Staining an Outdoor Deck

This weekend, one task we need to complete is staining the redwood deck. First we had to make some repairs (see the details here) and then power wash the old gray and mossy wood (details here) to prepare the stain which will not only make the deck look brand new, but protect the wood for another 5 or so years.

For a 2,000 sqft section of deck and wood stairs, we used 10 Gallons of stain.

Sam had already picked out the stain we needed at Lowe’s, so we showed up on Friday to get started. Upon applying the first stroke of stain, we discovered that it was way too orange, and looked like paint, not stain. It was covering up the beauty of the wood! (This was a semi-transparent color) So that initial bunch of pails were returned, and we got full transparent instead. Well…. the two looked exactly the same!

You can see some orangey patches that we wiped up:

Redwood deck with orang and brown stain

This orange is not what we were going for… the photo doesn’t capture how orange it really was, but it looked hideous.

A dry redwood deck with a patch of orange stain

So Dad and Sam ended up calling a local paint shop, and they knew exactly what we needed for redwood. Color: Valley. And this stain was more of an oily base vs. the stuff we purchased at Lowe’s, which was much thicker.

With the correct color in hand, 3 hours later… we got on with the project. Starting on the upper deck in the corner, Sam, Dad and Joyce worked on the perimeters, while I spread the stain using a paint roller and extension pole.

A redwood deck in the process of oil stain being applied with a cement wall in the background

There is the color we wanted!

I took a break from the roller for a bit and handed it over to Sam:

A man with a paint roller and a bucket of stain applying the oil to a redwood deck

One issue we had using the paint roller was not getting stain in between the cracks:

A section of stained redwood decking with a bare spot with no stain on the edge of a plank, between the cracks

So we will need to come back with a brush in these areas to apply more stain.

Here are Joyce and Dad getting in on the action!

A man and woman sitting on the ground of a redwood deck painting the perimeter

Day 1, we ran through 7 gallons of stain, called it a night and had dinner.

Day 2:

Would you believe that 4 hours after we lates down the last bit of stain, that we had a bit of a rain storm here? And the stained part of the deck held up just fine!

We continued to paint the deck, amongst other jobs, and made some progress, but still did not complete the staining job.

Dad finished the upper stairs, I stained some new redwood Sam installed on the benches, and finished up some trim on the upper deck, and started making my way down the stairs.

Here is where we left off at the end of Saturday:

A large redwood deck in the middle or restoration and staining

Day 3:

We finished staining the deck!!! Thank heavens this task is complete! I think it looks great.

A panoramic view of a large redwood deck in Utah

What about you?

With Love, Erika Nora


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