Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1What is the quickest and easiest way to stain my deck?

The quickest and easiest method to apply a deck stain is with a car wash brush that can be found in most home improvement or department stores. Watch the video for a quick demonstration.

2Do I really need to stain my deck or can I just let it weather naturally?
We recommend always maintaining a fresh coat of stain on your deck. It not only keeps the deck looking good, but also protects the wood from the harmful effects of the sun and rain.
3How do I clean mold and mildew off of my deck?
Use a diluted bleach solution to clean it off. Mix DEFY Wood Cleaner with water (five parts water to one part cleaner), spray it on, let it set for five or ten minutes, and rinse it off. The mildew should die off in the process.
4I constantly have mildew growing on my deck. Why does it grow there and how can I stop it?
You may never be able to eliminate mold and mildew completely if you have a shady area with a lot of moisture present. You can improve your chances though by using a synthetic stain, such as DEFY Extreme Wood Stain, instead of an oil-based product. Oils are a huge food source that the mold and mildew will feed on.
5Do I need to clean my new deck?
Yes! New wood can have “mill scale”, which is a crushing of the grain that occurs during the milling process. When you clean it, you not only remove this “mill scale”, you also clean off contaminants such as dirt, mold, and mildew that the lumber can pick up during the building process.
6I have a composite deck. What are my options?
Simply use DEFY Composite Wood Cleaner. It’s safe to use, won’t harm your plant life or vegetation, and will make your composite look brand new again. For a stain option check out DEFY Composite Deck Sealer.
7Is there a safe cleaner that I can use on my deck that won’t harm my plants?
Yes! DEFY Wood Cleaner. It’s a safe and effective bio-degradable product for cleaning weathered wood and removing weathered, semi-transparent stains.
8I have a cedar deck. What’s the best stain to use?
Cedar can be somewhat difficult to stain. It has a lot of natural oils, or tannins, in it. We recommend using a product that is especially formulated for use on cedar: DEFY Deck Stain for Hardwoods. It also works well on redwood and mahogany decks.
9Should I use a pressure washer to clean my deck?
Sure. It makes cleaning a lot easier and faster. Just limit your pressure to no more than 1,000 or 1,200 p.s.i. and use caution to work with the grain and never against it as it will damage the wood if you do.
10My deck is stained and is starting to look weathered. What can I do to help it out while it’s still in decent shape?
That’s easy. Just clean the deck off with some DEFY Wood Brightener and apply a light maintenance coat of the original stain that was used.
11I have a pressure treated deck. What is the best stain to use?
If the pressure treated lumber is brand new, let it weather for three to six months to dry out. If it is older and weathered, it will be much more porous. In that case, apply DEFY Wood Cleaner, followed by DEFY Wood Brightener, and then stain it with DEFY Extreme Wood Stain. If your deck has a previous semi-transparent or clear stain applied, you’ll need to use DEFY Stain Stripper instead of the Wood Cleaner.
12Is a roller a good way to stain the deck?
Not really. Rollers were developed with paint in mind. Using a roller will often simply push the stain around on the surface and not force it into the pores. It can also leave a stipple effect in the finish when the stain has dried.
13Does the wood need to be completely dry before I apply the stain?
If you are using an oil-based stain, definitely. You can use DEFY stains, which are water-based products, even when the surface is slightly damp.
14How do I know if I applied enough stain to my deck?
If using a semi-transparent stain, apply only as much stain as the wood can easily absorb, taking care to brush out any puddles that may form. If you put enough stain on to form a gloss on the surface, it has been over-applied and will, more than likely, peel in time.
15I have a composite deck that is already beginning to gray out, can I use stain on it to keep it looking new?
Yes, DEFY Composite Deck Sealer works well on most composite wood surfaces. Just follow all of the directions in the same way that you would if you were staining regular wood and the results should turn out great!
16What’s the best time of the year to stain my deck?
Spring and fall certainly offer the easiest conditions to work in. The key is to stay out of direct sunlight, as it can make any stain dry to quickly, and to try to stain when the temperatures are below 80 degrees or so.

Have questions that weren’t answered here? Go over to our Ask Questions About DEFY Stains page and post your question or browse through previous questions already answered.