Precautions When Staining a Deck on a Lake

 In Staining Tips

It’s that time of year again! The weather is getting unbearably hot, and everyone is heading to the lake to cool down and relax. It may also be time to get your deck re-stained. It is important to have your deck stained in order to protect the wood, and keep your deck looking great. There are a few considerations when staining your deck, especially a lake deck, which you must think about before you start. Let’s go through a few of these.

Paint v. Stain

Often time’s people want to have their deck painted instead of stained, because they like the way it looks compared to the stain. This is NOT a good idea. There are several reasons why staining your deck is a much better idea than painting it. The first is that a painted deck can get slippery when wet. If your deck is on a lake, you can bet that it’s going to get wet. Walking to and from the lake all day will leave your deck dangerously slippery.

Another problem with paint is that it does not penetrate the surface the same way a stain does. This means that on a horizontal surface, such as a deck, water will pool on top of the paint, and eventually separate the paint from the deck. This leads to excessive peeling and bubbling of the paint. Also, the wood of your lakeside deck will expand and contract with the weather. The paint cannot keep up with this the same way a stain does, and so this will also lead to cracking and peeling. Mold and algae can then penetrate the wood, leading to rot. In order to remove the problem, it is necessary to strip all of the paint off the deck in order to apply a stain. This is a MAJOR headache, and absolutely not something you want to deal with.

Because of the close proximity of a lake to your deck, it will be important to properly maintain it. Every few years will require a new coat of stain to prevent mold, mildew, and algae from rotting your deck. If you neglect your deck for too long, the only solution may be to replace it, which can cost you thousands of dollars. If you like the look of a paint vs a stain, always remember that Sherwin Williams has solid stains, which take on the look of a paint but have the penetrating and sealing qualities of a stain.


Prepping a deck for stain is equally as important as applying the stain. If your deck is sitting next to a lake, things like sand, seaweed, and moss/algae, can accumulate on your deck. It is important to remove these before staining, or the stain will not adhere properly. The first step in preparing your deck is to sweep off any surface material. Then apply the deck wash with a pump sprayer. Follow behind the person spraying and scrub in the wash, to make sure it is evenly distributed and worked into the wood. It is important to work in small sections, to prevent the wash from drying while it is soaking in. After letting it sit for about 15 minutes, rinse off the deck cleaner. After letting the deck dry, it is now ready to be stained.

If you take these proper precautions and make sure the deck is completely dry while applying the stain you can turn your deck or dock into a beautiful place to sit and relax as you enjoy the summer weather. Feel free to have us out if you have additional questions about taking precations when staining a deck near a lake.

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