If you just added a new deck or are refinishing an existing one, keeping the deck coated will protect the wood from the sun and harsh weather. Simply applying a new coat of finish to your deck can make all the difference in the appearance of your entire home.

Prep/Getting Started

Before starting any staining project, clean the deck surface as thoroughly as possible. Allow surface to dry completely before staining.

Safety Notice: Whenever operating equipment it is important to take proper safety precautions, be mindful of potential hazards, wear protective clothing and eyewear, and stay alert. Always refer to the specific instructions and safety procedures for the spray equipment you are using.

Clear – Move all outdoor furniture, grills, etc. away from area to be sprayed. Make sure to have plenty of space for your tools and equipment.

Cover – Cover all nearby shrubs, bushes and plants with plastic tarps. Also take care to cover anything below the deck or on the other side of rails or spindles since the material being sprayed and overspray can travel between open spaces.

Clean – Sweep deck of all dirt. Wash the entire deck surface with a pressure washer or deck cleaner - bleach or non-bleach base, and apply with a long-handled brush or sprayer. Let cleaner set per manufacturer’s instructions and rinse. Allow surface to dry completely.

Safety – Protective items are essential for your safety. This may include: gloves, eyewear, clothing, spray sock (hood), hats, footwear, dust masks and respirators. If you’re painting in the vicinity of any appliances turn them off. (See Safety Precautions in your Sprayer Operation Manual.)

Step By Step

Before you start spraying be sure all the surfaces are properly prepped. Any surfaces you do not want painted should be covered or blocked using a spray shield. Avoid spraying on windy days.

Select the spray tip that best meets your needs for the material (stain) you are spraying and the surface to be sprayed. Typically using a narrower spray pattern width, such as an 8 inch width and using a smaller hole size such as a .013 tip will give you the best control. Be sure the hole size selected does not exceed the maximum capacity of your sprayer. (see paint sprayer tip selector.)

When spraying lighter materials like stains, select the lowest pressure setting that enables you to maintain a good spray pattern. Lower pressure settings will give you better control and a finer finish.

First spray the railings and deck supports. You may need to hold the gun at an angle in order to properly cover inside surfaces. If you are first starting out spraying, it is a good idea to keep a brush handy, just in case you apply excess material you can then brush it out.

For the deck floor surface, work in sections, only as far as you can comfortably reach and follow the planks lengthwise. A tip extension is a useful accessory, it will allow you to spray the deck surface at the proper distance with minimal bending! First, spray the outer edges, “banding” the area that you will spray and cutting in any corners. Next, point the spray tip at the edge of the previously painted area to overlap by 50%. You may have to spray at a slight angle to cover inside surfaces.

Clean Up

Allow significant time for stain or deck coating dry.

Remove all coverings from shrubs, bushes and plants. Carefully remove all tape from window and door trim.

Return any other items (furniture, grill, etc.) back into place.

Clean your airless paint sprayer after each use. Follow the directions in your user’s manual for Power Flush™ cleaning with water based materials or use the bucket method of cleaning for Graco 190ES and solvent based products. For more info see Power Flush Video (wmv 1.4MB) or refer to your Sprayer Operation Manual.

Suggested Tools & Equipment

  • 2 empty buckets – For priming sprayer and clean-up.
  • Stir sticks.
  • Paint strainer bag – Helps eliminate tip plugging and provides a better finish.
  • Prep items: tarps or drop cloths – plastic sheeting – masking tape.
  • Paint / Stain – If using paint from multiple containers it is recommended that you transfer / mix paint from multiple containers together in an empty 5 gallon container. This is known as “boxing” the paint and ensures consistent color even if small differences in color exist between paint batches.
  • Paint brush for touch-ups.
  • Graco or Magnum Paint Sprayer (see comparison chart or sprayer selector).
  • Spray Tips (see tip selector) – A wider spray pattern for large surfaces and narrow size for smaller surfaces.
  • Tip Extension(s) – For hard to reach areas that would otherwise require a ladder.
  • Pressure Roller Attachments.
  • Two – 8 inch or larger adjustable wrenches.
  • Additional airless hose sections if needed.
  • Spray shield.
  • Pump Armor for storage after use and TSL for Graco 190ES .
  • Cleaning rags.
  • Cleaning brushes – Stiff nylon (small and large) for clean-up.
  • Safety and protection equipment such as: Safety glasses/goggles – dust masks/respirator - spray sock (hood worn over head to keep off overspray)