How Many Coats of Deck Stain to Apply

The general rule of thumb is to apply only as much deck stain as the wood can absorb. Typically this will be 2 coats, unless your dealing with extremely dense hardwoods which may only be able to absorb 1 coat of wood stain. Watch this video to see more tips on how many coats of stain to apply.


  1. Linda says:

    We applied one thin coar of Defy clear stain today – can we apply a second coat tomorrow ?? We used Defy a Cleaner and brightened yesterday ….

    • customerservice says:

      Linda, Once you apply a coat of stain and it dries, you can’t apply another coat, the second coat will be repelled and you will see peeling. Give it another year and once the deck starts absorbing water you can apply another maintenance coat.

  2. dave says:

    you suggest 2 coats DEFY Extreme 5 Gallon Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain, Redwood
    do I cut it in twice and then do the floor twice.
    I was worried after cutting it in and doing the floor, I would mess up the floor while cutting in the second time.
    When can I walk on it after the first coat.

    • customerservice says:

      Dave, when you apply the stain I work in small sections, I’ll do 3 or 4 boards at a time. I’ll cut in those boards, then apply the stain with a push brush or car wash brush, and once I reach the end of the boards I cut in again those same areas and then reapply. I will work my across the entire deck using that method.

  3. Mary cousins says:

    I know Now…obvious to late since stain is wet to wet and you say redo second coat in a year so no peeling but the front of my deck is so much thinner than the rest of my deck…could you put another real thin coat on?

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