How to Apply Exterior Stain

Video Transcript

Video Transcript


When it comes to applying exterior stain, there are several options: a brush, painting pad, roller or spray gun. Let's take a look at each. When using a brush, it's best to pour the spray from a can into a smaller container. To load the brush, dip it into the stain, then slap it on the sides to distribute the material and remove any excess.

Brush in the direction of the grain, working a section at a time and keeping the leading edge wet. One of the advantages of a brush is that it works the stain well into the surface. On the other hand, brushing is one of the more time-consuming methods of application.

Getting into the grooves in the siding, means turning the brush vertical. A painting pad is also a good application tool. In this case, pour the stain into a roller pan, saturate the face of the pad, then draw the pad over the pan ridges. Because of the pad's width and its ability to hold a considerable amount of material, it's speedier than the brush. Yet like the brush, it works the paint thoroughly into the surface.

Getting in the grooves and other details though, still requires some brushing. Using a roller to apply stains, means choosing the best nap length — either 3/8 inch, 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch. Generally speaking, the rougher the surface the longer the nap.

Rollers can hold quite a bit of paint and distribute it quickly. Again, work in smaller areas and keep the leading edge wet. One downside of a roller though is the need to back brush in order to insure the stain has worked well into the surface. This goes quite quickly though.

You'll also need to brush in the details. Hand-held airless paint sprayers can easily handle materials like this water-based stain. Try to keep the spray gun at a constant distance and move at a consistent speed. [SPRAY GUN SOUNDS]

This unit can spray a pattern up to 12 inches wide, which makes it ideal for larger jobs like this. Here too, you'll need to back brush to make sure the stain is worked thoroughly into the surface. Well, there you have it — four ways to apply exterior stain. Just pick the one you like best.

Learn how to apply water-based stain with four different tools and methods.

When you apply stain to exterior trim or fencing, etc., you can select from four different application tools: brush, pad, roller, or paint spray gun. Personal preference is most likely to dictate which tool you use, although the size of the job may also affect your choice. You may use more than one tool on the same project. In addition, the manufacturer of the stain product you select may have recommendations on application methods. Consider the options and their pros and cons before starting your project.