When to Stain Your Deck

The best time to stain your deck is either the spring or the fall. If you stain your deck in the summer, make sure you do it out of the direct sunlight. Applying a deck stain in direct sun will cause the stain to dry to quickly and can result in premature stain failure. In the summer, stain your deck in the morning or evening so the deck surface isn’t too hot. Remember, the surface temperature of the deck can be much hotter than the air temperature. Also, make sure there’s no chance of rain so your hard work doesn’t get washed away.


  1. Kathie Wise says:

    I used Behr stain last summer on my new cedar deck. Why are some planks peeling?

    • defyadmin says:

      Kathie, did you follow all the prep instructions? How long did the wood weather before you applied the stain? Sometimes cedar can be a difficult wood to penetrate due to its oily nature. Allowing the wood to weather for at least 3-6 months can help. You may try using a stain with smaller resins that can penetrate hard or oily wood types better like DEFY Deck Stain for Hardwoods. Also, try using a car wash brush to apply as this really forces the wood down into the wood pores, helping the stain bond better and last longer.

    • Elise Hammond says:

      We finished applying your natural pine stain/sealer by 6 pm on a deck landing and two sets of stairs and there was a pop up thunder storm at around 1 pm the next day. We noticed all of the other areas we had previously painted had water beading up. But not on the areas that had not had 24 hours to cure. Is there anything we can do at this point other than re-pressure washing those areas and starting over?

      • defyadmin says:

        Elise, you’re best bet is to wait and apply a maintenance coat in a few months. You don’t want to do it right now as it won’t absorb properly. Allowing the wood to weather for a few months should allow the pores to open up enough to accept another coat.

  2. Julie raines says:

    We applied one coat of Defy extreme stain last fall to our weathered, new deck, and per recommendations by this website, we have waited to do rest. We want to finish the process now. Do we need to clean and brighten, or only brighten? and do we do 1 or 2 coats of stain?

    • defyadmin says:

      Julie, apply the Wood Brightener, wait 5 or 10 minutes, and then rinse it off. Allow the deck to dry out for 12-24 hours and then you should be able to apply a single maintenance coat. You’ll want to apply only as much stain as the wood can absorb. If it looks like it can absorb more than 1 coat, you can do 2 wet-on-wet coats, but typically for maintenance coats, 1 coat is sufficient.

  3. Darla says:

    I have always used Sherwin Wms deck stain. 33 years on the same deck. DHow does Defy compare? Also if I switch to Defy would I need to do any special prep to remove the existing stain that was last applied 2 years ago?

    • defyadmin says:

      Darla, Sherwin has several different wood stains on the market. Which one have you been using? Go to deckstainpro.com to see 14 month weathering results of DEFY Extreme and Sherwin Williams Superdeck stains. Before using DEFY, we recommend using our Stain Stripper followed by Wood Brightener to prep the surface and get the maximum lifespan out of DEFY.

  4. Mike Nomura says:

    I have just applied the Defy Deck Stain for Hardwoods. In the future for a maintenance coat will it be okay to apply the Defy ExtremeSemi TransparentWood Stain over the Deck Stain for Hardwoods?

  5. Lisa says:

    Is there a temperature that you should not apply stain. Such as not below 50 degrees. I know you should not in extreme heat . But what is the lowest temperature you should be above

  6. Leslye says:

    I am still waiting for my samples. In the meantime our cedar deck has been sanded last year, cleaned 2 times with your cleaner, brightened, sanded again and about to be brightened again before we stain. can I use the regular stain as opposed to the hardwood stain on cedar? (more color choices).
    Also, should I do one or two coats. It is an older deck but refinished every 2 years so it is in good shape.

    • defyadmin says:

      Leslye, our hardwood stain is better suited for cedar, but you could potentially use our regular Extreme Wood Stain. Just make sure you only apply as much stain as the wood can absorb. If you over apply it (especially on cedar), you could get some peeling. It may only require 1 coat, but if it looks like it’s absorbing really well, see if a second coat soaks in. If it just lays on the surface, then it’s not able to absorb a second coat.

      • Annette Scharff says:

        I have a Timber Tec composite deck that is 13 years old. We have power washed it many times . The wood needs to be treated and mildew protected. This deck is 1500 sq ft.. what to use and how much do I need.

  7. Tim says:

    I purchased Defy wood stain 4 years ago to stain my new deck. I waited 6 months to let the pressure treated pine dry, then cleaned and brightened with Defy brand cleaner and brightener. ALL of the horizontal surfaces on my deck were fading, and peeling within 3 months. I had to reapply the following spring less than one year from the first staining. The second, which I carefully pressure washed, again using Defy brand cleaner and brightener and stain did not last through the summer before deteriorating. I am now preparing for my 4th application of stain in 4 years. the only reason I am still using Defy is because I originally over bought and restocking and return fees were too high, so I decided to keep it for when it was time to re stain, not expecting at the time the horrible performance i have experienced. Since I am stubborn when it comes to wasting money, I have been using it until it’s depleted. I will not use it again. I will however state that all of the vertical surfaces have held up well, especially those that receive the most amount of shade during the day, but that would be the case with any cheap-o stain. Where I was expecting the longevity, and durability of this stain is where it failed most, on the horizontal surfaces that get the most daylight. I have been grossly, and repeatedly disappointed.

    • defyadmin says:

      Tim, sorry to hear about your negative experience, this is certainly not the type of experience we want our customers to have. I’m not sure exactly what the problem is here as it sounds like you did everything right. I’m wondering if there was a product issue…possibly expired product? Do you happen to have any remaining cans of product with batch numbers on them? If so, please contact our customer service at (800) 860-6327 and they can help you out.

    • Teri says:

      Tim, I have had the same experience. I’m on year 3 of reapplying Defy Extreme stain to my deck because I like the color and I keep hoping the repetition will ultimately improve its durability, but so far it’s been consistently worn away on all sunny horizontal surfaces each year. Vertical and shaded surfaces have fared well, but next year I plan to give up and use a solid stain instead.

  8. Terrance says:

    Is it okay to stain a deck soon after it rain?

    • defyadmin says:

      Terrance, you can stain the deck as soon as the wood looks visibly dry (usually as quick as a few hours after rainfall).

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