The Best Wood Stain & Deck Staining Tips for the Northeast


Depositphotos_25520783_m-2015Choosing the right deck stain and deciding when to work on your outdoor staining projects can be daunting. Luckily, the folks here at Richmond Hardware are happy to offer advice and provide deck staining tips. Here, you’ll find information on the best time of year for staining wood outdoors, choosing the best stain product, and some tips that will ensure your finished result is something you’ll be proud for years to come.

The Ideal Time of Year for Outdoor Staining Projects

Anyone will tell you that the best time of year to stain your deck, no matter where you live, is when you have good weather to do so and the time available to do it correctly. Many times people in the Northeast think that the spring and summer months are the best time of year for staining your deck but we like to recommend the fall, and here’s why.

Naturally, wood is porous and absorbs humidity making it harder for the wood to absorb the stain during the spring months as it tends to be a bit soggy from those famous April showers. In the summer, the weather can be downright scorching. The stain can evaporate too quickly, again, not allowing the stain to penetrate the wood to its full potential. If for any reason, the stain isn’t absorbed into the wood the way it should, it could lead to peeling or cracking.

For those living in New England, fall is a fantastic season to plan your outdoor staining. Not only does it tend to be a drier time of year and the humidity is lower, but the temperatures are mild, making it the best time of year for the stain to absorb into the wood thoroughly. Not only is it a much more comfortable and enjoyable time of year to spend the day working outside but it’s nice to get your deck stained and protected before the harsh winter arrives.

Which Kind of Deck Stain is Best?

There are many fabulous deck stains on the market these days but our favorite brands are Storm System® and NUDECK®.

Storm System® is available in 5 different categories of finish based on the level of opacity, the degree of UV protection, and typical longevity of each finish. This brand of wood stain takes the guessing game out of deciding which stain to pick based on your specific application. Whether you are a home improvement novice or a carpenter, this stain is a great choice.

NUDECK® is a water-based paintable solution for damaged or aged wood and concrete surfaces. It creates a new, mildew-resistant, non-slip surface that is resistant to abrasion and foot traffic. Which is great if you have pets that enjoy spending time on your deck. Another added perk is that the formula is designed to fill holes and ridges which locks down splinters.

5 Deck Staining Tips from the Pros at Richmond Hardware

  1. Pressure washing certainly cleans a deck well, but the strength of the stream can force water into the wood fibers so that the wood is basically saturated. Leave a few days to a week in between power washing your deck and staining it. This should give the wood ample time to dry.
  2. Apply stain when the temperatures are between 50° – 90°F.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight during drying times. This could cause the deck to dry too fast and leave water marks.
  4. Don’t apply stain if rain is forecasted in the next 24-48 hours – ideally a week.
  5. When staining you generally pay attention to the forecast to avoid rain but you may want to pay attention to forecasted wind gusts. A windy day while staining your deck could increase the chances of dust, sand, and pebbles getting caught in the sticky stain as well as other debris, like small sticks and leaves.

When you come to our hardware store to pick up your deck staining supplies, don’t hesitate to ask us for help and, as always, be sure to check out our flyer for current promotions and coupons.