best time to paint or stain. Avoid applying to chosen product when it is very hot, and make sure to finish at least 48 hours before the next rain.
  • 4.3Use a tarp and masking tape to protect any nearby surfaces, like deck accessories or vinyl house cladding.
  • 4.4Use a brush, spray gun, or roller to apply a primer-sealer coat.
  • 4.5Use a brush or a sponge to apply the paint or stain and allow it to dry completely, following all manufacturer’s instructions.
  • 4.6Paint or stain all off-the-floor elements (like caps, rails, and handrails) using a brush.
  • 4.7Follow the direction of the wood grain when applying paint or stain.
  • 4.8For the decking and other large surfaces of the structure, use a roller and paint or stain in 2’ to 3’ sections. Begin furthest from the door.
  • 4.9Lastly, paint or stain the stairs and rim joists, applying just enough product to penetrate knots and cracks. Saturate the board ends as well.
  • 4.10Check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm how long to wait before a second coat application.

Never run out of paint or stain halfway through the project

Use our Paint Calculator to make sure you have enough paint or stain for your project.

Pro Tip

Stains are available in a wide range of colours and finishes, from opaque to transparent to semi-transparent. Pick a product and identify the number of coats required depending on the desired look.

Protect the Deck (optional)

  • 5.1If you chose an outdoor stain for your deck, note that it is recommended to apply fresh coats of stain every 1-3 years.
  • 5.2Since the dirt can damage the finish over time, you can reduce wear and tear by thoroughly washing your deck at the beginning and end of every season.

Apply Stain in the Rain

Most stains aren’t made to be applied in the rain, but Weather-Ready™ Technology can be used in almost any conditions, whether it is hot, cold, or damp. Application is also quick and easy.

  • Clean and stain right after it rains
  • Apply stain at temperatures as low as 0°C (35°F)
  • Mist and apply stain even on hot and sunny days
  • Enjoy a rain-ready deck in as little as 8-12 hours
OIympic product to stain wood in the rain

Suggested products

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