Home Improvement

When and How to Stain a Wooden Playset

A new swing set or playset is very functional and beautiful. However, this tends to fade with time, poor storage and bad usage.

Notably, low winter temperatures cause wood deterioration, mainly if you’ve used a water-based stain or sealer.

So, in this post, I’ve outlined when and how to stain a wooden playset – a full guide to fully restore the play set’s beauty.

When and How to Stain a Wooden Playset

When and How to Stain a Wooden Playset

1. How to Stain a Swing Set

Staining, cleaning, and maintain the swing set will protect and preserve the integrity and safety of the playset equipment. Therefore, the swing set will be beautiful and safe for your kids on the lawn or the backyard.

  • Remove the various coverings and accessories ready for cleaning. Inspect your playset or swing set for mold growth or rough edges. Also, replace or replace any damaged playset parts – sand the uneven areas.
  • Next, clean the playset using some wood-cleaning solution (this can be bleach) and a pressure washer. Use the water-bleach (50:50) solution to clean the whole equipment, and this will help remove both dirt, mold, and mildew.
  • Use sandpaper to clean the wooden parts to eliminate the rough edges and the splintery wood. Further, use the hosed air (air-dry) on the wood to remove all the debris, dirt, and dust from the playset.
  • On safety, put on some rubber gloves as you apply the cleaning solution and the stain or sealant. However, ensure to adhere to the product label instructions to avoid damaging the playset wood.
  • Now, swing set stain using a brush or pump sprayer if you need to complete the task faster. Notably, swing sets with big woods parts like monkey bars, gang plank ramp, or wooden roof may require more than one gallon.

2. When to Stain the Swing Set

First, the best time to stain the wood swing set is first once a year. Regular annual maintenance guarantees that the playset’s quality is preserved.

Therefore, the swing set wood won’t crack or check quickly, and it’ll also keep its natural beauty and outlook.

However, you must not seal or stain the swing set when the temperature becomes too humid or freezing. For example, don’t stain the swing set during high humidity or temperature falls below 40 degrees as this slows down the drying process.

Second, undertake the swing set staining during the early afternoons due to the favorable weather conditions. For example, any moisture that could have accumulated on the playset in the morning will already be dried.

  • Also, only set out to stain the playset when you have enough time to clean, paint, and dry the equipment. Avoid the rainy season as the water may dislodge the wood stain while also slowing down the drying process.
  • Begin staining the equipment from the top from where there are wooden parts as you move down. Finally, let the equipment rest to dry as outlined in the stain usage manual. However, darker stains may require you to apply an extra coat.


So, an essential consideration as you stain the swing set is to ensure that the equipment is clean, dry plus it must be free from mildew or dirt.

Also, avoid staining the playset during the cold or high-humidity periods of the day. Preferably, stain during the afternoon. Allow about 24 hours to dry after washing before staining.

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