Kid sitting cross-legged on a wooden deck

Deck Staining Temps: Is It Ever Too Hot or Too Cold?

If you have a deck, you know how important it is to protect it from the elements by re-staining and sealing the wood every three to four years. Your efforts will prolong the life of your backyard deck and prevent damage that could require you to replace it prematurely.

If you plan to stain your deck yourself, it’s important to choose a day with the ideal deck staining temps. Weather conditions such as heat and humidity can seriously affect the outcome of your project. To ensure you get the results you want, find the perfect Goldilocks zone for staining your deck with these tips.

Avoid the Heat

High temperatures are a big concern while applying the stain. If it’s too hot, the stain may dry too quickly, potentially causing lap marks and uneven penetration. Avoid staining your deck if it’s above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure this, either choose a cooler day or stain your deck in the morning before it gets too hot. It’s okay if the temperature rises after the stain is applied and has begun to dry.

Avoid the Cold

Low temperatures are also detrimental because they lengthen the drying time. If you’re staining your deck in the spring or fall, wait for a day with highs above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure freezing temperatures aren’t in the forecast for that night. If it drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit before the stain has thoroughly dried, it can hinder the curing process. Penetrating stains may fail to penetrate, and the stain’s adhesion could be compromised.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Whether it’s warm or cool outside, never apply stain to a deck in direct sunlight. This could cause the stain to flash dry, which prevents it from penetrating the wood properly and shortens its longevity. Flash drying also causes an uneven, blotchy appearance that will make you want to redo the job. A sunny day is great for enjoying your deck and a cloudy day is perfect for staining the deck!

Avoid High Humidity & Rain

Humid weather doesn’t necessarily ruin your deck staining efforts, but the higher the humidity, the longer it will take for your deck to dry. Obviously, staining in the rain is no good. In fact, you should wait for a day with no rain in the forecast for the next 24 hours to prevent washing the stain away.

Avoid the Wind

Windy days aren’t ideal, either. The wind could blow leaves, twigs, and other debris onto your wet deck, sticking to or leaving unsightly imprints in the stain.

The Goldilocks Zone for Staining Your Deck

Ultimately, the goal is to stain your deck when the following conditions are present:

  • It’s below 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • It’s above 50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • It’s a cloudy day or at the right time that the deck is in the shade
  • The humidity is low
  • Rain isn’t in the forecast
  • The wind is calm

Get Help Staining Your Deck

Waiting for the right deck staining temps is just one part of the job. Unless you know what you’re doing, it’s easy to accidentally ruin your deck, when all you want to do is prolong its life.

For results you can count on every time, choose Mr. Handyman to stain your deck. Our technicians have an average of 10 years’ experience, so there’s no chance of making a mistake while staining your deck. We also offer other deck and patio services, including power washing and repair work. We can even construct a new deck from the ground up!

To schedule services for your home’s exterior, please contact your local Mr. Handyman or call us at (877) 256-3376. We’re here to help with all your home improvement needs! Mr. Handyman is a Neighborly company - which is a full community of home repair, maintenance and enhancement service providers.