A big thank you to HomeRight for sponsoring this post. Find my full disclosure and policies here.
If you caught our deck reveal last week, you know I promised a DIY post sharing all the details on why we chose treated lumber, why we chose an oil based penetrating finish and HOW we refreshed it in an afternoon. So here it is!
We did this deck (and pretty much every other project in our house) on a budget and chose to use pressure treated lumber instead of cedar. This saved us some money and gave us a season before we had to sand/stain. We didn’t get the deck built until late summer so this was great timing for us. I honestly didn’t know that you could use treated lumber and have it look good after stained- I thought it was a paint only type of situation BUT the summer before we built this, my dad built a terrace using it and it stained so nicely the following year- it was the perfect solution for us.
Last spring rolled around and we chose this penetrating oil wood finish over a typical stain for ease of maintenance. We can just apply a new coat every couple of years without sanding off anything. I would chat with a paint/stain expert in your area to see what will hold up best to your climate. We were totally spoiled and my dad actually told us to take the day off and take the kids out- while we were gone they stained/oiled the whole deck for us. It was the best.
Our deck is in direct sunlight ALL DAY. And we live in a pretty dry/hot climate (we’re technically a semi-desert… even though we’re in Canada). Because only one coat was done last year, it was ready for another coat already this year. Where the sun hit (not under the railings) it had faded quite a bit. Here’s a photo of what it was looking like.
Pretty rough for an almost brand new deck, right? But the awesome thing about using a penetrating oil is that we didn’t have to do anything but add another layer and in an afternoon… the deck looked like this.
To make application a breeze (and avoid getting down on our hands and knees), I reached out to HomeRight to test out their Deck Pro line. I grabbed the 12″ Flat and Gap Stainer which is essentially a stain pad that has a curved edge for deck edges and attaches to a broomstick. You guys… there’s a reason we all use spray/steam mops now… no one likes getting down on their hands and knees if they don’t have to. That was the biggest selling feature for me.
The other thing that was great- if you’ve stained a deck (or any wood board surface), you’ll know that getting in the grooves between boards is a pain with a brush. Once we played a bit and figured out how it worked, it went SO quickly. The curved edge wraps one deck board at a time, so you need to turn it and do the deck board that butts up to it to get a nice even coverage. Then, once you’ve done two gaps, flip the pad flat and stain the tops. We found that a paint tray just wasn’t wide enough, so we just used a dollar store wash basin (you know, those white bins you wash dishes in while camping) and that worked great.
The pad itself holds SO much stain and gave a nice even finish. We actually needed to wipe some off after because it did such a great job applying it. Because I know you’re a star and will read the instructions on your stain or oil… I’m sure you’ll know that you need to wipe off excess so you don’t end up with uneven coverage. Not saying we forgot ;)
Since we were using an oil based stain, we needed to use paint thinner to clean up the stainer which started to peel the adhesive off a bit. I’d planned to grab some doublesided tape and just tack it back on but when I was grabbing links for this post, I spotted replacement pads too.
Alright… so that’s all the information I have on the deck for you! If you didn’t catch the full reveal- check it out here! Hopefully if you’re thinking of building yourself a wooden deck OR planning to give yours a refresh- this gave you some ideas to make it a bit easier (and more cost effective!). Let me know if you have any questions at all and I will do my best to answer.
LIKE IT? PIN IT!
How did you wipe it off after you applied? Did you just use another pad or did you walk across the part that was just stained?
We just went a few boards at a time. When the pad runs out of stain, we would just take it back over to ‘wipe’ the extra
Did you not have to clean the deck first before staining it?
We pressure washed it :)
We previously treated out deck with linseed oil. It needs to be re-treated. Will we need to power wash before using this process to treat our deck?
I would always pressure wash it before you apply anything else to the surface, just to make sure it can penetrate :)
What color and brand of stain did you use. The color is beautiful and exactly what I’m Looking for.
Did you pressure wash your deck before first application?
We did pressure wash! But make sure to let it dry for 1 week before staining if you do :) We used this one: https://www.homedepot.ca/product/behr-premium-transparent-penetraiting-oil-wood-finish-chocolate-3-79-l/1001001151
Donna J Igo
How did you stain the railings?
Just with a paint brush!
Awesome! No words. You always go one step beyond.
There is so much great, useful information here. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’ve been wanting to refinish my deck for ages, but haven’t wanted to do it myself or pay someone to do it for me. This DIY guide is definitely making me feel more confident in being able to do it myself to try to save money! One question I do have is that I’ve heard that pressure washing can be harmful to the wood, is there another option you would recommend using to clean all of the dirt and grim away before we stain it? Thanks again for sharing!