Sealing/staining decks after PW


So I’m giving my new rig a shake down this weekend, washing both my back deck and a friend’s deck. While ours is just old and has a little bit of mildew and sun bleaching theirs is under heavy tree cover and absolutely covered in moss and mildew. So for those that offer sealing or staining, how do you go about that process? Do you use a product that can be sprayed on? Rolled on? Does the deck need to be completely dry first? Been a while since I did any wood decks so I figured I’d get some real world experience advice first. Thanks in advance.


Are you just talking the sealing and staining part? If so, you want it to be dry. Buy a cheap moisture meter for about $20 from Amazon. Most the sealer companies say about 14-15%. Personally I like 12%.


I guess my question would be how to stain or seal a deck after PW. Both PW companies ive worked for in the past have never had staining or sealing wood decks as a service and I was thinking I may offer it if it’s something I can see making a profit on. I’ve read some posts on here about people sealing decks after they PW them and just kind of wondered what their process was.


Google staining a deck.

Or better yet go to YouTube

This has to be a joke right? Are you here trolling?


Not trolling, not joking, but I think maybe my question isn’t coming across right if you’re looking at it like that. I understand how to stain a deck, I’ve done my own before. What I’m asking is if you offer staining or sealing as a service after pressure washing, do you PW, wait 2 days until it’s dry and go back and seal it? To me that doesn’t necessarily sound efficient if you have to make 2 trips to a house to basically finish one job. Or am I looking at this wrong? If so, enlighten me.


I get your question now. For those reasons you stated I quit staining 2 years ago. I guess it depends on how busy you can stay Washing if you want to do it or not


Years ago I worked with a guy that did a lot of deck washing and sealing/staining. I seem to remember he used a sprayer after waiting 3-4 days for it to dry out first, and even then it would rain and he’d have to wait another week.

It’s a very labor intensive process and preventing the stain from hitting the house takes a lot of practice.


I answered your question above. You always have to make at least 2 trips and sometimes more. You have to charge accordingly. Tons of threads on about wood. The search button is your friend.


Some water-based solid-color stains can be applied when the wood is damp. A solid color stain will also hide a lot of issues. That’s the only thing you might want to go near.

Semi-transparent stains usually require stripping and sanding and lots of preparation. And the wood has to be dry. It’s not an easy add-on service. It’s a completely different business.

If there is a lot of lattice under the deck, sometimes I’ll spray that. For everything else, I haven’t found a quick way to protect the house, so it’s easier to just roll it.


As @racer said you have to charge appropriately. I did several this year and they are are by far more profitable than you might think. You do need to learn to mask properly and how different products perform. I had about 6 hrs over two days on this deck. It was a hail damage job and I was working for the GC. I used 5 gallons of Wood Defender Oxford Brown transparent stain. I’d do them every day. I did steer them to using the Wood Defender, it’s too easy to apply and get spectacular results.
“The estimate is for cleaning and staining the deck, red fur posts, stairs, lattice, trim and landing (Approximately 780 sq ft). Cleaning to be a combination of chemical and low pressure power washing. Sanding as needed to minimize hail marks, raised grain and or splinters. Re-staining in color and product of the customer’s choice. Cleaning prep is $869.05 and staining is $1613.95”