How to Stain a Deck After Adding New Boards

Decking boards don't last forever--but unless your deck has become extremely deteriorated, it makes no sense to replace all the boards. When you only replace the bad ones, or add new ones, you have the problem of staining the deck without the new boards taking the stain differently. Semi-transparent stains will allow the underlying wood color to show though and the new boards will be a different color. The trick is to first stain the new boards separately to match the existing ones--and then stain the entire deck, if it needs it.

Staining New Boards to Match Existing Boards

After adding new deck boards, stain or seal them.
  1. Match stain color for the new deck boards as closely as possible to the color of the existing deck boards.

  2. Stir the stain thoroughly and pour some into a clean bucket.

  3. Brush one coat of stain on the new boards. Allow it to dry as recommended on the label. If the paint store has done a good job, it should only require one coat of stain for the new boards to match the existing ones. Unless you plan on staining your entire deck, you're done.

Staining the Entire Deck

  1. Remove all furniture and other items from your deck. Sweep it with a broom, paying attention to get all the dead leaves and debris from between the boards.

  2. Apply a deck-cleaning solution if your deck is very discolored or mildewed. Application methods differ depending on the product, but typically you will apply the solution with a roller, brush or garden sprayer, let it work for 30 to 60 minutes, and hose it off. Allow the deck to dry completely.

  3. Brush on one coat of deck stain, working in lengths of three or four boards at a time to avoid marks where the stain overlaps. Stain both the existing boards and the new ones. Since the new boards now match the existing color, they'll blend in perfectly with the second coat of stain.


  • If the deck overhangs a patio below, protect whatever is underneath with plastic sheeting or drop cloths. Stain is thin and will drip through the underside of the deck.

About the Author

Stevie Donald has been an online writer since 2004, producing articles for numerous websites and magazines. Her writing chops include three books on dog care and training, one of which won a prestigious national award in 2003. Donald has also been a painting contractor since 1979, painting interiors and exteriors.