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How to apply stain on exterior wood?

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

What are the best tools for staining a patio? We will give you our recommendations but there is one thing to consider before even talking about applicators, surface preparation is the key.

Please follow the following recommandations :

- Prepare the surface as indicated by the manufacturer

- Protect surroundings to avoid any splash

- Watch the temperature

- Work in the shade

- Regularly mix your stain Now that it's mentioned, let's get to the heart of the matter.


1) The best option, brushes

Brushes are ideal to apply stain. It avoids spilling too much stain on the surface (thin coat is recommended) and allow to penetrate the stain everywhere on this uneven surface that is wood. A brush will be essential to apply stain between plank, on the ledges, on the fence, etc.

For water-based stain, we recommend synthetic brush.

The best brush, all categories, is our model 16344. It works with every type of stain, it is resistant and you can install an extension pole (that saves your back). For touch up, the series 163 is perfect.

For oil-based stain, we recommend a natural bristle brush. Synthetic bristle doesn't absorb and doesn't work as well as a natural bristle. For large surfaces, we recommend the series 16355. It is possible to adapt an extension pole (yes, still for your back). For touch up or small surfaces, the best option is the series 161/155, thanks to its great bristle quality. A less expensive option is to take a brush that has natural and synthetic bristles mixed, like the series 156/157 or even the series 163.

Can we just take a regular synthetic brush for water-based stain? Yes, you can. But the most expensive paint brushes are designed first for precision trimming. You will pay for a quality that you don't necessarily need. Some consumers will use economical or DIY paint brush. Even if it is not the best option for brush (filaments are bigger, so it is less precise), they can actually do the job.


2) Second option, applicator

The applicators are a good option (but not as good as brushes). Our applicator, like the 38303, allow to apply a thin coat and control pretty well the stain.

Those applicators are primarily made for water-based stain. It is not recommended to use it with oil-based stain. Some applicator with natural hair pad exists on the market. They are much more adapt to those kind of stain.


3) Third option, paint roller

OK, let's be clear : we don't like the idea of staining with a paint roller. The stain is dropped on the surface instead of being applied, what risks to make an uneven result (sometimes rollers will drop more stain on certain spot). The stain excess will take more time to dry, dust can be accumulated, and we can even see some step foot!

All right, so you still want to do it with a roller? Here is some advice:

- Stain between planks with a brush first, and do it on small surfaces at a time, to make sure that the stain doesn't dry before you use the roller.

- Ideally use a microfiber roller, and use a thickness of 6 mm (1/4''), like the 95606.

- And the most important advice: pass a rag to remove all of the excess and have an even result.


You have some questions or comments? Talk to your Chidaca representative. Good staining!

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