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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Staining a Deck

Staining a Deck Cost

How Much Does Staining a Deck Cost?

low costDo-it-yourself: $20-$250average costBasic Pro Clean-and-Stain: $160-$800+ for 16'x20'high costComplex Pro Clean-and-Strain: $800-$2,240+ for 16'x20'
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Staining a deck protects it from mildew, stains and damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight. A sealer is a clear product that protects against moisture but not UV rays, while a stain is tinted, and provides both color and UV protection. There are three categories of stain: toner (the lightest amount of color), semi-transparent (some wood grain show through) and solid stain (no grain shows through).

Typical costs:

  • Do-it-yourself supplies can cost $20-$250, depending on type and quality of stain, and size of deck. Buying or renting a pressure washer to power-wash the deck in preparation can cost $40-$200 (but some experts advise using brushes and non-pressurized water because high-pressure water can damage decks). The Family Handyman[1] magazine estimates that stripping and staining a deck is a multi-day project requiring patience and elbow grease, but not much skill.
  • Having a handyman or deck company clean and stain a deck starts around $0.50-$2.50 a square foot ($160-$800 for 16'x20'), depending on the condition of the deck and the amount of prep work and hand-staining required, but it can cost $2.50-$7 a square foot or more ($800-$2,240 for 16'x20') with multiple levels and special features such as stairs, railing or spindles, as well as cleaning and sanding, whether any basic repairs are needed or if other handwork is required.
  • For example, the We Stain Decks[2] company in Ohio estimates $330 to clean and stain a 10'x10' deck (100 square feet); $650 for a 20'x20' deck (400 square feet); and $1,010 to clean and stain a 20'x40' deck (400 square feet) -- with extra charges of $75-$150 for a deck more than 6 feet off the ground, $50-$100 for lattice below a first-floor deck, $75-$150 for lattice below a second-floor deck and $4 a linear foot for benches or flower boxes. Deck Doctor Refinishing[3] in Boulder, CO charges $0.50-$1.50 a square foot for power washing and staining; $1-$1.50 a square foot for light sanding and staining; $2-$4 a square foot for power sanding and staining a poorly maintained deck; $4 a linear foot for power washing and staining rails; and $6.50-$12.50 a linear foot for power sanding and staining poorly-maintained railings.
Related articles: Deck, Sealing a Deck, Porch, Swimming Pool, Repairing a Deck, Cleaning a Deck

What should be included:
  • Typically any furniture, a grill or other items are removed from the deck (some companies include this in their price; others ask the homeowner to clear the area). All necessary repairs and sanding should be done, and the deck should be cleaned and allowed to dry for at least 24-48 hours before applying stain. However, improper cleaning with a power washer can cause serious damage; some experts recommend using brushes and a hand sprayer or hose.
  • Nearby plans should be covered with plastic sheeting before the stain is applied. Hot, direct sunlight can make stain dry too quickly, so it's best done when temperatures are below 80 degrees, usually in the spring or fall. When the staining is finished, the deck should be allowed to dry completely before being used. gives an overview[4] .
Additional costs:
  • Some companies give separate quotes for cleaning and staining; be clear what is included in each bid.
  • There can be discounts for senior citizens or for multiple jobs in the same area; check whether anyone in the neighborhood wants to get their deck cleaned and stained at the same time.
Shopping for staining a deck:
  • A do-it-yourself project may require one product to strip off the old finish (to create an even surface to hold the new sealant), another for cleaning and a stain for the final finish, plus supplies such as paint brushes or plastic tarps to cover nearby plants. Lowe's provides a deck treatment buying guide[5] .
  • To find a handyman or deck company to clean and stain a deck, ask for recommendations from family, friends, neighbors or staff at the local hardware store. Ask for (and check) references; look for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau[6] ; and confirm that the company is properly insured and licensed by the state[7] .
  • Ask exactly which materials will be used both for the stain and for the cleaning products, and what steps will be taken to protect nearby walls or landscaping.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Strip and staining of cedar deck 8 steps
Amount: $900.00 total
Posted by: Todd henderson in Andover, MN.Posted: April 27th, 2012 10:04AM
Size of Deck: 650 sq ftContractor: T's Handyman
Work was amazing, contractor explained everything. took great care to do a quality job etc...
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deck stain and some rotted wood
Amount: $4,000.00 total
Posted by: marry in jackson, NJ.Posted: March 5th, 2012 02:03PM
Size of Deck: 20 x 25Contractor: tri-county handyman LLC
this guy was great he is a perfectionist,would use him again for future projects.
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Amount: $1,700.00 total
Posted by: a user in Minneapolis, MN.Posted: June 9th, 2010 03:06PM
Size of Deck: 25X25 8 stepsContractor: Big Daddy Decks
They did an absolutely wonderful job on our deck. If you live in Minnesota. Go with them!!! They did our log cabin also up north.
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Deck Staining
Amount: $0.00 total
Posted by: heat in cleveland, OH.Posted: May 26th, 2010 01:05PM
Size of Deck: anyContractor: me
You get what you pay for every time in this type of industry - don't argue with a 'good' contractor about the price for the job (good contractor = solid portfolio, solid references) we spend a lot of time, fuel, effort working on your quotes, talking with you and hiring quality people to do your work - this year and this economy is making the industry tougher and tougher with more people unemployed thinking that they can just jump in and be a painter, framer, drywaller or landscaper and do it for next to nothing, i've repaired countless jobs that were done by the handyman next door... Good contractors have at least 15 years in the industry, keep that in mind - there are many tricks to the trade that, unless you're in the business, you will never know. that's why we're so good. hire a pro, get the job done right the first time- stop looking so much at initial cost and look at what the outcome may be instead, you're the one who has to live with it, the contractor gets to go home.
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Deck staining
Amount: $1,900.00 total
Posted by: Jane L. in Livingston, NJ.Posted: May 1st, 2010 10:05PM
Size of Deck: 375Contractor: American Commercial Painting & Maintenan
We used American Commercial Painting and Maintanance for our deck staining.Our deck had a few loose boards and we couldn't walk on it without getting splinters. They did a great job! Very nice people. Our deck is smooth and clean, we cant't wait for the warm weather.
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Amount: $7,000.00 total
Posted by: thomas smith in magnolia, TX.Posted: July 11th, 2009 03:07PM
Size of Deck: 1300 SQ. FT.Contractor: CUSTOM DECKS AND FENCES
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