I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer not to spend my days painting or rolling my deck the traditional ways. It’s far easier to spray the deck stain and get back to enjoying my outdoor parties instead.
Many people don’t use the best deck stain sprayer because they aren’t sure how or they don’t know what to buy.
I’m here to help with both! Let’s talk about how to stain a deck using a sprayer and which one is the best deck stain sprayer to buy.
What Is a Stain Sprayer?
With a deck stain sprayer, you’ll quickly apply the stain to your deck with less mess and time. Just like using the paint sprayer to complete painting jobs, you apply the deck stain in the same manner.
The sprayer atomizes the deck stain and allows it to cover a larger surface with ease.
Why are Sprayers a Good Choice for Staining Decks?
It’s easy to accomplish your desk staining in a fraction of the time as when you paint or roll it. Instead of spending your time doing manual labor, it’s preferable to prepare the materials in a sprayer and get the job done.
When you brush or roll the stain, you are often left with brush marks and uneven thickness. With a deck stain sprayer, it’s easier to accomplish a professional look. Just use the proper procedures to ensure a quality finish that’s even and beautiful.
Easier To Use
Most people find that spraying with a machine is far more comfortable than having to brush or roll the stain on. You can stand the entire time, instead of getting on your hands and knees. Setup and cleanup is also a breeze, allowing you to quickly get back to what you love doing the most.
Which Type of Spray Gun is Best for Staining?
There are two types of sprayers and both have reasons they might be the best for staining.
Airless paint sprayers operate with the help of a piston that pressurizes the material and then squeezes it out the nozzle. An airless sprayer works best on large, flat surfaces. That’s why many people use them for decks. Look at an airless deck sprayer as an alternative to a roller.
They are more powerful than an HVLP machine, but only have a transfer rate of about 50 percent. This means that a lot of product goes elsewhere into the air and adjacent surfaces instead of where you want it.
While this might be the fastest way to accomplish the task, it also costs more money because of the extra product used.
With an HVLP sprayer, the air comes from a compressor and atomizes the stain. HVLP stands for high volume, low pressure. They are best used for smaller, more detailed oriented projects. That’s what makes them an excellent alternative to a paint brush.
It’s still possible to use an HVLP sprayer on a deck, but it might take more time. If you have a small deck, it will work well. Another reason to use the HVLP version is if you are worried about cost. The sprayer has less wasted material than an airless version because of the adjustability.
While the project might take you longer, an HVLP sprayer is the way to go for smaller decks or when you don’t want to waste any stain.
What to Look For In a Paint Sprayer for Decks?
An essential part of spraying the deck is having the ability to move around freely. Look for a unit that is portable and features a long-reaching hose so you can cover the deck with ease. You don’t want to keep moving your unit around to get the work done.
If you want to get the job done fast, then you need a high-powered sprayer. Keep in mind that the higher you go in power, the more the price goes up as well. It’s also likely that overspray becomes a larger issue with higher powered machines. Pay attention to the PSI rating, horsepower and how many gallons are used per minute to make your determination.
It’s best to purchase a sprayer that offers adjustable pressure control. This allows you to slow down the flow of stain when needed or speed it up when detail isn’t a concern. With an adjustable spray painter, you’ll have more versatility to use it on other projects as well.
Stains are thinner materials, so it’s important that you have a small tip size. Normally a .011 – 0.13 would work best. If your machine doesn’t come with that size, then you need to see about getting additional tips. It’s always best to price accessories and add-ons before purchasing a sprayer so you know what you’re getting into.
You need this to spray surfaces that are further away. If you don’t want to bend over while spraying your deck, then a tip extension is a must. A 10-inch appears to be the most popular option, but up to 30-inch is used for deck applications. Just avoid going over 36 inches.
5 Best Deck Stain Sprayers Reviewed
1. Graco Magnum 262800 X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer
My Overall Rating
This fully adjustable paint sprayer allows you maximum control while spraying the deck and other projects. It features a stainless steel piston pump for maximum durability. Use the flexible suction tube to spray right from your one to five-gallon bucket instead of mixing materials.
Then, when you are finished, use your garden hose with the PowerFlush adaptor for simple cleanup. This unit supports a hose as long as 75-feet, so you are sure to reach all of your deck without an issue. Plus, the RAC IV SwitchTip allows you to reverse it if a clog occurs so there’s no downtime.
2. Earlex HV5500 Spray Station, 650 Watt, 13' Hose
My Overall Rating
This professional spray gun might look different than most, but it’s a great option for home or professional use. The powerful 650-watt turbine allows you to complete your projects quickly while still maintaining a quality finish. The easy adjustments enable patterns ranging from 1-inch through 12-inch.
There’s also a convenient handle to make portability simple. With the 13-foot hose and 5.5-foot power cord, you might find yourself limited slightly on maneuverability, but most people haven’t seen it to be an issue. Included with the sprayer is a 2.0mm stainless steel tip. This isn’t just a great sprayer for stains, but also thinned latex lacquers, oils, sealants, varnishes, shellacs, enamels and acrylics.
3. Graco Magnum 262805 X7 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer
My Overall Rating
If you have a large deck or plan to use your sprayer professionally, you might consider the Magnum X7. This adjustable option gives you all the control you need to get the job done right. With its stainless steel piston pump, you can spray many materials, some unthinned.
Use the flexible suction tube and pull the material directly from its paint bucket. This reduces your preparation. Then, connect the PowerFlush Adaptor to your garden hose and clean it out easily. You can connect up to 100-feet of paint hose if you need to reach distant areas.
This is ideal for reaching the second or third story of your house. Just like the smaller Graco, this unit comes with a RAC IV SwitchTip so you don’t have to worry about the nozzle getting clogged.
4. Wagner 0518050 Control Spray Double Duty Paint Sprayer
My Overall Rating
This budget-friendly paint sprayer is ideal for smaller spaces. It features a two-stage turbine that’s perfect for creating fine finishes indoors or outdoors. It sprays a maximum of 4.9 fl. oz. per minute and you can easily adjust the air cap to three varying positions for a unique spray pattern.
With this sprayer, you can apply thin materials like sealers, varnishes, lacquers and sealers with ease. It’s also possible to spray latex paint if thinned properly. With this sprayer comes two material cups. The one-quart is a perfect size for small interior jobs while the 1-1/2 quart cup is best for larger exterior work.
5. Wagner 0518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Paint Sprayer
My Overall Rating
For a more professional option in the Wagner line of paint sprayers, this Control Spray Max might be what you’re looking for. It offers variable air pressure control and three varying spray patterns. There’s also a 20-foot hose so you can easily reach further while working on the deck.
The professional grade metal cup is perfect for holding your materials. Plus, this unit easily sprays sealers, interior latex and stains. This unit also uses two air filters that protect the finish from dust. Use the 1-quart metal cup for smaller jobs and the 1-1/2 quart plastic cup for staining the deck and fences.
How to Stain a Deck – Beginners Guide
Before You Spray
If the deck has peeling or cracked stain, you need to remove that first. If it’s dirty or covered with mold, make sure pressure wash it before application. Then, allow it to dry for a day or two before moving forward.
Sweep off any debris that’s accumulated on the deck. Cover your nearby areas with plastic sheeting to protect from overspray. Prepare your paint sprayer with the stain materials as directed by the manufacturer.
Hold your sprayer about six to twelve inches from the surface and apply. Make sure you move back and forth consistently plus you want to overlap the area by 50% at each pass.
Allow the first coating of stain to dry completely. Then, you can add a second coat to the deck with the same instructions. Make sure you stay off the deck for a couple of days as the stain completely dries.
Then, it’s time to clean your sprayer. Follow the manufacturer’s suggestions and make sure everything is clean before packing it away. It’s also important that you allow all the components to dry.
Don’t forget to remove the surrounding plastic and any painter’s tape you put on the deck. All that’s left to do is enjoy your fine work. Once you are done doing the deck, you might want to paint some other exterior areas of the home. Make sure you have the best paint sprayer for exterior painting.
Other Options for Sealing a Deck
(If You Like More Work)
If you aren’t sure that spraying is for you, there are other alternatives. You can roll on the paint with a roller or use a brush instead. Both of these require a lot more manual labor and don’t produce the same professional results that a paint sprayer does.
On the flip side, they do cost less money, but is it worth it?
Now you’ve seen the best deck stain sprayers for painting. The choice is yours which one is going to be ideal for your needs.
Think about all the projects you want to complete before making that purchase. This ensures you get something versatile that will help you finish all your DIY tasks. When you’re all done, it might just look like you’ve got a new house.
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