How Often You Should Stain Your Deck In Canada

Tyler Bains
Feb 12, 2024By Tyler Bains

If you've got a deck in Canada, you know how important it is to keep it looking good and lasting long. This guide will help you understand everything you need to know about staining your deck!

Trust us, we have been doing this for years and even our decks are on that edge of getting redone or not here in Victoria. So today we will go throught a deep dive on how we figure out exactly when you will need to.

brown wooden fence near green plants during daytime

Frequency of Staining Your Deck, and Schedule

Factors Influencing Deck Staining Frequency

Canadian weather can be tough on decks. With our diverse climate ranging from chilly winters to hot summers, knowing when to stain can make a big difference. The frequency of staining largely depends on factors like the type of wood, weather conditions, and wear and tear.

Some to look out for are heavy snowfalls, extreme heat and sun, and heavy rain fall. So everything BC is known for!

So what can you do? You can protect your deck during the regular intervals with shorting it to as often as every two years in extremely volitle climates like Kelowna or Lake Cowichan.

The last factor to determine frequency is the kind of stain you use on your deck, as if you are to use a solid stain deck, you see effects of it being warn down within the first 18 months, where a semi-transparent stain can last for half a decade easily and be quite less often.

brown wooden terrace outside clear glass door

Scheduled Deck Staining

Once you understand your climate and product selection you can create a schedule to stain your deck. We recommend on average to stain your deck every three to five years for the best finish. With semi-transparent stain being recommended for decks to last a long time and not have to get refinished often.

deck staining

Best Time for Deck Staining 

Picking the right season for staining is crucial. Ideally, you want to aim for moderate temperatures and dry weather. Spring and fall are often the best times to stain your deck in Canada. Avoid staining during extreme temperatures or when rain is in the forecast, as it can affect the quality of the finish.

If you are to stain your deck in extreme heat you will end up with a gummy, improper finish that will not last. If you are to stain in the rain, youll end up having quite the mess to deal with, not to mention the refinishing required.

a close up of a wooden wall with a light shining on it

Staining a New Deck

f you're dealing with a new deck, it's essential to follow the right process. Different wood types require different drying times before staining. Green lumber, for instance, needs about a year per inch of thickness to dry properly. On the other hand, kiln-dried lumber may only require 1-2 months. Be sure to prep your new deck adequately before staining to ensure the best results.

white couch and brown wooden table

Staining Existing Decks

For existing decks, keeping an eye out for signs that your deck needs a new stain is key. Look for areas where the stain is wearing thin or where the wood appears faded. These are indications that it's time for a fresh coat of stain. Treat worn-out areas effectively to revive your deck's appearance and protect it from further damage.

Water Absorption Test

Testing the water absorption of your deck is a crucial step in determining when it's time to stain. Essentially, the water absorption test helps you understand whether your deck is ready to be stained or if it needs more time to weather and dry out.

Here's how it works: sprinkle some water onto the surface of your deck. If the water beads up and sits on the surface, it indicates that the wood is still well-protected and doesn't need staining yet. However, if the water quickly soaks into the wood, it's a sign that your deck is ready for staining as it has lost some of its protective properties.

In Canada, where the weather can be unpredictable and harsh, performing the water absorption test periodically can save you from the headache of premature staining or waiting too long until your deck suffers damage. It's a simple yet effective method to gauge the condition of your deck and determine the best time to apply stain for optimal protection and longevity.

Remember, staining your deck not only enhances its appearance but also shields it from the elements, preventing rot, decay, and warping. So, keep an eye on the water absorption of your deck and take action accordingly to keep it in top-notch condition year-round.

Deck Staining Colors and Options

When it comes to choosing the right stain, consider the Canadian climate and the type of wood you're working with. Transparent stains allow the natural beauty of the wood to shine through and are ideal for showcasing wood grain. Solid stains, on the other hand, provide more protection against the elements and are available in a variety of colors to match your aesthetic preferences. With a solid stain you will be staining your deck more often.

Professional Deck Staining Services

While staining your deck can be a DIY project, sometimes it's best to leave it to the experts. Professional deck staining services have the knowledge, experience, and tools to ensure your deck looks its best and stands the test of time. When choosing a professional, be sure to look for reliable experts in your area who have a proven track record of quality work. 

deck maintenance professional


In conclusion, the frequency of staining your deck depends on various factors, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer. By considering the type of wood, climate, visual inspection, water absorption test, and seeking professional advice when needed, you can determine the optimal time to stain your deck and keep it looking great for years to come.

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