Average Cost to Stain a Deck

The cost to stain a wood deck depends on a number of factors, including the size of your deck, condition/age of the deck, and whether you do it yourself or hire someone. However, the average cost to have a pro stain a deck ranges between $1.75 to $4.50 per square foot if the deck has been regularly maintained. If the deck is in really bad shape, powersanding, powerwashing and staining it can be much more expensive reaching up to the $6.00 per square foot range. At some point you have to consider the costs to replace your deck when it reaches a certain age.

How Much Does It Cost to Stain a Deck if You Do it Yourself?

This also depends on whether you own (or can borrow) equipment like a power washer and sander, as well as what type of stain you choose. Generally speaking, estimate that the worse the condition of your deck the more you’ll save, as the labor is "free".

A deck in good condition, considering you’ll have to rent or buy the necessary equipment, should cost between $1.25-$1.75 per square foot. A deck that’s not been taken care of is about double that at $2.00-$2.50 per square foot. Again, the time it takes to properly powersand and prep the dilapidated surface for stain is much different, and this is where the savings come from.

Cost to Stain Deck Railings

Railings are a bit more difficult part of the deck to estimate. There are many different configurations of wood railing, which can dramatically affect the cost and difficulty to maintain. If you have taken care of your railing or it’s fairly new, you can expect to pay a pro about $4.00 to $12.00 per linear foot. More extensive maintenance is going to run more. Expect to pay $6.00 to $16.00 per linear foot for railing that is in dire need of TLC or is a design that is challenging to work with. You always have to keep in mind the costs of replacing railing vs. maintaining it. Depending on design and materials, you can typically replace wood railing for $15.00-$30.00 per linear foot.

Average Cost to Seal a Deck

How much does it cost to hire a pro to just seal a deck? Stain is usually a little more expensive than sealant because stain contains pigmentation that provides protection against sun damage and also allows you to change the coloration of your deck.

However, including light sanding, the average cost to seal a deck per is about $1.00-$1.25 per square foot. Typically a deck that is a good candidate for stain is already in good shape and just needs some protection from the elements. If you have a deck in good condition and want to seal it yourself you are usually going to come in under $1.00 per square foot.

DIY Deck Resources

Planning is key to most successful DIY projects, and there are plenty of resources online that can guide you away from making common mistakes. For example, Decks.com has several guides that can help you get started, including: