How To Stain Decking for a Flawless Finish


Protecting your decking is an essential part of the regular maintenance process, however there are a variety of options when it comes buying deck stain. From paints, oils and of course stains. 

Here at Wood Finishes Direct, we’re providing you with a detailed guide which goes through why you should look towards staining your deck, the preparation process, and most importantly, how to stain your decks so it looks just how you want it! 

Why Should You Stain Your Decking? 

So firstly, what is deck stain? Deck stain is a formula that can be beneficial for a range of protection and add style to your decking, almost coating your decking like a varnish. There are a variety of Decking Stains to choose from at Wood Finishes Direct, which can all offer unique benefits.  

Ronseal Ultimate Finish Decking Pad Kit (Left) and Cuprinol Anti-Slip Decking Stain (Right)

For example, with Cuprinol’s Anti-Slip Decking Stain, this specific product focuses on a range of helpful features, such as anti-slip microbeads which helps improve grip, making the decked areas safer; it also provides protection against mould and algae growth.  

Because of its Anti-Slip properties, this decking stain is absolutely exemplary for steps and decked areas outside pubs, restaurants and of course, your garden! This product comes in 12 different colours to help get your decking looking vibrant for when you want to invite family and friends’ round for that all important BBQ!  

Culprinol’s Decking Stain speaks for itself, with an overall 4.9/5 stars on our website – to help give you the peace of mind about the quality of the product. You can work out just how much you need by using the in-depth calculator provided on the product page! 

However, if you want more protection against potential sun damage, there are a variety of other products on our website like decking oil, which focus on preventing weathering and UV damage such as, Mann Premier UV Decking Oil

Common Mistakes Made When Staining Your Decking 

There are a variety of quite easy and very common mistakes to make when preparing and staining your deck, for the full comprehensive list, check out our Common Mistakes to be Mindful of When Staining Your Decking article. But, here’s a couple anyway to help you on your staining journey!  

The first one to be cautious of is rushing between coats, this is a very frequent mistake that can result in completely destroying your decking’s desired look. The other one is not doing a test area with your decking stain before starting your full-scale application process, there are several reasons as to why this is vitally important – with the most obvious one being to see if you like the colour of the stain!  

The All-Important Preparation Stage 

Preparation is a key part of the decorating stage, at the end of the day you don’t want to be painting over debris within the cracks on your wood; while also making sure you remove as much mould, algae and any other unpleasantries within your timber as possible! 

Top Tip:  

  • It is absolutely vital that the timber is completely dry before starting this process, it is the most common reason as to why products fail! 

What You Need 

We recommend taking a look at two of the Ronseal products for this process, picking yourself up the Ronseal Decking Cleaner and Reviver, alongside the Ronseal Ultimate Finish Decking Pad Kit will go a long way to making this process fool-proof!  

The Ronseal Decking Cleaner and Reviver is 5 litres and an effective decking cleaner for use on all types of wooden decking. It does a first-rate job at removing moss, mould and algae from your decking in preparation for you to start staining your decks! 

The best way to apply your cleaner is by using our other recommended Ronseal product, the Ultimate Finish Decking Pad Kit. This handy tool does a fantastic job at not only aiding the cleaning process but also the staining process, but we’ll get to that bit later! 

Ronseal Ultimate Finish Decking Pad Kit in action

After this, the cleaning process is complete! But, just make sure the timber has had plenty of time to fully dry before starting the next stage.  

Staining Your Decking 

Now onto the part we’ve all been waiting for, how to stain your decking. Keep hold of your Ronseal Ultimate Finish Decking Pad Kit, as you’ll be able to use the green pad provided to apply your decking stain.  

Top Tips Before Coating 

  • Make sure your decked area is completely dry before starting the staining process, if you’ve just cleaned your decking or it’s rained, wait patiently as this could take a while to full dry depending on the environment you are in! 
  • Always do a test area before starting your project to make sure the surface is ready and the product suits your decking. 
  • Do not apply in temperatures below 5°C, in damp conditions or if rain is due before the product has dried (single coat drying time is four hours on Cuprinol Anti-Slip). 
  • If you’re using more than one anti-slip decking stain for your decks, we highly recommend mixing them together in a large container. 


Step 1 

Stir the contents of the Decking Stain, pour the stain into a container and dip the green head from the Decking Pad Kit into the formula. 

Step 2  

Start applying your first coat out of three onto the decking by using the pad, making sure it’s evenly spread along the grain. 

Step 3 

When applying your second and third coats, make sure the previous coat is completely dry. The standard drying time is four hours, but leave it for as long possible to help your decking look fresh!  

Step 4 

Leave it to dry, making sure the decking avoids heavy wear for a few days after you have applied the deck stain.  


As with most projects, aftercare is a vital part of the long-term process, to ultimately avoid you having to read this article again anytime soon! Continue to use Ronseal’s Decking Cleaner and Reviver and that handy Ultimate Finish Decking Pad Kit to avoid your lovely outside project from deteriorating and make your exterior living space stand out from everyone else.   

However, if your decking ever does show signs of wear and tear and you really don’t fancy going through the whole process again, just try applying one fresh coat of Culrpinol’s Anti Slip Decking Stain and with a bit of luck you may be able to touch up any natural wear and tear! 

Another handy piece of advice is making sure you regularly give your decking a straight-out sweep, which in turn will help avoid any debris turning into algae, mould and all those other unpleasantry’s getting into your revived decking! 

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