Deck clear seal overspray - how much of a concern?

Hey guys how’s it going!

Here’s my next project. A deck with composite floors and steps, metal spindles and all other vrtical surfaces are made of wood.

While Composite part of this project is relatively easy (~2% SH directly applied and gently rinsed), it is the wood that concerns me.

Wood is currently stained with oil based semi transparent, and it’s fading. I will strip the old stain with F18 and neutralize with F8. That’s no problem there.

But the client wants me to seal or stain the wood. And this is where I am lost.

I mean, I’ve stained twenty or so decks already - mask the siding, apply stain, remove masking tape/paper, done. Not too hard to do. But in this case I’m looking at a huge amount of masking to do! Every step board, every single metal spindle where it connects to both top and bottom rails! So my question is:

Is there an easier way to do this?

I’ve always used semi-transparent stains. But what about a clear seal? Is it clear clear and absolutely transparent? If I apply it with a minimum overspray getting on metal and trex surfaces, will that be acceptable? Or is said clear seal noticeable and perhaps damaging (although I don’t see how) to surfaces her than wood?

How would you approach the dilemma of protecting the wooden parts of this deck (picture attached)?

Thank you friends!

Does not appear to be much intact stain left. I’d go with a very light stripper, maybe 4 - 6 oz. of F18 / gal. Test first as composites can be affected as they contain wood pulp. IMO and practice, clear sealers are a waste of labor and money on exterior wood exposed to sunlight. The wood grays quickly due to lack of pigment which protects wood from UV light. In 14 yrs. have never applied a clear stain.

Clear or otherwise, oil or waterbased wood stains will spot the composite decking. If wiped clean quickly, the metal spindles should not be a problem. There is no way I would consider spraying stain on the job. Aside from the very close neighbor’s deck, even with detailed masking which would take forever, stain is going to bleed onto the composite.

Throw a tarp under each balustrade section, tape the 4 sides of composite where each post penetrates the deck floor/stair and apply the stain by hand with a brush.

Thank you for your response.

Yes, I agree - thorough masking and staining by hand is the only proper way of doing this job.

Thanks again!

It might be as quick or even quicker to just take the metal spindles off. If you have a nice cordless drill. It would give a very clean look too. Stain gets behind the metal. Plus the staining would go 10x faster to not have to go around them. Just roll it on.