Stain Your Decking For a Summer of BBQs

It’s that time of year again…

The warmer weather is coming. The smell of bacon and sausages crackling away on the BBQ is not far away.

How about making sure your garden is up to scratch before summer rolls around?

We’ll look today at how to stain your decking the easy way. Keep things looking crisp and smooth for the garden parties ahead.

Decking Basics

staining your decking for bbq

Wooden decking is continuing to grow in popularity. It’s a wonderful way to create separate areas in your garden, particularly for BBQs or cooking and relaxing outside.

If you want your decking to give you its best, you’ll need to clean it regularly.

It also pays to use a treatment every 2 or 3 years. This depends to a large extent on the stain you choose and whether or not your decking is sheltered or exposed to the elements.

When you first install your decking, you can wait a few months before applying a treatment.

Equipment For Staining Decking


If you want to stain your decking without creating a mess, protective clothing and gloves are essential.

Get the following basics sorted and you’re good to go…

  • Overalls
  • Protective gloves
  • Eyeglasses
  • Stain or treatment
  • Roller
  • Roller tray
  • 2-3 inch paintbrush
  • Sheets
  • Masking tape
  • Glass paper
  • Stain stripper (optional)

If you opt for a roller, you’ll obviously get the job done more quickly. The downside of rollers is that they tend to be quite messy.

Using a brush will be slower but more precise and cleaner.

If you are in this for the long haul, consider investing in a pad with a lengthy handle. This will make your life a great deal easier.

What Is The Best Treatment For Decking?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this.

Many factors will influence the brand and type of stain you want for your decking.

You might want to check some consumer reviews for paint and stain so you can choose the most appropriate kind. Most people give pretty honest feedback once they have purchased a product.

More or less any exterior wood stain will do the trick. The advantage of specialized decking treatments is that they will last longer and penetrate better.

Translucent stains tend to last longer. Opaque treatments will flake off more. The same is true of deeper, richer colors.

Take your time, ask advice from friends and family then get the most fitting treatment.

And before you get started…

Try a test patch so that you don’t end up making the wrong decision and getting a color that just doesn’t look good on a bigger canvas.


You’ll need to hose down your decking first so it’s nice and clean. If you have a power washer, this is another good option. If the decking is dirty, the stain will not adhere properly so it’s worth cleaning it well.

Some oxygen bleach cleaners are handy for getting rid of any stubborn or lingering imperfections and marks.

If you have some older stain that needs removing first, a stain stripper is an extremely handy piece of kit. They can be fairly toxic. Make sure you take all necessary precautions and work safely.

Sand down any flaws and finish off using some sandpaper for a great foundation.

Clear away all garden furniture and anything else that will get in your way as you apply the stain.

Where Do You Start Staining?

Kick off by staining any rails or balustrades on your decking. If you start at the top and work downwards, you can brush out any drips as you progress.

As you start applying treatment to the decking, ensure that you have a route back. Go to the farthest edge and work in reverse. This will prevent you needing to step on the freshly stained wood spoiling the effect.

When Should You Stain Your Decking?

Many people don’t think about freshening up their garden until the weather starts to pick up. Thoughts of firing up the BBQ and inviting friends over for dinner and drinks often prompts action.

Staining when the weather is cold or frosty is not a wise idea. The treatment will simply not dry out properly.

Working in the rain is an obvious no-no. The stain will wash away before it has had chance to take. Although avoiding the rain is tough in some countries, watch the forecast. Be patient. Don’t waste your time and effort by trying to get this done in the rain.

Fierce direct sunlight is also not good. It could force the stain to dry out too quickly leading to patchy and uneven coverage.

You want dry decking and a dry day for the optimum outcome.

How To Stain Your Decking

However you choose to apply the majority of the treatment, start off with a brush and take care of all the edging.

Continue with the brush or switch to a roller.

You should always work in the direction of the grain. Keep a wet edge so that you won’t get any darker spots with overlapping. The wet edge is achieved by brushing your way into a wet area then brushing back again.

If you choose to use a roller, be certain to cover all the gaps between the decking. For some parts, you might need to revert to the brush again.

When you apply the stain, don’t be too sparing. Dollop it on so that it can penetrate the wood fully.

Saturate all of the end grains thoroughly. This part of the wood has been cut and is exposed. It will be prone to splitting without adequate treatment.

The instructions on the stain of your choice will make it clear whether a second coat is necessary. If so, apply after 24 hours.

If not, allow your decking to dry out for the same 24 hour period and then you can start firing up that BBQ and celebrating summer in style!


We hope you’ve found this glance at staining your decking for the BBQ useful and informative.

Please feel free to drop us a line if you have any queries or feedback. We’re always more than happy to help.

  • April 11, 2017
  • Blog
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: