Outdoor Designs

10 Pro Tips For Staining Your Patio

Having a patio in your home’s exterior adds flair to your property as they elevate your home’s aesthetics and livability. However, like any other addition to your home, it’ll require maintenance and upkeep to retain its condition. And as it experiences many kinds of weather elements, it’ll need to be stained to prolong its quality and protection.

Upon coming to a reasonable conclusion about staining your patio, the activities involved in it might seem more than enough to stress you out. But it won’t have to be that way as long as you learn some tips and tricks about the proper execution of this home improvement project. Whether you’re hiring contractors to do the job or go the DIY route, the outcomes should be successful if done the right way.

Consider the following pro pointers in staining your outdoor patio:

  1. Select The Best Stain

Picking the right stain for your newly stained patio is essential if you want it to last a while. You can protect your home feature by staining it no matter the type. This will extend its lifespan for sure. However, first thing’s first—you need to know how to choose the best stain. Gather your options for the best wood stain to use.

Semi-transparent and transparent stains will always last longer than solid stains. The wood grain and materials will be visible in a transparent stain. However, its downside is it doesn’t stay as long as the solid or semi-transparent stains will do. The best stain finish is a solid stain, lasting the longest. The semi-transparent stain choice is kind of the gray line between the two extreme stains. A semi-transparent stain might show some wood detail, but this will cover a lot better.

Here are some additional tips when choosing stains:

  • A transparent stain is a good choice if your patio has just been recently constructed. This enables the fresh lumber’s material to be magnified. All the details will look best with a transparent stain.
  • Try to buy stains by gallons as they’re cheaper.
  • There’s no need to use a primer with staining to save costs on this.
  • Stain requires maintenance and regular upkeep more than paints.
  1. Consider The Weather During Application

Wet wood doesn’t hold stain well and is susceptible to cracking and peeling. Therefore, before involving in a stain application for your patio, research the weather forecast beforehand. Whenever it hasn’t rained for several days and there’s a forecast calling for dry conditions in the coming days, this is the best time to apply stain.

When humidity is low, drying time can be accelerated. On the contrary, staining under the sun’s extreme heat is also not good. Wood won’t absorb the stain because the heat allows it to dry too fast. You should be able to find the best-balanced temperature to have successful stain results.

  1. Prepare The Surface First

The wood must be clean and free of dirt and dust to give the stain a proper bond. Try to sweep the patio and ensure the surfaces are smooth and debris-free. Ensure that the patio surfaces are dry and void of mildew upon cleaning. Having a dirty surface makes it difficult for stains and other finishes to adhere and may cause them to peel.

Next is to apply some surface cleaners to your patio, but it’s best to wear a protective garment while doing this. Work in small sections on a large deck so that the area stays moist. The cleaner should be allowed to sit for at least 10 minutes. This is enough time for unwanted stains and dirt to be removed. To keep the wood wet while the cleaner soaks, mist your work area with a garden hose. Use detergents if there are any greasy stains on your patio.

After soaking, use a stiff synthetic bristle brush to scrub all the dirt and residues away. This time, you can either use a garden hose to wash the patio entirely or go for a power washer that’s intended for the patio. Make sure to use the right level of pressure, though, as you wouldn’t want it to be destroyed when the pressure is too intense. Keep the hose angled at 45° and maintain a few distances while power washing. After this procedure, you can allow the patio to dry for a few days to ensure no moisture is present.

  1. Use The Right Brush

There are several ways to apply your patio stains. You can also use a garden sprayer or a roller. You should always have a paintbrush on hand when applying your wood stain, though. By using a paintbrush, stains can be worked deep into the wood’s pores. This allows a smoother pattern as well. By agitating and rubbing the wood, a paintbrush causes more stain to be absorbed. You’ll achieve better penetration into the wood if you brush the stain back while it’s wet. Spray or roll the stain, then brush it back while it’s still wet.

If you’re unsure what brushes to use, note that synthetic brushes work best to apply a water-based stain to the wood. By contrast, natural bristles are hollow and can lose their stiffness by absorbing water. As for choosing rollers, go for a shorter nap. Use a natural bristle brush when using oil-based stains and synthetic ones for water-based. These are standard brush rules you need to be reminded of.

  1. Read The Stain Instruction Carefully

Never ignore the instruction guide once you’ve chosen the right stain product. It varies from type of stain opaqueness and manufacturer to manufacturer how many coats are recommended for every stain. No matter how well you managed to coat your patio last time, it pays to read the instruction for a while just to be sure. The product you get today may have different application requirements than the product you used before.


  1. Inspect The Patio Boards First

While it’s common to protect your outdoor patio furniture, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of preserving the condition of your patio boards too. Make sure to check the wood for some imperfections before staining. Install new nails or screws if you find loose ones. You can take advantage of this time to properly inspect whether your patio needs some more fixes before staining. This will help you avoid injuries in the long run.

Epoxy putty can be used to fill large cracks if you notice them. Putty knives are ideal for applying the epoxy. Before you sand or paint the epoxy, let it thoroughly dry. You can also hide nails and other imperfections with putty.

  1. Try Applying Thin Coats

Make sure the stain color is consistent by mixing several gallons at once. Then, stain several boards simultaneously with long, smooth strokes. Be mindful of the movement of your brush or rollers as you’d want to have uniform textures. Use thin coats of solid stains and even thinner coats of semi-transparent stains or clear sealers.

Having puddles on the surface of the wood will prevent the stain from soaking into the wood and flaking off when dry. Hence, be wary of tiny bubbles when applying the strokes. To ensure that no spots are missed and achieve a uniform finish, apply two thin coats of stain.

  1. Use Sandpaper On Uneven Surfaces

Another tip to prep your patio is to use sandpaper to even out the surfaces. But you have to know about sandpaper grit before deciding what to buy. To carry out this step correctly, take into account the different sandpaper types. Be sure to clean up any dust afterward. Understanding the sandpaper grit can help you be more efficient when sanding your patio. 

For instance, you’ll need to use coarse sandpaper if you’re working on getting rid of old paint or varnish on your patio surfaces. Medium coarse sandpaper with 60 to 100 grits should be enough if you want to smoothen out the rough wood surface. However, fine sandpaper should be ideal enough if you only want to remove minor stains and imperfections on the floor.

  1. Prioritize Quality Over Anything

Whether you choose to buy the materials for your patio project or look to hire contractors, it’s a general rule to prioritize quality. You always get what you pay for when choosing which stain to buy or what services to go for. If you want anything to have great results, you can expect to pay more.

However, considering how this will last longer, spending more on them would seem more practical. A premium product will deliver premium results. If you want something to last, you should stay away from inexpensive products or services.

  1. Don’t Rush The Process

Finally, don’t rush the process. When you’ve finished your project, take some time before finally using your patio. Give it enough time to dry and absorb the stain completely. The stain must have been cured before patio furniture and foot traffic can be used on it. Take at least one day to leave it before finally inviting your family to spend some time out on the patio.


Staining your patio sure isn’t an easy feat. You need to prepare some materials, tools, and the necessary steps mentioned above. However, when everything is done and followed through, you’ll expect to see excellent results, making you feel that all your efforts have paid off.

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