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How much does deck staining cost?

Deck staining projects vary in price quite a bit depending on the size of the deck, the number of coats, the level of preparation required, the difficulty of the project, and any extra services offered. On average, in 2024, a typical deck staining project will cost $1500 to $3000 and include the cost of pressure washing, preparation work, carpentry (if needed), labor, materials, and a warranty of service. 

Deck Size in Square Feet

General Base Price (1 coat)

General Base Price (2 coat)

500 ft² (small/medium)



1000 ft² (medium/large)



2000 ft² (very large)



The size of the deck

A larger deck will cost more than a smaller deck, all else being equal. An average deck will be somewhere around 500 to 1000 square feet, and they can get much larger. Keep in mind a smaller deck will not always be proportionately cheaper as many companies have fixed costs and base pricing for projects, leading to a sort of “bulk discount”.

small deck
A roughly 350 ft² deck in Madison, WI

Number of coats

Usually, a deck staining contractor will try to get customers to do a two-coat project. This is for multiple reasons: it lasts longer, it looks better, the project costs more, and customers generally prefer it. A two-coat project will generally cost 150% of the price of a one-coat project. For example, if your one-coat deck stain was estimated to cost $1,500, a two-coat would be a total of $2,250.

A second coat will generally be worth the money in the long term. Although it is more upfront, a second coat will make the deck stain last about twice as long and look much better throughout its life. 

Level of preparation required

When getting a deck stained, preparation is the first and most crucial step. All decks need to be pressure washed prior to staining to remove delaminated lignin on the wood, old flaking stain, algae, and dirt. This will be included in the base price for a deck staining project. If this is not removed it will lead to poor stain adherence and premature peeling. For more on this, read our article on pressure-washing decks.

After pressure washing, sanding and scraping will take place. These are both required only if the prior coating is peeling and will increase the price anywhere from 10% to 40% of the base price. The scraping will remove the failing stain areas and the sanding will smooth the surface to prevent a noticeable “pitting” look from occurring due to the height difference between the areas with nothing underneath and the areas with old stain still attached. For more on this subject, read about Pressure Washing vs. Sanding here.

Prep work can be expensive if your deck is in poor shape. To avoid this costly expense, regular deck maintenance should be performed. Not only will it ensure your deck lasts longer and looks better, but it also will be legitimately cheaper in the long term.

Deck stain before after
A 1000ft² deck without many railings in Waunakee, WI

Difficulty of the project

The easiest deck to stain, and therefore the least costly, would be a flat floor with no railings. This would cost relatively little compared to any other deck of the same size. 

Railings are a pretty major add-on to the cost as they take a long time to get done. Unlike floors, they use relatively little stain but require incredible amounts of labor hours to complete. At EcoWash, we bid our projects on the standard that ten linear feet of railings will take about one hour to complete. In this same time frame, approximately 100 square feet of floorboards could be finished. If your deck has a lot of railings, expect it to cost more than the average deck of that same size.

Pergolas, benches, bushes in the way, hard-to-reach areas, or any other unique aspect of a deck will likely add significant time to the project and will be bid in accordingly by a contractor. If your deck is unique, expect an additional 5-15% on top of base cost. 

small deck with failing stain
A small, simple deck that will be affordable to have stained professionally


Carpentry work, warranties, and specialty deck stain will cost more. Carpentry is not something that should be skipped. If you are a cost-conscious customer, see if the contractor has a trusted vendor to go through and a discount available to you. You can also consider asking the contractor what discounts are available to customers who do not want a warranty or if cheaper deck stains are available, although these techniques do not necessarily have a better value over the long term.


Deck staining varies in price based on the factors described above. If you are a homeowner in the Upper Midwest looking for a trustworthy deck staining contractor, please reach out to EcoWash today.


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