We were supposed to have two weeks of perfect weather conditions so I started the process of staining my deck, I cleaned it, sanded it and yesterday applied the first coat to half of it.

Now the weather has changed and the forecast is 70% chances of 5mm of rain that are going to fall two days from now and then so far it seems it's going to be intermittent between rain and sunny.

How should I proceed?

  1. Should I apply the first coat on the second half and the second coat on the first half 48 hours before the rain and then leave it until the rainy days are over before applying the second coat on the second half?

  2. Should I apply the second coat on the second half even though it will be the afternoon before the rainy day?

  3. Should I not do anything and leave the recently sanded deck to get wet and then wait for the rainy days to stop?

I must add that it is very possible that after the rainy days the really hot weather might begin.

Please advise.

3 Answers 3


Maybe too late to ask, but, are you using latex or oil based? If you are using latex, if you can get it on for 4 to 6 hours before a light rain, it will have dried enough to survive without spotting. Oil based really needs 12 to 24 hours to set up depending on the temp. Curing time is a lot longer, but the skim drying is much faster for latex than oil. Good Luck!

  • Turns out it was latex based and it was very dry when it started raining. Thank you! Commented May 9, 2013 at 13:45

We're thinking of staining our four year old deck soon, and my only credentials are that we've thought about this scenario.

If I were you, I would go ahead and apply the first coat to the remainder of your deck, basically ensuring that all surfaces are evenly covered. If it does rain and screw up everything, at least the screw-up will be consistent.

I realize humidity will be an issue, but are you planning on covering the deck while it's raining? Cover it when raining, let it dry up when sunny.

  • What should I use to cover it? And, wouldn't whatever I use might stick to the paint if it hasn't dry completely? Commented May 7, 2013 at 18:50
  • 3
    Don't cover it with anything that will touch it !!!!! If the satin is not cured, it will stick and you will have a mess. Rather have water spots and do a second coat than have to deal with peeled stuck coatings. Commented May 7, 2013 at 22:56
  • Yep... you don't want to let the cover touch your deck surface. How about using the railings as supports for the cover; do make sure you stretch the cover taut, though.
    – alt
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 13:04

No! Only apply the coats you know will (hopefully) dry before the rain comes.

I put 2 coats on our huge 40x60 deck. My husband was not happy with it and INSISTED a third coat even though I told him rain was in the forecast. I no sooner got things cleaned up when the sky let loose with a torrential downpour. It bubbled and washed ALL 3 coats off. I have never been so frustrated!

Another hint. Don't apply in direct sunlight. The coating thickens and constantly needs stirred. Now I wait for it to dry so I can start again. Because he didn't listen to his wife (which he seldom does) I have an unnecessary and costly job!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.