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  • Unitus Painting

Deck Staining with Morning Dew

Updated: Feb 15


Staining your deck is a crucial step in maintaining its beauty and protecting it from the elements. However, one challenge many homeowners face is dealing with morning dew when attempting to stain their decks. Morning dew can be a tricky obstacle to overcome, but with the right approach, you can achieve a beautifully stained deck that will last for years. In this blog, we will explore some tips and techniques for staining decks when there is morning dew.

Understanding the Challenge

Morning dew forms when the temperature drops overnight, causing moisture to condense on surfaces. This moisture can interfere with the adhesion and penetration of deck stain, leading to uneven results and reduced longevity.

To overcome this challenge, follow these steps:

1. Check the Weather Forecast

Before you begin your deck staining project, it's crucial to check the weather forecast. Ideally, choose a day when no rain is expected, and the temperature is stable. Morning dew is most common during the transition from cooler nights to warmer days, so aim to start your project on a day when the temperature remains consistent.

2. Time Your Project

Timing is crucial when dealing with morning dew. Aim to start staining your deck as soon as the morning dew has evaporated, usually around mid-morning. This allows the wood to dry out and prepare for the stain application. Conversely, avoid staining in the late afternoon or evening when dew begins to form again.

3. Clean and Prepare the Deck

Proper preparation is key to a successful deck staining project. Start by thoroughly cleaning the deck to remove dirt, grime, and old stain. You can use a deck cleaner or a mixture of water and mild detergent. Rinse the deck thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

4. Test a Small Area

Before applying the stain to the entire deck, it's a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous area. This will help you determine how the stain interacts with the wood and the morning dew conditions. Adjust your staining technique or product if needed.

5. Choose the Right Stain

Selecting the right deck stain is crucial when dealing with morning dew. Water-based stains tend to be more forgiving in moist conditions and can be a good choice. However, if you prefer an oil-based stain, make sure it's specifically designed for damp conditions and provides adequate protection against moisture.

6. Apply the Stain Properly

When applying the stain, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Use a roller, brush, or sprayer, depending on your preference and the size of your deck. Work in small sections, applying the stain evenly and in the direction of the wood grain. Be mindful of drips and excess stain, as these can lead to blotches and uneven coloring.

7. Maintain Proper Ventilation

Staining your deck in the presence of morning dew means the wood will likely be damp. Ensure good ventilation to allow the stain to dry properly. If possible, choose a day with low humidity to aid in the drying process.


Staining your deck when there is morning dew requires careful planning and execution, but it's certainly achievable with the right approach. By checking the weather forecast, timing your project correctly, cleaning and preparing the deck, testing a small area, choosing the right stain, applying it properly, and maintaining good ventilation, you can achieve a beautifully stained deck that will withstand the test of time. With these tips and techniques, you'll be well-prepared to tackle your deck staining project and enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest.

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