Warmer weather is right around the corner and this DIY exterior staining guide will get your outdoor hosting space looking fresh. Whether you’re new to exterior staining or looking for ways to put this skill to good use, our staining tips and projects will help you make your outdoor living space look great—without breaking the bank.

Your Guide To Choosing the Right Exterior Stain

It’s normal to worry about choosing the right exterior stain—but the good news is that stained wood always looks good outdoors, no matter the hue. And once you find a stain that works for you, you can use it on everything.

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How To Condition Wood and Prep Before Staining

Staining and finishing are key steps that will transform your DIY project into a beautifully finished piece that you can show off. Here’s a walk-through of the basics for prepping and conditioning wood for staining—plus, some advice for how to set up your workspace.

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How To Stain Wood

Once you’re prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start staining. Staining can be intimidating, but it’s a lot easier than you might think and it’s a simple way to upgrade your project.

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How To Remove Over-applied Deck Stain

Over-applying stain is a common problem for DIY projects, but don’t worry. If you catch it early enough, it’s an easy problem to solve with a little paint thinner and a rag.

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Plus: 4 Projects to test your staining skills (from easy to difficult)

Now that you have the staining tips and tricks covered, it’s time to put them to good use. These four DIY projects allow you to use your new skills while upgrading your outdoor living space.

How To Build a Midcentury Modern Birdhouse

We took a popular DIY project and put a midcentury modern spin on it—without breaking the bank. With your new staining skill and a little extra effort, this birdhouse is a great way to get started in DIY projects.

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How To Build an Easy, Affordable Outdoor Side Table

Finding a side table to match your outdoor furniture can be challenging, but this DIY project can be the solution you’re looking for. This is a relatively simple project that continues to broaden your DIY horizons. 

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How To Make a DIY Outdoor Chess Set

Oversized outdoor games make hosting really fun. With a fun spin on a familiar game, this giant chess board (and pieces) will put your skills to the test. 

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How To Make a Lounge Chair

Some of the best DIY projects are the ones you can’t find online. While other options are too elaborate or just don’t look comfy, this DIY chaise lounge chair will catch everyone’s eye and help you soak up the sun in no time.

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For more DIY projects and inspiration, check out our exterior project archive!