How to Prevent Footprints on Stained Deck

One of the most common problems that homeowners deal with is having their deck stained by footprints. This can be caused by wearing shoes on the deck, kids running around barefoot, or pets walking across the surface.

How to Prevent Footprints on Stained Deck

Luckily there are a few ways to prevent this problem without spending too much time and money! For example, to avoid footprints altogether, you could put down some flooring like tiles or even paint your deck.

If neither of those options seems feasible for you, then try spraying down your deck with water before it gets wet to create an invisible barrier between your feet and the wood so no more stains will happen. So, this article is for you. You will learn how to prevent footprints on stained decks with just one simple trick!

Step to Follow on How to Prevent Footprints on Stained Deck

Step One: Degrease the Deck

Before starting any painting, all surfaces must be free of debris and greasy substances. The best way to clean a deck is with a TSP solution. You can find this product at your local hardware store. Mix the TSP in warm water until it’s a paste-like consistency, then scrub down your deck with a deck-washing brush.

Degrease the Deck

After scrubbing your deck with TSP, rinse it off with plain, warm water. Let your deck fully dry before painting it. To check for any areas that may still be greasy, saturate the deck with water. If you find any, give them another scrubbing before moving on to the next step.

Step Two: Prime Your Deck

Your deck’s surface must be clean and free of debris before painting it. Also, it needs to be rough for better adhesion. You can rough up your deck by running a utility knife or an ice scraper over the wood to create some grooves in the surface.

If you’re painting your deck with semi-transparent stain, skip this step and move on to Step 3, which is priming. If you are using solid-color stain, you’ll need to give your deck a coat of primer first. Priming helps the final coat of paint stick to the deck better. Next, apply primer with a brush or roller.

Step Three: Choose Your Staining Method

To create a more polished look for your deck, consider using a semi-transparent stain. This method will allow the grain of the wood to show through, while still providing some protection from the elements. When choosing a paint color, opt for something that is similar to your desired deck color. This will ensure a cohesive look once the project is complete.

Saturate your deck with water to check for areas you missed during priming. If there are still some spots that aren’t primed, scrub them down and re-prime them before applying the first coat of semi-transparent stain.

Step Four: Apply the First Coat of Stain

The first coat of stain should be light to even out any bare spots. After that, you don’t need to apply it all over your deck; focus on priming those areas that are still exposed or contain old, chipped paint. You can use a brush for applying semi-transparent stains, but I prefer a garden sprayer.

It coats the deck evenly and quickly, and it’s easier to control than a brush. Shake and stir your stain can well, then spray it onto the deck with quick, sweeping motions. If you try to cover too much surface area at once, you’ll leave droplets of stain on your deck.

Step Five: Let the First Coat Dry

Let the first coat of spray stain dry overnight. You’ll probably want to stand on something while you wait, so your footprints don’t show up. Repeat these steps if you need another coat. Most decks require two coats at most but follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. 

It’s not always easy to stay off your deck, especially if it’s a hot summer day and you feel like you’re wasting the sunshine. But avoiding standing on your deck as much as possible will help prevent those pesky footprints from showing up in your wood stain.

Step Six: Clean the Deck

Now that you’ve finished applying your stain clean up any tools or drop cloths you used before they create footprints all over your deck. Sweep up the particles and take them to a garbage can. Use a shop vacuum if necessary to get rid of any stubborn debris.

If stains from tools have gotten on parts of your deck, you can remove them with a rag and some acetone. Acetone is available at most hardware stores and is typically found with paint thinners and removers. However, if the stains are really deep, they may require more than just a simple wipe-down.

Step Seven: Finish Your Deck

For added protection, you can seal most stains with a clear, water-based sealant. However, don’t use oil-based products to protect your deck! Oil-based paints and stains will leave permanent streaks on your deck and shouldn’t be used on exterior surfaces.

Most decks require at least two coats of paint or stain, so don’t be surprised if you need to complete this step several times. Use exterior latex paint in a semi-gloss finish if your deck has a smooth surface instead of grooves. Spray it on with a garden sprayer for best results. This will help in how to prevent footprints on stained decks.

Step Eight: Enjoy

Preventing footprints on your stained deck is incredibly easy. All you need to do is avoid walking on the surface until it has dried completely. Unfortunately, it takes a while for the stain to dry, so an alternative method may be necessary if you’re in a hurry.

Enjoy Your Stained Free Deck!

You can use several methods that don’t involve ruining your shoes and stepping all over your new deck. Lay pieces of plywood over the stained area, for example, or use gardening sprays to discourage anyone from touching it.

You can Check It Out to Replace Rusted Joist Hangers on Deck

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Stained Deck Always Look Dirty?

A mobile home is a type of vehicle that is towed and stored on a foundation, which is built to be moved from one location to another. It is also known as a recreational vehicle (RV) or caravan.

The first mobile homes were created in the United States in 1926 by John Newland Muntz, who was an entrepreneur and inventor from Chicago. He founded the Mobile Home Company.

Mobile homes are typically designed for people who have limited access to land for their home or building, such as elderly people living in retirement communities, those living in apartment buildings without parking spaces, or military personnel stationed overseas.

Should I Clear Coat My Deck After Staining?

Yes, it is advisable to clear coat your deck after staining. This will help you protect the stain from fading and make sure that it lasts longer.

The main reason you should use a clear coat is that the stain needs time to dry before applying it onto the surface of your deck. If you don’t allow for this time, then there is a chance that it might peel off or fade away, which would be disappointing for both parties involved.

How Many Coats of Stain Should You Put on a Deck?

There is no specific number of coats of stain that you should put on a deck. It all depends on the type of stain you are using and how much work you want to do.

Why Does My Stained Wood Feel Sticky?

If your wood feels sticky, it is most likely due to the presence of natural oils on the surface. These oils are usually produced by trees and can also come from other sources, such as recently cut down or diseased trees.

Natural oils in wood can be a problem for people who want to use their wood as an ornamental item because they will not be able to polish it well enough for a shiny finish. If you want to avoid this issue, you should sand off any oil before finishing with a stain or paint.

Can I Apply Thompson’s Water Seal Over Stain?

Thompson’s Water Seal is an excellent product to use on a stain. The product manufacturer recommends that you apply it over the stain and then remove any excess liquid from the surface with a paper towel or cloth.

Thompson's Water Seal Is an Excellent Product

After this, it is time to let the product dry for at least four hours before using it again. If there are any stains left after this, then you can remove them with another clean cloth or paper towel.


The best way to prevent footprints on a stained deck is by using a product like Tuff Stuff, which cleans and protects your wood. You can also use it on other outdoor surfaces such as concrete or even metal railings. Apply the cleaner with a brush, allow it to dwell for 5 minutes before wiping off any residue left behind.

This will not only keep your deck looking great but ensure that you don’t have embarrassing stains from shoes marring its surface! We hope you enjoyed this article on how to prevent footprints on stained decks.

You may also read: 10 Ways To Make Your Deck Stand Out

Smart Home Pick