How to Refinish a Deck with Acrylic-Based Deck Stain

Refinishing your wood deck with a semi-transparent acrylic-based stain is a great way to protect it from water, snow and sun while allowing the natural wood grain to show through.


Refinishing your wood deck with a semi-transparent acrylic-based stain is a great way to protect it from water, snow and sun while allowing the natural wood grain to show through. Behr Premium® Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain & Sealer is designed to provide maximum protection for up to six years depending on sun, traffic, weather and most of all, the prep work. After prepping the wood deck, the application process is fast and easy. Start by making sure you have at least a 4 hour window after applying 2 coats before rain is expected. The two-coat application process doesn’t take more than a few hours, but allow for 1-2 hours drying time between coats.

Popular Videos

Clean the Wood

Cleaning the wood is an important step because it removes dirt, brightens the wood so the finish can shine, and opens the woods’ pores so it’ll better absorb the new finish.

Start by blowing off all the loose debris using a leaf blower or better yet, clean the deck more completely with a pressure washer. It does a better job of cleaning the boards and the gaps between the boards. Just be careful not to damage the wood. Then mix a 50/50 solution of water and Behr Premium® All-in-One Wood Cleaner and pour it into a pump sprayer. Wet the wood with your garden hose and apply a liberal coating of the cleaner.

Let the cleaner sit for 10 to 15-mins. Then scrub the wood with a stiff bristle broom. If you have tough spots that won’t come clean with the 50/50 solution, apply it full strength and repeat the brushing step. Then rinse the entire deck thoroughly and let it dry overnight.

Lightly Sand

Once the deck has dried, lightly sand the entire surface using a drywall sanding pad fitted with a 150-grit sanding screen. Sanding knocks down any raised wood fibers and helps you achieve a much smoother feel should you have family member that like to walk barefooted. Blow off the sanding dust with your leaf blower.

Apply two thin coats of Behr Premium Semi-Transparent Stain.

Stir the product thoroughly and pour it into a dipping bucket. Using a nylon brush, cut in around paver bricks, around posts or anything else that shouldn’t get stained.

Then pour it into a paint tray and apply a thin coat using a stain pad and extension pole. Apply the stain to 2-3 boards at a time and coat them all the way from one end to the other, before starting the next few boards. Always work out from a wet edge to prevent lap marks. In other words, keep the surface continually wet while applying the stain. Wait 1-2 hours for the first coat to dry, then add a second thin coat.

Clean up drips and spill with a damp paper towel or rag. Let the deck dry for 24-48 hours before placing deck furniture on the new finish.