The Best Way to Stain Deck Spindles

Written by catherine chase
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The Best Way to Stain Deck Spindles
Wood stain can protect your deck and its railing spindles from weathering. (chair image by Pefkos from

While the horizontal surfaces of a deck are subjected to more wear and tear from foot traffic, the deck spindles are apt to be damaged by exposure to sun and rain. Stain your deck spindles to protect them from weathering. Before beginning your project, check the weather forecast. Avoid staining if it may rain that day. It is also best to avoid staining in full sunlight. After your deck and its spindles are stained, wait at least one full day before using it or placing patio furniture on it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Deck wash
  • Scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Tarp
  • Stain
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Remove any objects from the deck, such as patio chairs, barbecue grills and plants.

  2. 2

    Apply a deck wash to the spindles, such as an oxygen bleach-based wood cleanser. The directions on each product will vary. In general, apply a deck wash by dipping a stiff scrub brush into the wash and then scrubbing each side of each spindle.

  3. 3

    Rinse the deck wash from the spindles thoroughly by spraying each one with a garden hose from every angle. Allow the deck to dry completely before staining.

  4. 4

    Place a tarp under the spindles to prevent drips from marring the horizontal surface of the deck.

  5. 5

    Shake the can of stain before opening it. After opening the can, dip a paintbrush into the stain. Scrape the paintbrush lightly against the can's rim to remove excess stain. Turn the brush over and repeat this on the other side.

  6. 6

    Apply the stain to the spindles with up-and-down strokes. Brush each area several times to ensure the stain penetrates the wood. Stain each side of the spindles. Use only enough stain to cover the wood. Two thin coats of stain will set better than one thick coat. You may apply the second coat of stain while the first is still wet.

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