Let's get that deck ready for Summer!!

Staining a Deck & Railings

Decks tend to be subject to the harshest weather conditions. As they usually get a maintenance coat every couple of years it is very important to make sure that you choose a stain that does not need to be removed each maintenance coat unless you really love sanding. We find most clients are on a 2 year maintenance cycle for their decks to keep them looking nice and avoiding having to sand. Log and wood railings are often on the same cycle.

WARNING: Ensure Stain Compatibility with other Coatings/Chinking/Caulking

Did you know that some coatings that you use may contain non-drying oils or waxes and may prevent you from using chinking and caulking in the future? If you are not certain, ask a specialist about our compatibility testing, database of various stains and chemical ingredient review service.

CAUTION: Only use Log Products on Log Homes

We receive phone calls daily from people disappointed they bought a deck/fence /wood stain at a big box or hardware store and it failed early. Log's Ain't Wood and they behave much differently. You don't treat a 2x4 the same you way treat a log. You want a product specifically engineered to perform properly for your home. Would you rather save a hundred dollars on product? Or do the job twice as often??



The method you choose to stain your deck can vary:

  • New Decks
    • Typically wait 3-12 months before staining. The chemicals used in pressure treated wood and the moisture content of new wood make stain penetration a problem if stained too early. 
    • Should get a full prep before staining. If you want the best performance out of your stain, a new deck should be prepped too.


IDEAL PREP:  Sand the deck down to a 60 grit finish so the pores of the wood are open and ready to receive stain. This also removes mill glaze from the wood allowing for stain penetration. Rent (usually about $75-$100/weekend)  a drum sander for big areas and decks that are rough, cupped or warped.  A random orbital sander works well for smaller areas to remove splintering and open the wood pores, but won’t work well for any warping or cupping of the deck boards.  

OK PREP: A wood cleaner/brightener and pressure wash can also be used but won’t do anything for rough, cupped or warped boards. It will also require waiting for the wood to drop below 19% moisture content before staining. 


1) Check surface temperature of the wood. In general if there is sunlight on the deck boards, it will likely be too hot to stain. Applying stains when the wood is too hot results in “flashing” instead fo the stain penetrating. This can later lead to peeling. Confirm application temperature as each stain is slighlty differrent. 

2) Be sure to not sand with too fine of sandpaper. Most stains call for between 60-80 grit sanding prior to application so the pores of the wood are open to receive stain. Sanding too smooth closes these pores and does not allow penetration. This can lead to peeling later. Confirm preparation instructions as each stain is slightly different. 



Hopefully you chose a non-peel formula last time. 

  • If a no-peel formula was applied properly, then this should be simple. 
  • Clean off any dust, pollen, bird poo, etc. with a wood cleaner. Gently pressure wash off. Wait until wood dries below 19% moisture content. 

If you didn’t use a non-peel formula last time:  

  • If it is peeling now…See Deck Restoration below 😥


Maintenance Cycles: Most decks with full sun/rain exposure will need a maintenance coat every 1-2yrs. The big question is at that time…do you need to sand it all down making the job much bigger? Most of the deck stains we carry are non-peel formulas which usually means your maintenance is easier as if fades instead of peels. Remember: If you wait too long with even a non-peeling stain, you could find yourself sanding it down.  Color matching if sections are faded down to raw wood can be a pain and usually is easier to sand down.  



A big job for sure, but worth it when done. 

  • If you got here because you didn’t use a deck stain with a non-peel formula last time…change your strategy this time. 
  • Making Repairs:  Check first for damaged, cracked or warped boards that may require sanding. Pay close attention to parts of the deck close to the ground. If rot is encountered, speak with one of our specialists before replacing as it may be fixable. 
  •  Clean the Surface: Now you must determine your prep strategy. Wood in good shape but the coating is not or the wood has greyed? Maybe just a pressure wash and wood cleaner/brightener.  Cupping, warping, splintering, cracking? Sanding would result in a better prep job. 


Be sure to sink in any screws or nails that may catch the sand paper. 
Many deck stains fail prematurely when snow from the winter is not removed or a metal edge shovel is used. 
Don’t forget to at least remove the snow off your deck around the bottom couple of  logs to prevent rot and early stain failure.   

Deck, Fence and Trim Stains

Sikkens Deck Stain

Sikkens deck stain Cetol DEK Finish, now renamed Sico Proluxe Premium Deck Wood Finishing in Canada  is a high performance, translucent satin finish for exterior decks. This alkyd high solids formulation offers optimum protection, ultimate durability and a beautiful furniture finish appearance with the simplicity of a one product two coat application **Sikkens deck stain requires heated shipping from Oct-April as it can't freeze.  Pickup is still available year round. Please contact us directly for shipping quote to add heat as it won't calculate automatically.

Sashco Transformation Siding and Trim (Hybrid)


The best part is that Transformation Siding and Trim won’t peel.

Wood siding can be beautiful, but it usually screams “high maintenance.” Get Transformation Stain® Siding and Trim and give your ears the silence they deserve. Based on a stain formula that was originally created to withstand the extreme requirements of log homes, Transformation Stain® Siding and Trim wood siding stain is no stranger to high performance. It moves and flexes with the wood to maintain a protective coat that remains beautiful over time. The best part is that Transformation Siding and Trim won’t peel, which makes maintenance easy: a light power wash, followed by another coat of stain, and you’re done.


Stain Calculator & More Info

Olympic Deck Cleaner

A unique, premium quality product that penetrates deep to remove dirt and mildew stains. Restores the clean, natural look to exterior wood, concrete, composites and other surfaces. DESCRIPTION: Deep cleans surface prior to application USES: Decks, fences, siding, wooden furniture. pressure treated lumber, concrete, brick

Olympic Deck Stripper 3.78L

A premium stripper that will remove all latex and oil-based deck coatings, including semi-transparent and solid colour stains, varnishes, polyurethanes and water sealants.    

Sikkens Cetol 1

Sikkens Cetol 1 RE Stain is a premium, translucent, exterior wood base coat to be used with Sikkens Cetol 23 Plus. Its superior oil alkyd formulation offers excellent penetration and adhesion to vertical wood surfaces. Powerful UV absorbents protect color and wood substrates. Provides a mildew-resistant finish. Stain Calculator

Sikkens Cetol 23 Plus RE

Sikkens Cetol 23 Plus is a premium translucent topcoat for Cetol 1. Sikkens Cetol 23 Plus offers superior UV protection, and is highly transparent, water repellent, weather resistant, flexible, and breathable. Stain Calculator

Sikkens Cetol SRD RE

Great for Decks! Sikkens Cetol SRD is an excellent oil-based solution for most types of outdoor exterior applications. It gives a translucent effect, and you only have to apply one coat on siding, decking, log homes, and rails. Furthermore, you can have your pick from no less than seven different wood tones. Stain Calculator

Timber Pro Deck and Fence

Timber Pro DECK and FENCE is a unique waterborne natural-oil resin formula designed to stand up to the harshest environments. Timber Pro DECK+FENCE uses a unique combination of sunscreens and pigments that protects the wood surface from the sun’s UV rays. DECK+FENCE provides a durable breathable finish to beautify and protect your deck from day-to-day use and wear, as well as from the elements.


Stain Calculator

Yes. Sashco Transformation Siding and Trim would be a transparent or semi- transparent. Timberpro comes in transparent, semi-transparent and solid

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