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How to Apply Stain Between Floorboards on a Deck

S.F. Heron

Staining a deck requires meticulous planning to prevent unsightly drips from ruining the finish on the wood. One of the most difficult aspects of staining a deck involves applying stain between the floorboard of the deck.

Typically, board placement is less than one-half inch that results in a tight space that still requires stain application. You'll need to apply a smooth layer of stain to this crack area between the floorboards without marring the finish of the flat side of the boards. There are a variety of techniques for applying stain between the floorboards on a deck.

  1. Clean the deck thoroughly with deck cleaner. Make sure to remove all cleaning agents from the surface of the deck, including the areas within the cracks between the floorboard. Using a pressure washer makes this task easier. Aim the wand of the pressure washer to remove dirt and debris between the floorboard. The surface should be as smooth as possible with old stain and sealant completely removed.

  2. Protect house siding, plantings, and areas under your deck by spreading drop cloths to cover everything that can be damaged with the stain. Applying stain between deck floorboards is a messy jobs that always results in some dripping.

  3. Overlap the individual board staining by applying stain to the cracks of the floorboard in small sections before rolling floorboards. Use your stain brush to smooth stain into the cracks, being careful with drips. Roll the floorboards and immediately return to smoothing any drips between the decking boards. Stain the length of two boards at a time to allow for touch-ups between the floorboards.

  4. Stain larger gaps between deck floorboards using a thin roller. Decking wood expands and contracts with moisture levels and often results in larger space between boards. Pour decking stain into a paint tray and use a one-inch paint roller to apply a smooth layer of stain to the cracks. Immediately apply stain to the surface of the floorboards to blend the stain between the crack and flat boards.

  5. Apply deck stain between the floorboards on a deck with a pump sprayer. Only use these methods of stain application on a completely wind-free day since over-spray will cover you, the side of your home and anything nearby. Fill the sprayer with stain and pump up the sprayer. Set the sprayer to a fine mist setting and apply stain between the decking boards. You can also use this method to stain deck spindles and the floorboards of the deck.