Staining a deck or fence with an airless sprayer is by far the best way. It will allow the stain to hit every area with a very even application. However stains that are sprayed on MUST be back brushed. Use a small spray tip on the rails and a larger fan pattern on a deck. The orifice size does not matter as much although a larger one will clog less. With the viscosity of stain, the pressure will be more of a determining factor. We usually use a 213 spray tip on shadow box fences and 4 or 515 for a standard picket fence. Grants Painting offers deck and fence staining in Indianapolis and Greenwood IN.
First Choose Your Stain
Choosing colors and types of stain are important. We have many articles to cover this topic. Read all of our Fence and Deck Staining
How to prep a deck or fence for stain
Power wash the wood very carefully and make sure that it is evenly cleaned and the wood has not been damaged. As far as a cleaner goes it can sometimes be more pain than its worth especially the cleaners that you buy off the shelf at any store. Store bought cleaners wont really save you time considering you have to put down the power washer, then spray on your cleaner and then power wash it. By that time you can just power wash it a little better. Most people will use TSP dissolved in hot water then at a few cups of bleach. This formulation will help the dirt rinse more than it will clean so its kinda just a toss up of applying the cleaner or rinsing better with the power washer.
How much stain to apply with the airless sprayer
The amount of stain applied is very important. Apply enough that it wont drip or sit too much on the surface of the wood. Also know that there needs to be enough to brush into the cracks and crevices. Stain is designed to soak into the wood and not sit on top. This is VERY important with the new water-borne semi transparent stains. If you want a shiny layer on the surface you should be using a translucent coating and not a transparent stain. Semi Transparent stains can fail and crack if there is too much on the surface. You can always add more stain until it dries but if you add too much it may drip.
How to spray the boards
Try to spray the entire board without stopping. Also angle the spray slightly to get in between boards and on the edges. Always back brush end to end on each board very well, it will show beautifully in your finished result. Masking the house off with plastic at least 5+ feet from where you are spraying is the best way to be sure that you have the freedom to apply the stain evenly with the airless sprayer instead of worrying about the house.
How to back brush stain
The stain should be worked into EVERY crack. If you can’t get it there before it soaks in, just add a little more stain. Work only in areas that you can get it brushed around evenly before it soaks in or starts to dry. One section of 8 foot fence or less depending on weather. This step is absolutely necessary with semi transparent stains.
What is the best time and weather to apply stain
We always try to stay below ten mph when staining a deck. Make sure it is cool. If the humidity is real low above 85 degrees then you should pick another day. 60-70 degrees and not humid is the best and this usually can be achieved in early morning. If you are doing a deck be sure that the wind isn’t strong enough to blow leaves and junk into your stain before it dries.