How Much Does it Cost to Stain a Deck in 2024?

The cost to stain a deck ranges from $520 to $980, with a national average of $730. That is about $1 to $3.25 per square foot.

Staining your wood deck is a great way to ensure it looks its best and lasts for a long time. You can expect to pay between $520 and $980 to stain your deck, or an average of $730. But, obviously, the size of the deck plays a role in determining the cost of staining. Most professionals charge an average of $1 to $3.25 per square foot

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Average Deck Staining Cost in 2024

National Average Cost$730
Typical Price Range$520 – $980
Extreme Low-End Cost$310
Extreme High-End Cost$1,970

The cost of deck staining will be influenced by a number of factors, including the condition of your deck, the type of stain you use, the square footage of your deck, and the amount of time it takes to complete the project. Based on many of these factors, the national average is $730, with a typical range of $520 to $980

However, these are guidelines. A simple job on a small deck could cost around $310, or a large job that includes repairing and sealing could cost as much as $1,970

Cost Estimator by Deck Size

The size of your deck influences the cost of staining more than almost any other factor. More deck space means more labor, materials, and work, all of which have a price tag. 

Knowing that the average cost of deck staining is about $1 to $3.25 per square foot, you can easily calculate an approximate cost for basic deck staining services by measuring your deck. Here are some prices for typical deck sizes to give you an idea what you may pay based on square footage. 

Deck SizeTypical Price Range per Square Foot
120 Square Feet$120 – $390
144 Square Feet$144 – $468
200 Square Feet$200 – $650
240 Square Feet$240 – $780
280 Square Feet$280 – $910
320 Square Feet$320 – $1,040
400 Square Feet$400 – $1,300

Bear in mind that these costs will vary from professional to professional according to their labor costs, taxes, and fees. And, if you want additional services and prep work, such as sanding, power washing, or deck painting, you will pay more. 

Be sure to ask your professional for the cost per square foot when obtaining a quote.

Other Factors that Affect Deck Staining Costs

Before embarking on any home improvement project, it’s important to break down the cost for every aspect of the job, and deck staining is no different. Among the things to consider are:


A professional may want to inspect for damage before staining the deck. Wood rot and damage from pests are two of the most significant issues, but there may be hidden problems that are challenging for the untrained eye to catch. 

Your deck should undergo a general inspection annually, especially if it is over 10 years old. While the condition of your deck boards is paramount to staining, it’s vital also to check that all of your deck’s connectors, fasteners, and joints are in good condition. Hire a contractor to fix them if any of these structures are in disrepair. 

Deck Board Repairs

There’s no point staining a deck if the boards are in disrepair. If your deck boards are loose, chipped, rotting, molded or mildewed, you’ll need to replace them first. 

The cost of deck board repairs varies depending on the material. On average, however, the cost of decking material will range from $5 to $35 per square foot. The following table reflects prices for the most common decking materials. 

Deck MaterialAverage Cost per Square Foot
Cedar$10 – $25
Redwood$5 – $30
Ipe$10 – $30
Pressure-treated Wood$10 – $25
Composite Decking$15 – $35

Pressure Washing

Pristine deck boards should still be cleaned before you begin staining. If the deck isn’t terribly dirty, you might be able to tackle the job with a garden hose in a couple of hours.

If the deck requires a bit more work, a pressure washer is probably the right tool for the job. 

Pressure washing not only removes dirt and grime but also eliminates set-in grime. The average cost of pressure washing ranges from $0.30 to $0.50 per square foot, although some professionals charge by the hour. Expect to pay between $60 to $120 per hour, but that could be higher or lower depending on the complexity of the job and the materials required. 

And if you’d rather pressure wash your own deck, a good pressure washer will set you back about $250, although you can spend as little as $75 for a small electric one or as much as $9,549 for a commercial-grade one. You can also rent one from about $30 a day to $100.

Deck Sanding

Once you thoroughly clean your deck, you’ll need to smooth the rough edges to create an even surface for staining. Sanding the deck removes splinters, rough spots, loose fibers, and residue that could interfere with the appearance and comfort of your newly stained deck. Professional contractors charge varying prices that depend on the square footage of the deck, the type of material used in the deck’s construction, and whether you’re looking for a light sanding or a more thorough job. 


While wood stain has protective qualities, your deck may need extra protection against the elements. Sealing your deck alone costs an average of $550 to $1,285. However, if you’re having your deck stained and sealed, some contractors may consider the two tasks part of the same job and include sealing in the overall staining price.

The Cost of Related Services

Stain certainly enhances the appearance of your deck and increases its lifespan, but there are other things you can do to help your deck. They include:

Tree Trimming

Fallen branches can ruin the aesthetics and integrity of your nicely stained deck. Trimming overhanging or dead branches can mitigate these problems.

If you want to keep your freshly stained deck clear of detritus from overhanging trees, you’ll have to factor the tree trimming cost into your budget. On average, you’ll pay $475 for tree trimming, with a typical range of $315 to $700. Consult a local tree trimming company for a quote. 

Leaf Removal

Even if you’ve trimmed the branches that hang over your deck, wind-blown leaves can clutter your deck’s surface, creating an unsightly carpet, and a dangerously slippery one at that. And leaves left to rot on a deck can stain it. 

What could leaf removal cost you? Expect to pay around $165 to $485, with an average of $300 for professional leaf removal services. 


Perhaps you would like your deck to match your home’s aesthetic more closely or to stand out a bit more. Painting your deck can add a splash of color or refresh the look of your yard. 

On average, deck painting costs approximately $600 to $1,625. These costs are based on an average rate of $2.25 to $5.25 per square foot

Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost

Using a professional to stain your deck is a good way to ensure a quality finish, but you may feel confident enough to tackle the job on your own. Even so, it’s vital to understand the costs associated with taking on the project yourself. 

The first and most important consideration is the type of stain. Different stains are designed for certain materials, and each type has a different cost associated with it.

Type of Deck StainAverage Cost per Gallon
Water-Based Stain$25 – $76
Oil-Based Stain$29 – $84
Transparent Stain$21 – $60
Solid Stain$21 – $66

Once you have the stain, you’ll need to gather the tools and supplies you need to strip, wash, sand, and stain your deck. The following table details the average costs of the equipment, materials, and safety gear you will require for staining your deck. 

DIY Equipment RequiredAverage Cost
Work Gloves$18
Safety Goggles$14
Deck Stain Stripper$24 per gallon
Paint Roller$11
Paint Roller Covers$38
60-Grit Sandpaper Discs$24
Orbital Sander$32
Pressure Washer (Rental)$70 per day
Pressure Washer (Purchased)$246
Total DIY Equipment Cost with Renting a Pressure Washer$321
Total DIY Equipment Cost with Buying a Pressure Washer$497

In all, it will cost around $321 to $497 to stain a deck yourself, depending on the type of stain you use and whether you decide to rent or purchase a pressure washer. Compared to the average price range of $520 to $980 for professional deck staining, you can save money by doing the project yourself.  

Note: Both pressure washing and sanding require a full understanding of the correct settings and operation of these tools to avoid damaging your deck. Wear appropriate safety gear and read all of the manufacturer’s instructions before using any heavy equipment. If you don’t feel completely comfortable with an orbital sander or a pressure washer, contact a professional to perform these tasks for you. 

Cost of Deck Staining By Location

As with any service, prices will vary by location because of regional differences in the cost of materials, labor, and other factors.There are many contractors across the country who abide by various tax codes, pay different insurance costs, and maintain different fees. Therefore, the cost of professionally staining your deck will vary from state to state.


How often should you stain your deck?

If you have a brand-new deck, you should let it dry for 30 days before applying a coat of stain to help protect it. After that first staining, your deck should get a new coat of stain every two to three years. This time frame is only a general rule, however, as decks in areas with high humidity should be stained more often to compensate for the effect of the weather. 

When is the best time to stain a deck?

You should stain your deck in the late spring or early fall. Excessive humidity or rain will create moisture that will prevent the stain from adhering to your deck’s wood. In addition, excessive heat may cause the deck stain to evaporate too fast.  

Should you use a brush or a roller to apply deck stain?

Both. A roller will allow you to cover a larger area in less time with a smoother finish, and a roller is easier to operate for an extended period. On the other hand, you can use a brush in hard-to-reach spaces like corners and under deck railings. 

Final Thoughts

Your deck can be a wonderful place to spend warm days and cool evenings, but only if you take care of it. Regularly staining your deck will help protect it while maintaining its natural look for a long time. Whether you decide to take the DIY route or hire a deck staining professional, you should familiarize yourself with the total costs associated with this project.

Note: LawnStarter may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

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Nick Crawford

Nick Crawford

Nick Crawford is a blog writer based in Philadelphia. He enjoys writing just as much as he enjoys reading a good book, cooking, and working out in his spare time.