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Decks add beauty and comfort to any home, allowing you to relax outdoors while enjoying the sunset or grilling the tasty food all your neighbors know you for. Most decks still use treated wood, which can withstand the elements for many years. However, treated wood can still warp, crack, and begin flaking off if it’s not properly maintained. Cabot offers a number of exterior stains to increase the lifespan of any deck.

Preserving Your Deck

Untreated wood will begin to gray within a few months, dulling its original color. Your deck will also take longer to dry off after a rainstorm, allowing mold to grow, which creates a slick surface. When water seeps into the water during the winter, it can freeze and expand, causing the wood to crack.

Any exterior wood stain from Cabot will restore your deck’s color and help keep water out. You should apply a fresh coat of stain at least once every two to three years, but annual applications will keep your deck looking its best.


Before you begin staining, take some time and clean your deck. If there’s heavy mold, mildew, or dirt, rent or purchase a pressure washer to restore your wood to its original color. Cabot offers two different prep formulas to help prepare your wood. Apply them to no more than 10 square feet at a time before rinsing, and use a brush to scrape off any hardened dirt.

Allow your deck to completely dry before applying stain. Wet wood won’t accept stain, and it will peel right off after the top layer dries. Instead of coating the wood, you want the stain to soak into the wood to protect it the whole way through.

Applying the Stain

You won’t need any tools & supplies for this project outside of a paint brush, and you don’t need a particularly expensive brush at that. However, you might want to purchase two brushes — a small brush for the railing and balusters and a larger brush for the deck floor.

To prevent the stain from overlapping and creating dark marks on the wood, apply stain to three boards at a time. To prevent walking over your freshly stained boards, don’t stain the boards around the stairs until last. According to Larry Bilotti of Bobvila.com, a thin coat of stain can actually be more effective than a thick coat, which can bubble and peel.

Most stains should hold up for at least one year, and you can help them last longer by keeping your deck clean of debris like dirt and leaves. Use a broom, or spray your deck off with a garden hose once a month.

If you’re looking to refinish your deck, you can find all the tools and supplies you’ll need here at Rocky’s Hardware.