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stained deck

Stain a Deck with a Paint Sprayer

A paint sprayer can be used to spray a wide variety of materials, including stain! Learn how to quickly stain your deck for a professional looking finish.



This deck was built just last summer with a pressure treated lumber, but was already showing stains and wear. A quick scrub and refresh with semi-transparent stain has it looking its best self for the summer! This project is perfect for a beginner. The tools and materials make it really user friendly with easy cleanup.


deck before staining


spraying with wagner paint sprayer

Clean the wood

Cleaning your wood is an important step- make sure not to skip this! We used a specific wood cleaner and water to scrub the deck. This will remove any residue that will prevent stain from soaking into the wood evenly. Since this deck is pressure treated lumber, we chose not to sand it to avoid losing the pressure treated integrity. You could sand your deck if you have a cedar deck or if you don’t live in an area that needs that termite resistance. If you are sanding, wash your deck after to remove all dust.

pouring deck cleaner

Mask to protect certain areas

Masking can be the most time consuming part of using a paint sprayer. But it’s easy and allows you to paint so quickly and mess free. We used thick kraft paper from the painting section of the hardware store to slide under the deck, to protect the brick while staining the deck skirting. The siding was covered with plastic. We like to tape the bottom edge really carefully with painters tape, then to go over with double sided painters tape to affix the plastic sheeting over the siding.

mask siding on stained deck

Let dry and set up your sprayer

Make sure the deck is completely dry before moving on to this step- we recommend letting it dry overnight. Now you’re ready to stain! We used the FLEXiO 3000 for this project. We like that the handheld unit allows great mobility.

wagner sprayer and tube

Adjust settings and practice

Make sure to point your pickup straw forward so when you’re angling your sprayer towards the deck, it picks up the stain. The settings we used for this are the lowest possible ones. I recommend starting at the absolute minimum and increasing if you need. I ended up increasing my stain output to 2 (from the minimum 1) and left the air pressure at the minimum setting. As always, test out your spray pattern on a scrap or piece of cardboard first to avoid having any large droplets or unsatisfactory spray areas on your project.

sprayer settings

Start spraying one board at a time

Work one board at a time, completing one full length of the board before moving on to the next to avoid lap marks. If you do end up with too much stain in one area, you can use a rag or deck brush to wipe it in. The caution here is not to leave puddles on the deck as it won’t soak in properly.

spraying with wagner paint sprayer

Remove masking and enjoy

When it’s dry, you can remove your masking and admire your work!

You can see the whole deck makeover with more information on the project right here

removing tape on stained deck
Products Used


Wagner FLEXiO 3000 Paint Sprayer

Hose, deck brush, wood cleaner

Stain: We used a semi-transparent water based stain

Masking: Painters tape, double sided painters tape, plastic sheeting and thick kraft paper (flooring protector)

Safety glasses, gloves and mask recommended

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