To stain the exterior of a home, Sherwin-Williams recommends cleaning the home with detergent and water and applying the stain in small sections with a bristled brush. Wipe excess stain from the wood before it dries to prevent streaks.
Before applying the stain, clean the exterior of the home with detergent and water to remove dust and other contaminants, and treat mildew stains with a solution of 3 quarts of water and 1 quart of bleach. If the home is currently painted or stained, sand the wood to remove the old finish.
Mix the stain with a wooden rod before beginning the project and at regular intervals during the application to ensure uniform color. Begin the project on the shaded side of the home, and apply the stain in sections of three to four boards, using a bristled brush.
Remove any excess stain with a cloth immediately, and blend the stain into the next section before the previous section dries. When staining horizontal boards, work from left to right, and complete each board before moving down the wall. When staining vertical siding, work from the top of the board to the bottom. Allow the stain to dry completely, and apply a second coat of stain if the wood is new or if the boards are weathered.