Home » Paint Sprayer Projects » Deck & Fence Staining

A lot of people are doing stuff around the home with simple tools. You can paint your deck and fence by yourself using a spray painter. Using a sprayer to paint wooden surfaces is faster and much more effective than using a brush or roller. It is more convenient and less messy. Moreover, you have more control over the process. However, no matter how simple the job is, it’s still important to understand how to use a sprayer properly in order for it to be truly effective.

Stained Wood Fence Panels

A wooden fence defines the limit of your property and provides privacy. It also provides some shade and blocks the wind. Besides, it is also an aesthetic feature, beautifying your property. Both decks and fences need maintenance. Over time the wood can fade and lose that bright rich color. So every few years it is important to stain and protect it to keep it in excellent condition.

To make it more convenient for you, use an airless sprayer. The airless sprayer is operated by electricity instead of compressed air in the normal sprayers. The airless sprayer is even more effective than a traditional sprayer, although also more expensive. Learning how to use an airless sprayer is not difficult, but like anything new, practice and a little knowledge will help you achieve professional-quality results in no time

With airless spraying, paint is broken up into tiny droplets without the use of compressed air. The sprayer pumps paint from a bucket through a hose to a spray gun at high pressure. When the gun is triggered, the paint flows through the spray tip, which creates a restriction that causes the paint to disperse into a fine spray pattern. This leaves you with an even, finely painted surface.

Whether you are a first-timer or an experienced painter, take time to go through the information contained in this article and take a few lessons.


  • Paint Sprayer
  • Paint/Stain
  • Spray tips
  • Empty buckets for priming sprayer and cleanup
  • Stir sticks
  • Safety glasses
  • Touch-up brush
  • Paint strainer bag : helps prevent tip plugs and provides a better finish
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Masking tape
  • Tip extension: for hard-to-reach areas that would otherwise require a ladder (optional)
  • Pressure roller kit (optional)
  • Replacement board (optional)
  • Additional airless hose sections, if needed
  • Spray shield
  • Pump Armor storage fluid or TSL fluid
  • Cleaning rags
  • Stiff nylon brushes for cleanup

Safety and Protection Equipment

  • Safety glasses/goggles
  • Dust mask/respirator
  • Spray sock or hat to cover head


  • Prepping
  • Spraying
  • Clean-up

Stage 1: Preparation

The biggest issue with staining a deck is getting a smooth, even application of deck stain. This can be exceedingly difficult, since any difference in application over an area can cause the stain to be lighter or darker in any given area. If any part is broken, repair or replace it.

Clean up the surface of the deck or fence with a pressure washer. Make sure all dirt and debris are removed. If you are spraying a fence, trim back any grass, weeds, trees, or bushes that are in contact with the fence. This ensures that the entire fence surface is exposed, nowhere is hidden in grass or shrub. It ensures a clean and complete finish.

To make sure that the paint you will spray on the deck only lands on it and doesn’t stain the surrounding surface, drop a piece of cloth on the wall of the house, all the way down to the deck, and put plastic around the edges of the deck to protect your landscaping from spray. Finally, cover any outlets that are sunk into the deck.

Stage 2: Spraying

First, pour the paint into the paint spray through the hopper. Flush the sprayer and prime it before installing the tip. Use a 213 spray tip on shadow box fences and 4 or 515 for a standard picket fence. Then connect the spray gun and the hose. If it is an airless sprayer, connect it to a power source. You can refer to your device manual for any more directions.

Note: always try to stay below ten mph when staining a deck. Make sure the weather is cool. If the humidity is real low above 85 degrees then you should pick another day. Regulate the pressure on the sprayer to your preference. A low pressure is better, no more than 100 PSI.

Your sprayer is ready, next is the spraying/staining.

While spraying, it is easier and more effective to apply the stain in sections, each being no more than three or four boards at any one time. Start at one end of the deck and work progressively to the other side. Make sure you attach the tip to the machine and avoid spraying too close to the surface so you do not damage the wood. Overlap your spray pattern by about 50%; simply aim the tip of the spray gun on your next pass at the edge of the previous painted area. Try to spray an entire section without stopping. Keeping the sprayer 10-12 inches from the surface, and moving at a steady pace, will help you maintain a smooth even finish by minimizing runs and drips from over applying your material. The airless paint sprayer will allow the stain to hit every area with a very even application. While painting a fence, paint may not get to some hidden parts. However stains that are sprayed on must be back brushed. If the paint drips on a surface outside the deck, quickly wipe with a piece of towel or paper cloth before it dries up.

Stage 3: Clean-up

Once you finish the job, be sure to give the stain plenty of time to dry while you clean out your device. Clean the sprayer and clean all unintended spills with detergent. You can use a TSL solution. Then leave your deck or fence to dry.