What is the Best Deck Stain Applicator/Tool? (2023)

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Share It
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
WhatsApp
Reddit

Choosing the appropriate stain applicator for your deck is crucial to achieving a uniform finish, enhancing efficiency, and saving time and money. Meanwhile, using the wrong stain applicator can lead to an undesirable finish, higher costs to fix it, and longer drying times.

So in this guide, I explored the market to help you find the best deck stain applicators to keep your decking in tiptop shape. Keep reading to know my best finds!

Premium Option
Wagner Spraytech Paint Sprayer 0529091 FLEXiO 5000
Editor’s Choice
Wooster Brush RR412-10 Shearling Floor Applicator
Budget Option
Mr. Long Arm 350 Woodmates Stain Applicator
Wagner Spraytech Paint Sprayer 0529091 FLEXiO 5000
Wooster Brush RR412-10 Shearling Floor Applicator
Mr. Long Arm 350 Woodmates Stain Applicator
• Portable sprayer
• Adjustable spray settings
• Suitable for big and small staining projects
• Includes nozzles
• 100% lambskin material
• Uniform coverage
• Suitable for all types of stains
• Works well with all types of surfaces
• Holds and distributes more stains
• Durable and tear-resistant
• Replaceable pads
• Easy to clean and reuse
Premium Option
Wagner Spraytech Paint Sprayer 0529091 FLEXiO 5000
Wagner Spraytech Paint Sprayer 0529091 FLEXiO 5000
• Portable sprayer
• Adjustable spray settings
• Suitable for big and small staining projects
• Includes nozzles
Editor’s Choice
Wooster Brush RR412-10 Shearling Floor Applicator
Wooster Brush RR412-10 Shearling Floor Applicator
• 100% lambskin material
• Uniform coverage
• Suitable for all types of stains
• Works well with all types of surfaces
Budget Option
Mr. Long Arm 350 Woodmates Stain Applicator
Mr. Long Arm 350 Woodmates Stain Applicator
• Holds and distributes more stains
• Durable and tear-resistant
• Replaceable pads
• Easy to clean and reuse

Reviews of the Top Deck Stain Applicators

1. Wooster Brush RR412-10 Shearling Floor Applicator

When staining decks, it’s essential to use an applicator to finish the job efficiently and effectively. That’s why this Wooster Brush RR412-10 Shearling Floor Applicator is a preferred stain applicator by most woodworkers, as it delivers a smoother finish faster than other brands.

It has unique material made of 100% lambskin, suitable for all wood stains and finishes. It’s very absorbent and holds adequate stains, allowing you to cover a bigger area in just one stroke.

It’s designed with a pre-drilled extension pole compatible with a standard mop handle. Using this feature will surely make staining your deck less tiring and more comfortable

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Wagner Spraytech Paint Sprayer 0529091 FLEXiO 5000

Now, if you’re looking for a stain applicator to finish bigger projects faster, this paint sprayer from Wagner Spraytech is what you need. It’s ideal for applying superior stains on your decks, furniture, ceilings, floors, and walls.

The Wagner Spraytech Paint Sprayer 0529091 FLEXiO 5000 has a portable paint application system, so you can put down the turbine and keep the heavy weight on the ground to reduce fatigue, especially for bigger projects.

It comes with two spray nozzles suitable for different spray patterns, such as vertical, horizontal, and round, which are excellent for a detailed finish. Although it’s better for big projects, it comes with a nozzle suitable for staining smaller areas.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. Mr. Long Arm 350 Woodmates Stain Applicator

If you’re working on a project that has a limited budget and you need a more affordable stain applicator that delivers a smoother finish, this Woodmates stain applicator is for you.

The Mr. Long Arm 350 Woodmates Stain Applicator has a 12-inch applicator lets you cover two boards in a single stroke, making the application faster and more efficient. It can also hold more stains, so one coat is sufficient to protect your wood.

Another feature we like about this product is its applicator is conveniently replaceable, as its loop and hook system makes it simpler to replace the pads. So, you can easily remove the pad, clean it, then reuse it.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. Purdy 140624022 Roller Replacements

The Purdy 140624022 Roller Replacements are made of high-quality polyester fabric suitable for all stains. Due to its material, it can absorb more moisture, so you can also use it to prepare the wood surface for staining.

When applying stains on your deck, this roller is a great choice, especially for your old decks that require more stain.

It’s highly absorbent and can hold large amounts of stains, allowing a uniform application in just one stroke, even on a rough surface. Although it may not fully cover the edges, you still need to use a paintbrush.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. Perdura Deck BOSS GGE061 Deck Stain Brush Applicator

Produced by a reliable brand, the Perdura Deck BOSS GGE061 Deck Stain Brush Applicator is simply one of the most durable and effective stain applicators on the market.

It absorbs a large quantity of stain and distributes evenly on the wood surface, covering a bigger area in one stroke. It can also reach and easily cover even the cracks and crevices of your deck floor.

This brush can significantly reduce half of your stain application time compared to using pads and rollers. It is even better than a stain sprayer, as this brush can cover hard-to-reach areas. Although it is more expensive, it’s reusable, so you can save more in the long run.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Mr. Long Arm 360 Woodmates Contour Stain Applicator

This is another excellent product from Woodmates that is designed for the contours and crevices of your deck. The Mr. Long Arm 360 Woodmates Contour Stain Applicator has the effectiveness of a stain pad and the maneuverability of a hand brush.

It’s flexible in applying stain in tight areas and gives you total control if you need detailed strokes on some of your deck. It’s designed with a comfortable, non-slip grip section, reducing hand fatigue.

It’s also durable and resists wear and tear as it’s made of high-quality material. But if you need a new applicator, you can simply replace the foam pads, as it’s also equipped with a loop and hook system.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. Cabot 140.0000061.000 4" Wood Stain Brush

Now, this stain brush from Cabot is one of the best deck stain applicators you can find in the market today.

The Cabot 140.0000061.000 4″ Wood Stain Brush is built with sturdy construction, allowing it to withstand frequent use and last for a long time. It has an ergonomic handle that provides a comfortable grip, reducing hand fatigue during extended periods of use.

It comes with a 4-inch width brush that enables you to cover a larger surface area with each stroke, making it an efficient tool for staining large wood surfaces. This brush has high-quality bristles that can hold and distribute the stain evenly, resulting in a smooth and consistent finish.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

8. Trimaco 10102 SuperTuff Sponge

Another affordable option yet high-quality staining pad that’s popular among many woodworkers is this SuperTuff Sponge from Trimaco.

It’s a versatile, multi-purpose sponge with a high absorption capacity suitable for staining or cleaning your deck. It comes in a convenient size that fits comfortably in your hand, allowing for easy and precise application.

The Trimaco 10102 SuperTuff Sponge has a non-abrasive surface that is gentle on wood surfaces, distributing stains evenly without leaving any marks on the surface. This product is surely a great value for your money, as it’s made from durable materials that can endure frequent use, ensuring that it will last for a long time.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Deck Stain Applicators Buyer’s Guide

It’s important to choose the right stain applicator for your deck as it can significantly affect the outcome of your staining project. Using the right applicator will ensure the stain is applied evenly, allowing for consistent color and finish.

Therefore, you must be meticulous in choosing the appropriate stain applicator for your deck, as this is essential to ensure a beautiful and long-lasting finish. Below are the most important factors you must consider in buying a stain applicator for your decks:

Material Quality

One of the most important factors that you must consider when buying a stain applicator for your deck is the quality of material used. This is because a stain applicator made of high-quality material can help you apply the finish more smoothly and evenly.

High-quality materials, such as synthetic bristles or foam, will hold more stain and release it more evenly, allowing for better coverage and lesser drips or runs.

Also, the quality of your stain applicator can impact how much stain you need to use. A low-quality applicator may absorb more stains, requiring you to use more finishes to achieve the desired coverage. This can result in higher costs and more waste.

Stain applicator

Additionally, a high-quality applicator is more durable and can last longer, allowing you to reuse it for future staining projects. In the long run, this can save you time and money, as you will not need to replace worn-out or damaged applicators constantly.

Consequently, using a stain applicator made of low-quality material can damage your deck. For instance, a low-quality brush with stiff bristles can scratch the surface of your deck, leading to an unattractive finish and may cause long-term damage.

Size of the Deck

Choosing a stain applicator based on the size of your deck is important to ensure that the job is done efficiently and effectively. This will help you ensure that the application process is done correctly and you can deliver results on time.

When buying a stain applicator for small decks or areas, a brush or a small foam roller can be your most appropriate choice. These applicators provide good control and precision suitable for detailed work. They’re easy to handle and maneuver, making them a good choice for smaller areas.

Meanwhile, a larger foam roller or a medium-sized brush is ideal if you’re staining a medium-sized deck. These applicators are more effective and efficient than smaller ones. They can provide good control and precision, allowing a smooth and even finish.

showing stain applicator

On the other hand, if you’re staining a large deck, you will be needing a larger foam roller, a sprayer, or a staining pad. These applicators can cover larger areas quickly and efficiently, making them a good choice for larger projects.

However, they may require more preparation and cleanup than smaller applicators. They also cost more than the smaller and simple paintbrushes but can save you more time to finish your project.

Condition of the Deck

Essentially, the condition of the surface of your deck will greatly impact the type of applicator you should buy. Therefore, you must choose a stain applicator based on the condition of your deck to ensure that you achieve a smoother and more beautiful finish.

If your deck is new or well-maintained, it has a smooth surface that will work well with a foam roller or a synthetic bristle brush. These applicators will provide a smooth and even finish and are less likely to leave brush marks or streaks.

But, if your deck is older or weathered with a rough or textured surface, a natural bristle brush or a stain pad can be the best choice. These applicators can penetrate the textured surface of the wood and ensure that the stain is applied evenly.

How To Choose The Right Composite Deck Boards

Meanwhile, it’s better to use a small brush or a stain pad if your deck has cracks or crevices, such as in-between deck boards, underneath railings, or in-between posts.

These applicators can help you apply the stain evenly and thoroughly to all deck parts, including tight spaces or areas.

Your Skill and Experience

Practically, you should consider your skill level and experience when choosing a stain applicator for your deck.

You must remember that different stain applicators require different skill levels and experience for efficient and effective use. Consequently, using a stain applicator that is too advanced for your skill level can result in a poor finish or even damage your deck.

Generally, if you are a beginner, choosing a simpler applicator like a roller or brush is best. These stain applicators are easier to control and require less effective techniques.

preparing brush for staining

As you gain more experience, consider upgrading to a more advanced stain applicator, like a sprayer, if you already feel comfortable using it.

To test if the stain applicator is appropriate for your skill level and experience, use it on a small area of your deck before applying it to the entire surface. This will help you understand how the applicator works and ensure you can achieve the desired finish.

Ease of Use

When choosing the best deck stain applicator, it is important to consider the ease of use of the applicator and if you feel comfortable using it. Essentially, the ease of use of your stain applicator can affect your project’s quality, efficiency, and overall look.

Consequently, if your stain applicator is difficult to use, your deck wood surface can have a blotchy and uneven finish. It will also cause you to apply too much or too little stain, leading to wasted product and an undesirable finish.

Additionally, the application process can be frustrating and time-consuming to correct or smoothen the finish, so it’s better to aim for an even finish on the first application.

staining decks

Type of Applicator

It is important to consider the type of stain applicator when choosing one for your deck. Essentially, the type of stain applicator you will use can affect the quality of the overall finish.

Also, different stain applicators offer different levels of control over the application process. This can significantly affect the speed of the application and your project’s turnaround time.

Additionally, using the right stain applicator for your project can help reduce waste. This will help you apply the desired amount of stain without excess dripping or spilling.

Knowing what type of stain applicator is best for your project can help ensure the application process is safe and injury-free.

Bear in mind that some types of stain applicators require specific safety measures, such as wearing protective gear or ensuring proper ventilation. Here are the different types of stain applicators for your deck:

deck boss stain applicator

Roller

Rollers are a popular tool for applying stain to a large, flat surface area like wood decks. Using a stain roller can help you evenly distribute the stain and achieve a more even and consistent finish.

Another advantage of using a stain roller is that it makes the application process more efficient, allowing you to finish your project faster than using a paintbrush or staining pad.

Generally, stain rollers are more suitable if you’re working with semi-transparent, transparent, or thinner stains. Using stain rollers with these finishes can ensure the stain penetrates the wood evenly, resulting in a more uniform color and smoother finish.

Essentially, stain rollers are easy to use and require minimal preparation. It is an excellent option if you’re a DIYer or have a limited experience in staining.

However, a roller is not best for uneven surfaces, such as wood knots [1] or rough areas. Also, a roller may not reach these areas effectively if your deck has narrow spaces between the boards, such as with a tight-fitting decking system.

staining deck with paint roller

Hand Brush

Using a hand brush is a great option for staining your deck, especially if your deck has intricate details or hard-to-reach areas.

Most woodworkers prefer using a hand brush for detail work, including staining vertical surfaces that may be difficult to reach with a roller.

Using a hand brush provides more precision and control, especially in staining tight spaces or around edges. This can ensure that the stain is applied evenly on the entire surface.

Also, using a hand brush helps you stain your deck easier and more thoroughly, improving the durability of the finish over time. Additionally, the hand brush is suitable for multiple applications of stain, allowing you to build up the color and achieve the desired finish.

However, while a hand brush can be an effective tool for staining your deck, it’s not the best option if you need a quick turnaround time for your project.

Also, if you’re a beginner, you can leave noticeable brush marks on the surface, especially if you use a transparent or semi-transparent deck stain.

using hand brush

Floor Brush

A floor brush is a good option for staining your deck, especially if you need to cover large areas quickly and efficiently. Using a floor brush can help you save time and effort.

Unlike hand brushes or rollers that require you to get down on your knees to apply the stain, a floor brush allows you to stand upright while working, which can be more comfortable and less strenuous.

If you’re concerned with the overall finish, achieving a smoother finish is easier using a floor brush. This is because the large surface area of a floor brush allows you to apply the stain evenly and prevent uneven patches or streaks.

Additionally, you can use a floor brush on various types of surfaces. But it is best for rough surfaces where sanding is not needed. It is most effective in applying thicker or more solid stains.

However, it is not ideal if your project requires precision and detailed staining work, as you will not have enough control around railings, corners, or other obstacles.

staining using floor brush

Paint Sprayer

Among all stain applicators, a paint sprayer or spray gun is the most efficient that can cover larger areas, allowing you to save more time and effort.

It’s a versatile applicator that can provide even coverage across the surface of your deck and prevent uneven patches or streaks.

When buying a paint sprayer, choose the one that allows you to adjust the spray pattern to get into tight spots and hard-to-reach areas.

Although a paint sprayer is more expensive than other stain applicators, it can help you conserve stain by applying it in a thin, even layer, which can even help you save more money and effort.

Price

When buying a stain applicator for your deck staining project, it is important to ensure that you are getting a product that is both effective and within your budget.

spraying wood

Although there are factors that can affect the price of a stain applicator, including the quality of the materials used, the size and design, and the brand name. Typically, larger and more complex applicators are more expensive than smaller, simpler ones.

However, it is essential to compare the prices and features of different brands and models to get the most value for your money. Look for stain applicators that have been proven effective based on good reviews and ratings from other woodworkers.

It is also wise to purchase a stain applicator that comes as a kit and includes other tools and supplies you will need for the staining process. This is more cost-effective and will save you time and hassle.

FAQ

What is the best tool to stain a deck?

way to achieve a smoother and even finish. It’s soft and absorbent, which holds more stains that can penetrate and distribute evenly into the wood for better protection and longevity.

Is it better to brush or roll stain on a deck?

It’s better to use a brush than roll the stain on a deck. Using a brush allows you more control, better penetration, less spatter, greater versatility, and a smoother finish than using a stain roller.

What is the best brush for deck staining?

The best stain brush for a deck has an extension handle or pole. It reduces fatigue, allowing you to stand more comfortably while applying the stain. This helps prevent back pain and other discomforts arising from extended bending or reaching periods.

You’ll Also Like:

My Top Pick For a Deck Stain Applicator: Wooster Brush RR412-10 Shearling Floor Applicator

After testing the popular brands of stain applicators in the market, I chose the Wooster Brush RR412-10 as the best deck stain applicator. It has an exceptional ability to hold and distribute stains evenly across various surfaces, significantly reducing the time and effort to complete your project.

Ultimately, it offers excellent value for money, crafted from high-quality pure lambskin, ensuring durability and longevity. You can rely on it for multiple projects, making it a smart investment.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!