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Staining Your Deck in the Pacific Northwest

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you know that the weather can be unpredictable. One minute it’s sunny and warm, and the next it’s raining cats and dogs. This can make staining your deck a bit of a challenge. However, with the right preparation and tools, you can ensure that your deck looks great and is protected from the elements.

Why Stain Your Deck?

Staining your deck has several benefits. First, it helps to protect the wood from moisture, which can cause rot and decay. Second, it helps to prevent fading and discoloration caused by UV rays. Finally, it can enhance the natural beauty of the wood and give your deck a fresh new look.

Choosing the Right Stain

When choosing a stain for your deck, there are several factors to consider. First, you need to decide whether you want a clear or a colored stain. Clear stains allow the natural grain and color of the wood to show through, while colored stains can add depth and richness to the wood.
Next, you need to consider the type of stain you want to use. There are two main types of stain: oil-based and water-based. Oil-based stains tend to penetrate deeper into the wood and provide better protection against moisture. However, they can be more difficult to clean up and may require more frequent reapplication. Water-based stains are easier to clean up and dry faster, but they may not provide as much protection against moisture.
Finally, you need to choose a stain that is appropriate for the climate in the Pacific Northwest. Look for a stain that is specifically designed for wet climates and provides good protection against rain and moisture.

Preparing Your Deck

Before you can start staining your deck, you need to prepare it properly. Start by cleaning the deck thoroughly using a pressure washer or a stiff-bristled brush and a deck cleaner. This will remove dirt, grime, and any old stain or sealer.
Next, inspect the deck for any damage or rot. Replace any damaged boards and make any necessary repairs before staining.
Finally, let the deck dry completely before applying the stain. This may take several days, depending on the weather.

Applying the Stain

When it comes time to apply the stain, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you have all the necessary tools, including a brush or roller, a paint tray, and a drop cloth.
Next, start by applying the stain to the railings and other vertical surfaces using a brush. Then, move on to the floorboards, working in small sections at a time. Be sure to apply the stain evenly and work it into the wood.
Finally, let the stain dry completely before walking on the deck or placing any furniture on it. This may take several hours or even a full day, depending on the type of stain and the weather conditions.

Maintaining Your Deck

Once you’ve stained your deck, it’s important to maintain it properly to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. This means regularly cleaning the deck and reapplying the stain every few years.
In addition, be sure to keep an eye out for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Repair any damage promptly to prevent it from getting worse.


Staining your deck in the Pacific Northwest can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right preparation and tools, it’s definitely doable. By choosing the right stain, preparing your deck properly, and maintaining it regularly, you can ensure that your deck looks great and is protected from the elements for years to come.

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