The national average cost to stain a deck is $813. Cost factors include square footage, the level of sanding required, repairs needed, type of stain used, and more. Homeowners can re-stain a deck themselves, but it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Depending on the size of the deck, it can take days to properly stain. Deck maintenance companies are experts in deck cleaning, staining, and sealing. Most companies will want to see a deck before giving an estimate to re-stain it. For peak performance, wood decks need to be re-stained every couple years to prevent fading and moisture penetration. Here’s the scoop on professional deck staining costs.
What’s in This Cost Guide?
- Cost to Stain a Deck
- Cost of Deck Staining Materials
- What Affects the Cost of Deck Staining?
- How to Save Money on Deck Staining
Cost to Stain a Deck
Average prices to re-stain a deck range from 50 cents to $2.50 per square foot, depending on the amount of prep work required, the type of stain used, and other variables. The national average cost to stain a deck is $813, which includes both commercial and residential projects.
Most contractors charge by the square foot. It will cost more to also have the underside of the deck stained. Some contractors will include sealing the deck in their quote, but some don’t — be sure to make sure. Rails and spindles can also be sanded or washed, stained, and sealed, usually for a separate cost. New wood decks may require more stain, which can also impact the cost per square foot.
Cost of Deck Staining Materials
A five-gallon bucket of stain purchased from a home improvement store can range in price from $75 to $225, depending on brand and stain properties. The porosity and age of your wood will determine just how much stain is needed to cover the deck, based on manufacturer specifications.
The higher-quality the stain that the contractor uses, the higher the overall cost. Clear stains can work for decks that are in great shape, but solid color stains help conceal the flaws in an older deck. Stains are available in a wide range of opaque colors. You may also opt for semi-transparent stain to allow the natural wood color to shine through with an added sheen. If old stain needs to be removed before the new stain can be applied, the cost will be higher.
What Affects the Cost of Deck Staining?
Deck staining is affected by several factors including the number of square feet you have, local labor costs, the grade of stain you want, prep work required, and any repairs required. Keeping up the stain on your deck is an important home improvement project because it not only looks good, it protects the wood from decay, termites, and rot.
Cleaning and Prep Work
Contractors generally clean every deck before restaining it, usually by power washing or pressure washing. The deck must sit for 24 hours until it’s completely dry before staining can begin. Some contractors include pressure washer services separately, and some include it in their overall quote. In addition, some contractors use a special wood cleaning solution, which could be charged as an add-on or considered part of the overall quote.
Contractors’ prices vary depending on the type of material used to build the deck. Common materials include cedar, pine, and redwood. Pros are also able to stain certain types of composite decking. Composite decking is made from recycled plastic and recycled wood and is more durable than wood as it less prone to warping and fading.
Decks that haven’t been maintained well often require a power sanding before the stain and seal. The deck surface should be smooth and splinter-free for the stain to best absorb and also for you to better enjoy the deck. Power sanding costs more than the light sanding that is generally part of the staining process. A pro will be able to determine the level of sanding you need when they provide your free cost estimate.
If a deck has damage such as rotted or decaying wood, the contractor might suggest a separate price for repairs. Common deck repairs include replacing cracked or rotten wood, securing posts or railings that have become loose, reinforcing sagging planks, and addressing termite issues. Many deck staining companies can tackle basic deck improvement repairs, while larger jobs, such as reinforcing supporting beams, may be a larger project for a general contractor. Depending on the scope of your project, deck repair costs range from $200 to $4,500.
Some companies will move furniture and include the cost of labor in the overall price. Others ask customers to move furniture before workers arrive. If you have heavy items, such as umbrellas in cast-iron bases, large BBQs, or other outdoor living furniture, talk with the pro beforehand about whether they charge for moving items. These charges are often a flat fee, such as $25 – $50, depending on how many items you have and how heavy they are.
How to Save Money on Deck Staining
There are several DIY ways you can save money on your deck staining project. One money-saving strategy is timing. Deck stainers are usually busiest in the spring; consider having your deck stained in the fall. Another way to save is to move your own deck furniture in advance of the deck stainers’ visit. If they charge added labor costs for heavy lifting, this will help you save money.