wood staining

Wood Staining Knowhow: 5 Tips for a Long-Lasting Look

If you’re eager to transform your furniture, flooring, or any wooden masterpiece into a stunning work of art, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll unveil five invaluable tips to help you achieve a long-lasting and breathtaking wood stain finish. The insights we provide in this article will empower you with the know-how to enhance the beauty and durability of your wooden surfaces. So, let’s dive in and unlock the secrets of wood staining success!

  • Prepare the wood surface properly

To achieve a flawless and long-lasting wood stain finish, you need to properly prepare the wood surface. If you neglect this stage, it can hinder the absorption of color and compromise the overall result. So, before reaching for that paintbrush, ensure to prepare your wood surface.


The journey to a stunning wood stain begins with clean, dry, and bare wood. Hence, you need to wipe away dust, dirt, and any previous coatings to create an optimal foundation for the stain to adhere to. 


That’s not all. There’s an additional secret to unlocking your wood’s true potential: removing the notorious mill glaze.


When wood is cut with mill saws operating at high speeds and temperatures, it often seals its pores and leaves behind a stubborn mill glaze film. This elusive glaze can pose a significant challenge for wood stains, hindering their ability to penetrate the surface and provide thorough protection.


Thus, you should get a good wood cleaner to clean your wood surface. 

  • Stir the stain product properly before spraying

When applying deck stain, the process goes beyond simply opening a can and brushing it on. To ensure a successful and professional-looking outcome, remember these three essential steps: stir, spray, and seal.


Before applying the stain, take a moment to stir the deck stain product thoroughly. Over time, color pigments tend to settle at the bottom of the can, leading to an uneven distribution. Stirring the stain before and during the application process ensures the color pigment is well-mixed, resulting in a consistent and vibrant finish.


When applying the stain, you have two options: a paintbrush or a garden pump sprayer. Both methods can yield excellent results, so choose the one that suits your preferences and the project size. 


Whichever method you choose, be generous with the number of coats applied. Multiple coats allow for better color saturation and enhanced protection against the elements.

  • Apply stains in moderate weather conditions

Achieving optimal results when applying deck stains depends on the weather conditions. Timing is everything; striking the right balance between temperature and environmental factors is key. 


When it comes to temperature, avoid extremes. Finding that sweet spot where it’s not too hot or cold is crucial. Don’t apply deck stains when temperatures are below 45 degrees Fahrenheit; colder temperatures can impede proper drying and adhesion. 


Similarly, excessive heat and direct sunlight can pose challenges. If the wood surface feels hot to the touch due to intense sunlight, waiting for milder conditions is advisable.


Furthermore, ensure that the wood is completely dry before application. Any lingering moisture from the previous night or recent rainfall can prolong the drying time of the stain, leading to subpar results. 


Waiting for the wood to dry thoroughly will ensure optimal absorption and adherence of the stain, which ultimately enhances the stain’s longevity and appearance.

  • Wipe the wood surface after applying the stain

Once you’ve applied deck stains to your wooden surface, a crucial step to achieve a pristine finish is to wipe down the surface. 


After applying the deck stain, allow approximately 20-30 minutes for the stain to settle. Then, take a clean cloth or rag and gently wipe down the surface to remove any excess stains. 


This step is crucial as it prevents the formation of a sticky residue that can attract dust, pollen, and other particles that may leave your deck looking dirty and unkempt. By wiping off the excess, you’ll reveal the true beauty of the wood and create a more polished appearance.


Equally important is the proper handling of used rags. If you’re working with oil-based stains, it’s vital to soak the used rags in water immediately after staining is complete. 


The chemicals in oil-based stains can create a combustible environment if the rags are left untreated. Soaking the rags in water eliminates the risk of spontaneous combustion, ensuring a safe and hazard-free environment.

  • Carry out adequate maintenance

To ensure the long-lasting beauty and durability of your deck, ensure to regularly carry out maintenance procedures. 


When exposed to the sun, dust becomes the number one enemy of wood as it gradually wears down its appearance. Regularly sweeping or rinsing off your deck between uses is a fundamental habit to adopt. 


This removes accumulated dust and debris and thus helps prevent them from settling into the wood’s surface and causing damage over time. By keeping your deck clean, you maintain its fresh and inviting look.


Where possible, provide shade for your deck. Direct sunlight can accelerate the weathering process and fade the stain color. Whether it’s through umbrellas, awnings, or natural shade from trees, shielding your deck from excessive sun exposure helps preserve its vibrancy and prolongs the life of the stain.


Furthermore, treat your deck carefully, just as you would any other fixture in or outside your home. Avoid dragging heavy objects across the surface and promptly clean up spills or stains to prevent them from penetrating the wood. Practicing these preventive measures protects your deck from unnecessary wear and tear.



Proper wood staining can extend the life of your outdoor or indoor wood products and ensure a beautiful, long-lasting finish. By following these tips, you can achieve a professional-quality finish and avoid common mistakes. 

If you’re looking for pre-stained custom-cut wood products, Longhouse Cedar is the perfect choice. We offer high-quality custom-cut wood products and pre-staining onsite services to ensure your wood products are ready to be installed and look great for years. Contact us at  1-250-248-5887 today to learn more about our range of FSC® certified wood products that include cedar decking, solid wood flooring, cedar fascia and soffits, white oak flooring, Douglas Fir products, Japanese grade spruce siding and different varieties of cedar siding.