How To Pressure Wash A Deck For Staining

How To Pressure Wash A Deck For Staining

How To Pressure Wash A Deck For Staining? Preparing a deck for staining is not an easy task. It takes a lot of patience and effort. However, it is an evil job that you cannot leave behind to keep your deck maintained.

A lot of investment is done on the wooden deck to make it pleasant for the beauty of your home. A wooden deck not only looks good but is also easy to maintain on daily basis as compared to a grassy or muddy lawn.

You can value the investment by keeping the deck surface clean through occasional cleaning and refurbishing it after 3-4 years. It will make the wood lasts longer as well as enhance the overall look.

Therefore, it is best to pressure wash your deck first and then apply a fine coat of stain to retain its beauty and looks. Knowing how to pressure wash a deck for staining is an art that you should master to give a great look to your exterior on your own.

But first, let’s go to some basics:

How To Know It’s Time To Pressure Wash And Prepare The Deck For Staining

As wooden decks are exposed to weather changes, these changes take their toll on the deck in the form of thrashing rainwater or snow piles. It affects the overall finish of the wood and looks unpleasant to the eyes.

To check whether it is time to stain the deck, try water testing. Drop water on the deck if the wood resists the water, the stain is still providing a shield to the wood.  So there is no immediate need of staining the deck.

However, if the water soaks into the wood fiber then it is time for staining the wood again.

If you’re not familiar with the procedure, we’ve explained the query in detail.

What is the alternative to staining? Which one is effective? How you can do it properly? And what types of staining are available and how they differ from each other. And the major query of how to pressure wash the deck for staining, you will get detailed answers for all of them. Just keep on reading and you’ll be able to do the job professionally.

Also Read: How To Power Wash A Deck With Soap

Homemade Deck Cleaner For Power Washer

An alternative to staining a wooden deck:

If you’re looking for refurbishing your wooden deck you can either choose to paint the surface or you can stain it. Both of them will provide safety from weather changes and rainy water. Also increases the lifetime of the wood.

Let’s look at how they differ from each other.


  • Staining allows you to enjoy natural wood beauty by applying transparent stain.
  • Staining is cheaper as compared to painting.
  • You don’t have to apply a primer for staining.


  • It is suitable when you want to exhibit your creativity through colors and art.
  • Paint lasts longer
  • It is an expensive option.

How To Pressure Wash A Deck For Staining

The procedure of staining goes through three steps.

  1. Surface Preparation
  2. Pressure washing
  3. Applying stain

Surface Preparation

  • You’ll require to prepare the surface before staining. As it needs to be clean and properly dry.
  • Remove all the moveable furniture and other items.
  • Sweep all the dirt and debris away from the wood.
  • If the wood is crackly or splintering, grit sandpaper over it to smooth the surface.

Pressure washing The Deck Before Staining

    • Set up the pressure washer for cleaning with low-degree nozzles depending upon the condition of the wood.
    • Always start from low pressure then you can increase it slowly if necessary. Do not exert high pressure that wood cannot withstand.
    • After you are satisfied with the results, apply a wood stripper and let it stay on the wet surface for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not let it dry.
    • Then again pressure washes the surface with low settings. Rinse the wooden surface thoroughly.
    • Now apply a wood brightener to the surface. Repeat the same process as done with a wood stripper. If you notice any rigid stains you can brush them off with a brush.
    • After 15 minutes, pressure washes the surface with a pressure washer in a sweeping motion to effectively remove all the debris or dirt that remained on the wood.

Apply Staining

  • Cover off the nearby area and objects you don’t want to be stained.
  • Use a paint roller to apply staining coats. At least apply two thin layers of stain for a nice even finishing. For tight narrow spots, you can use a paintbrush instead of a roller.
  • Let the wood dry completely for at least one to two days.

Tips to follow before Pressure washing for staining the deck

  • Check the forecast, go for staining when it has not rained for a few weeks. Prefer dry weather between 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As stain won’t penetrate well on a damp wet surface.
  • Prepare and wash the surface properly with a washer as explained above. Let it dry completely for a day or two.
  • Use the right tools and brushes according to the surface.
  • Choose the stain type according to the wood condition. A solid stain can be applied to any staining surface but transparent or semi-transparent cannot be applied on the surface.

Different Staining Options

There are different options for staining your wood:

  1. Transparent Staining:

As obvious by the name, transparent staining will keep the natural wood color and grain. Although it keeps the beauty of wood, it does not protect against UV rays. Because these stains do not have oils or pigments also known as trans-oxides to protect the wood from UV rays.

This type of staining provides protection to wood against water and moisture. But it has to be redone yearly and requires a lot of maintenance.

  1. Semi-transparent Staining:

This type of staining some-what keeps the natural color of the wood by adding a light tint shade to it. But it contains a minimal amount of pigment so provides lasting protection as compared to the transparent staining. This staining is durable as it does not peel off easily. But after some time it will eventually lose its finish and had to be redone.

  1. Solid staining:

This type of staining is highly pigmented and provides the best protection. But for that, you have to apply it properly and keep the maintenance up to the mark. If you are applying it on an older deck it will be a better option as it hides the discoloration of the wood. The setback of solid staining is inclined to cracking and chipping concerns.

  1. Water-based staining:

Water-based staining is the most durable and last longer than any of the above-mentioned types. They can last up to 3-4 years. And the best part is they are environmentally kindly.

In case of refurbishing, you’ll require to completely remove the existing stains from the deck.

  1. Oil-based staining:

Oil-based staining indulges deeply in the wood fiber and is easy to maintain. To avoid mild or grim layered on the wood you might have to add mold-resistant chemicals. They can last up to 2 years. But you don’t have to fuss about removing the old stain. All you have to do is do a thorough cleaning before reapplying.


To increase the life of the deck, you have to stain it after 2-3 years depending upon the situation of your wood surface. Because changing a wooden deck is a costly and immature decision.

When you can do it simply by refurbishing. In this article, we’ve explained how to do it and what factors are involved in the process. If you have any further queries feel free to ask below.

Related Articles:

5 Best Electric Pressure Washers For Deck Cleaning and Washing

How Long After Power Washing Can You Stain A Deck

How to Pressure Wash a Deck to Remove Paint?

Flinn Milan

Flinn Milan is the content director at Washwith. He is responsible for developing helpful content in collaboration with other hard-working team members. Over several years, his content strategy is mainly focused on describing and highlighting every product with its positive and negative points

Leave a Comment