How to stain a deck while it rains?

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When you want to stain your deck for the first time or to maintain the quality of it, you need to have a proper plan. As the deck is located outside of your home, you need to think about the weather too. 

But we don’t have any control over the weather, and we can’t tell accurately how the weather will be the next day. Both deck and stain need a certain amount of time to dry. As staining your deck is important to protect the deck, you may want to know how to stain the deck while it rains?

But before you start staining the deck while it rains, let’s know first if you can stain a deck while it’s raining or not. 

Can you stain a deck while it’s raining
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Can you stain a deck while it’s raining?

No, you should not apply satin on the deck while it’s raining unless you want to ruin the deck with stains. We know no one wants to ruin their deck. When you apply stain on wood surfaces, you need to give the surface at least 24 hours to set it. 

However, leaving the satin on the floor for 48 is the best. What happens if it rains after you apply satin on deck and it rains before it dries? If it rains before the stain dries, the wood will soak water and will store it in the pores. 

Thus water will try to displace the stain and make them look awful and uneven. However, the rain will not affect the stain on deck much if it is close to 48 hours since you applied stain on the surface. 

How long does deck stain need to dry before it rains?

When it rains, you should give the deck at least 6 hours to dry before you start applying stain on there. And when you need to apply stain, check whether there will be rain for the next 46 to 48 hours. 

Because if it rains before the stain dries, it will flake and peel off the stain. To adhere to the stain correctly, you must keep the deck moisture-free and totally clean. But if you have no choice but stain the deck while it’s wet, you may apply it anyway. 

But the result will not be satisfying and professional. A thinner and moisturized finish of stain will come off from the surface after a few rainstorms. 

How to stain the deck while it rains? (Step by step guide)

As you have read above, it won’t be a good decision if you choose to stain the deck while it rains. Obviously, no one would like to re-doing the same task again and again, yet not getting the satisfying result. We know it may be urgent for you to stain the deck quickly, but please reconsider your decision. 

Here is the step-by-step guide of applying stain on deck:

Step 1: Check the weather

Checking the weather is the first step of knowing when is the right time for you to stain the deck. Probably you should choose a day to start the process when it is sunny and dry for at least the next 2 days. However, too warm or too cold weather is not a suitable day if you want a perfect result. 

Step 2: Prepare the deck

Before you start staining the deck, floor, or other wood surfaces, the first step is to prepare the surface. You should provide the care and repair first that your deck needs to be prepared to accept the stain. Start the process by removing the items like tables, chairs, or plants from the deck. Then sand the deck and remove the previous stain layers. 

Step 3: Clean the deck

The main step of staining the deck is to clean it properly by removing dust, grime, debris, even a small hair. This step is really important as stains work as a seal to protect the deck. First vacuum the deck, then mop out the surface. Now let the surface dry for, in the meantime, your deck can become a bit dusty again. So remove those dust using a clean cloth.

Step 4: Choose the right stain and finally stain

If you want to get a clear transparent coat of stain on your deck, we would suggest you use oil-based stains. They work best to decrease the brush marks and leave an even coat. Anyway, you should start the staining process from the railing and spindles. Do not aggressively apply the stain, be patient and apply it gradually with care. 

When you apply the first coat on deck, allow it to dry properly. Before you move onto the deck to apply the second coat, check if the surface is dry properly for the next coat. Give it a clean with a clean and dry cloth. 

Now give the deck 48 hours to set, dry, and harden the coats properly, then put back all the furniture again. Congress, you just stain your deck successfully!

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Why should I not stain the deck when it rains?

Stains require plenty of time to harden and dry properly. So when it rains within 48 hours, you stain the deck, it soaks water in it, and the stain starts to misplace and look tacky. That’s why you should not stain the deck when it rains.  

How long should deck stain sit before the rain?

When you apply stain on deck, you must allow it to dry for 24 hours at least without making it come in contact with moisture. Also, you should not stain the deck right after it rains.  

What are the key steps to stain the deck professionally?

The most important part of staining the deck is cleaning the deck before starting and between each coating of satin. Also, choosing the right satin for better staining plays a vital role for stain decks professionally.


Staining your deck will not ruin your deck if you know how to stain a deck while it rains. However, you should not stain the deck when it rains and let the deck at least 6 hours to dry after it rains. The deck should not hold any moisture in it before you stain it. If you follow the steps properly, then you can successfully stain the deck for rainy seasons.

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