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Staining the Deck – Before and After

So.. what do you think about this before & after of our deck!? I’m happy to announce that our deck’s transformation is finally complete! SO happy with the way everything turned out.. this custom stain pulled together by my painter, Abraham is absolutely perfect. It compliments the white paint on both the house and handrail in the most perfect way! I’m so excited to share more details on what our incredible team did to accomplish this look over the last few weeks. I have to say that staining the deck has been one of our favorite before/after’s we’ve done!


When we first looked into buying this house.. one of the main reasons we fell in love with the home was this amazing deck with the beautiful ocean view.

We envisioned wonderful sunsets spent sitting on our sofas.. just pure magic! The only issue is that we didn’t love the previous staining nor the railing that wrapped around the deck. Eventually, we’d like to extend this deck out further along the entire back of the house and do more work on that end.. but for now we wanted to make this deck look the way we envisioned it and in a style that reflects us.


Originally, I wanted to paint the entire deck white.. but most everyone, including many of you told me that it wasn’t the best idea. ;) The deck would get dirty way too easily and we would have to repaint often to keep up the look.

The guys began by painting the railing using Benjamin Moore’s Simply White to match the house. I loved the brighter look immediately.

Abraham came up with quite a few stain and paint options for me.. At first we looked at several warmer light stain tone options but after testing a few on the sanded mahogany deck, we felt we needed to go a different route.

The 3rd up from the bottom ended up being the winner!

Every wood takes color differently. This old deck had recently been stained a deep red tone prior to this so it was difficult to get a clean slate and an honest read on light stain colors. They spent days sanding the deck trying to get down to the natural wood. Unfortunately with the type of wood used the guys didn’t have a natural beautiful grain to work with. Abraham came up with the idea to use a semi-solid/transluscent white on the deck prior to adding the stain.

Abraham painting the semi-sold white over the raw wood
A closer look

This was such a great idea! Using brush strokes with the stain over the white they discovered they were able to mimic the grain we envisioned. Once we looked at all the choices Abraham showed me we fell in love with a beautifully natural grey/light brown stain. It’s the perfect greige as far as I’m concerned and it looks absolutely stunning with our wood. We asked Abraham if his team could move forward with it, and he did.

The stain application was long and tedious but the finished look is perfect!

The Process

Disclaimer: Finish may differ depending on type of wood used. Testing is important.

Step 1 : Fully sand deck with heaby grit sand paper to expose wood grain

Step 2 : Apply white color base coat. Product used is Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT semi-solid.

Step 3 : Apply custom color match glaze (mine is 60% smoked oyster). Product used is Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT solid. Make sure the glaze is diluted 50% product with 50% water.

Step 4 : Lightly sand with fine grit sand paper. Apply 2nd coat of custom colored glaze.

Step 5 : Apply fist coat of clear sealant for weather protection. Product used is Modern Masters Clear (Satin Finish)

Step 6 : Light sand. Apply final coat of clear finish. Durability depends on quality of clear coat product.

Abraham stressed that the quality of the final product depends on the magician doing the work. ;) He and his crew worked very hard on both of our decks and we are so thankful!!


Doesn’t the end result look fantastic? We are absolutely in love with the way our new deck looks! The soft greigey tone goes with everything and I love the way it contrasts with the white painted risers and the house. It’s exactly the way I envisioned this deck to look.

Once we end up extending out the deck (eventually) we will be calling Abraham to stain the new side of the deck.. can’t wait for that project to begin. For now, we love this look and we’re feeling so confident with the work involved. We can’t wait to formally entertain on the deck but for now, we’ve added our RH sofas and Frontgate tables/umbrellas. Now we just need to decide what to do with the other side of this space.. dining table perhaps?

Any ideas or comments? Let us know below.


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13 thoughts on “Staining the Deck – Before and After

  1. Kristy you have such an eye and persistence! It’s beautiful! I vote for a dining table, You’ll get much usage out of it!

  2. WOW! This came out absolutely beautiful!! Very unique color! Beautiful! Do you think you may add more greenery ON the deck? You have such great taste with the types of plants and trees you choose …(loved what you did to your previous home in the backyard). Excited to see your creativity!

  3. Dear Kristy: Your new vision of your deck certainly is a hit. How wonderful for a true California beach area home. Just a quick question, your Kitchen cabinet pulls. What is the name of the company that you used. I need some handles for a new cabinet in our LR and I am not too excited about the pair I found in Lowes. Thanks, love your new house. Sandy

  4. The deck looks fabulous Kristy. You were so lucky to find someone like Abraham to help you bring your vision to life. I think a dining table would be fantastic out there!!

  5. Hi
    I am trying to find a color for my deck. I have been staring at the Benjamin Moore stain chart for days.. ugh. I can’t seem to find which gray stain you actually used. Can you pleae share. I LOVE how your deck came out! Looks beautiful! Thank you!

  6. Hi, I just love the finished colour. Please advise what paint was used as well as the colour. It’s amazing!

  7. I was looking at your post about what you painted the deb and I couldn’t understand the difference between putting down the white paint the deck color and then the other thing about the oyster color. Can you please explain because I really like the color that you have and I need to paint my mother’s deck, thank you so much