I'm thinking about how to stain the railing on my deck. What I have is the same design as the last three pictures on this page.

I'm going to take the glass out before I stain, so there is some disassembly already.

In an effort to stain less often, I was thinking I could place the pieces into an ABS Pipe (sealed on one end), fill the pipe until the wood is covered, and pressurize it with air. It would look like this, but more vertical and without the steam coming into the bottom:

enter image description here

My question is, will it work to do a better job applying the stain, and how much pressure would be needed?

I couldn't find anything online as the searches kept bringing up how to handle pressure treated lumber, pressure washing and steam boxes.

Edit: After asking this question of others, they seemed to think that there would be no gain in this. That dry wood will soak up the stain and there would be no gain from pressurizing it. Coupled with the amount of stain that would be wasted, they thought this would be highly impractical. I'm hoping someone would have further experience with this.

  • Tend to agree with your friends. You could try soaking the wood in stain longer, so it penetrates more deeply... or switch to a wood which has the color you want, at additional cost (Ipe is expensive but inherently weather resistant and, if you can figure out how to keep it from bleaching, very pretty)... but realistically, the answer is to re-stain whenever any part of the deck looks like it needs it. If you really wanted to do this, (a) I'd suggest starting with a small box and a small sample to see if you can make it work, and (b) possibly trying vacuum rather than pressure.
    – keshlam
    Jun 3, 2014 at 19:52
  • Hmm... I guess the idea of a vacuum instead is that it will open the wood up further so that the stain is drawn in more deeply. Huh, that does make better sense. Thanks.
    – cndnflyr
    Jun 3, 2014 at 21:17
  • My thought is that you might do better by extracting as much air and water as possible from the wood, and then letting air pressure drive the stain farther in, than by trying to push extra fluid into the wood and then have pressure running the other way when you open the chamber. But seriously, I'm not sure whether either will do more than just letting the stain sit on the wood for a longer time before you wipe it off... and then coating over the stain with a UV-blocking spar varnish to provide the weather seal and decrease solar bleaching. Works Just Fine for doors, after all.
    – keshlam
    Jun 3, 2014 at 23:05


Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.