The wooden surface you are going to be staining to make sure there are no nails, screws, broken pieces of wood, or metal staples sticking out of the wood that could cause major issues when trying to coat the surface. If you are staining an old deck or exterior wood structure it can really slow down the wood staining process if you don’t take a few minutes to make sure the surface is fully inspected for this right up front.

  • Use a wood cleaner to remove dirt and pollen. Apply the wood cleaner per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Rinse away the cleaner using a power washer on low to moderate power.
  • While the deck is wet, check for mill glaze (water beading which shows that the surface is not porous.) If mill glaze exists, either sand lightly, or scrub the area until water is easily absorbed into the wood.
  • Also while the deck is wet, check for black spots that might indicate mold or mildew (yes, even on new wood.) If you find mold or mildew, treat with an appropriate product.
  • Allow to completely dry.