Coating Wood Decks


Wood decks present a particularly demanding surface for painting or staining. The floor area, being horizontal facing up, subjects the coating to:

  • High incidence of UV light from sunshine
  • Stress from standing water, snow, wet leaves, etc.
  • Wear from foot traffic, furniture, pets, etc.

Surface Preparation Steps

New exterior wood should be stained or treated promptly after installation (however, water left in the wood from factory preservative treatment should be allowed to dry before application of any material, which may take from one to six months depending on the dimensions of the wood and the water content).

When possible, apply the material to edges, ends, and under sides of pieces.

Always apply products that are recommended for deck surfaces.

For best results on redos, remove the previous coat of stain or preservative followed by sanding the wood and wiping clean. Power washing would be a good second choice, using plain water or a deck preparation treatment. (Without proper preparation the new coat of stain or preservative may not adhere or penetrate properly. Remove all mildew with a solution of water and bleach, refer to the Controlling Mildew bulletin.) Rinse off all residual cleaner, bleach, dirt, and dust. Allow the wood to dry 2-3 days prior to application of the stain or preservative.

Apply material only when shaded from direct sunshine and when cold weather and rain are not expected within the next 24 hours.

Diamond Vogel recommends applying one or two coats of Diamond Vogel’s Grain Stain Semi-Transparent Stain or Grain Stain Transparent Deck Stain. Two coats would be recommended for maximum durability. When applying two coats, apply them wet on wet (applying the second coat before the first coat is fully dry). Apply enough material that will soak into the surface eliminating excess material sitting on the surface of the wood.

How Often Should a Deck be Finished?

Clear water sealers typically will need to be redone every one to two years, depending on water beading capability. Special treatment is not necessary unless wood is graying or showing other signs of deterioration.

Stains will typically need to be redone every two to three years depending on color and exposure to UV rays.

For further information on staining decks, contact your Diamond Vogel representative.

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