How to

How to Prepare your Decking Before Painting or Staining

by Rebecca
How to Prepare your Decking Before Painting or Staining

How do you prepare your decking for staining or painting?

Maintaining your decking can be a tough job. Especially when the harsh weather elements over winter affects the condition and appearance of it.

Many people will spend hours making their garden look at its best and often need to retouch this more frequently than they’d like to. That is why we are sharing the best way to prepare your decking. Not only to ensure a smooth application of your stain or paint, but to also ensure the longevity of your decking all year round.


Timbashield Decking Stain

  • Is your decking brand new? We recommend using a natural, lighter coloured stain – this allows you to enjoy the timber’s natural beauty for longer when compared to an opaque paint.
  • You do not need to prime your decking before applying.
  • It is quick and easy to apply due to it being water thin.
  • Wood stain typically works better on newer decking. That is not to say it will not work on older ones, but you will need to ensure all previous coatings are removed. Consider purchasing a darker stain to provide a more uniformed colour and a new lease of life to the appearance of your decking.


Why is preparation important before staining?

By making sure your decking is completely clean and smooth you are more likely to have the perfect end result. But what do you need to make this happen


What do I need before staining my decking?

Before applying your stain, you will need:

  • A brush to remove any debris.
  • Pressure washer– this is to remove any previous coating.
  • Sandpaper to smooth your decking before your stain or paint.
  • Covering material (i.e. a dust sheet or old pieces of cardboard)- This will prevent the stain from getting on any surfaces you don’t want treating


How do I prep my decking?

Now that you have all the tools you will need, it’s time to start the prep work.


Remove debris and clear area

Start off by removing any furniture, pots, or plants. Then sweep away any leaves, algae, moss, bird droppings or any other debris that could disrupt the staining process.


Strip your decking

Use a pressure washer to remove any previous old or peeling coatings. Make sure you allow 48 hours for the wood to dry before doing anything else.


Inspect the decking

Don’t forget to look out for any loose nails or screws in your decking. If any of them need to be removed, make sure these are replaced to ensure a sturdy decking and prevent injury while applying your paint or stain. Replace any panels that are decayed or damaged.


Remove any ridged, rough, or even surfaces

To ensure an even coverage, it is important to sand the surfaces down. There are many different types of sandpaper, so do a little research to find out what grit will work best for you.


Once you have sanded down your decking, don’t forget to brush away any of the dust.


Finishing touches

Don’t be afraid to take your time when prepping your decking. If there are areas you do not want painted or stained, using painters’ tape or a drop cloth to cover these areas.


Once you have done that, you are ready to paint or stain your decking.



Preparing your decking is extremely important for the best finish and optimal protection of your outdoor timber. Why not browse our high-quality stains? We also have a coverage calculator, allowing you to buy the right quantities for your decking.

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