Choosing the Right Stain Finish for Your Deck

calander Mar 1 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Contractor staining a deck brown in Raleigh

As we get closer and closer to spring, now is prime time to think about getting your deck ready for the warmer weather. If this winter has been particularly harsh on your wooden deck, or it’s simply been over three years since you’ve last stained your deck, you’ll want to invest in a new coat of deck stain this year. In order to do this, though, you’ll need to purchase the optimal products for your needs and goals. Let’s discuss how to go about choosing the right stain and finish for your deck.

How to Choose a Deck Stain Finish

Deck Material Matters

Many types of wood can be used to construct a wooden deck, including mahogany, ipe, pine, cedar, and composites (which include synthetic materials as well). What your deck is made of should inform your choice of stain. For instance, semi-solid and solid stains are often recommended for softer woods (i.e. pine, cedar) because they offer additional protection, while more translucent stains can provide ample protection to sturdier wood materials (i.e. ipe, mahogany). Certain stains are specifically designed for certain wood types, so be on the lookout for the best fit.

Pick Your Protection Level

Many deck stains also offer custom properties that come in handy. If you’re looking for the longest lasting deck stain for your property, you’ll want to seek a solid (or semi-solid) product that’s waterproof, resistant to mold, mildew, and pests delivers additional UV protection, and so on. Or, you might select a stain with one or two of these special properties depending on your environment. The most protective stains tend to be the most expensive, so you’ll want to balance the long-term benefits with your immediate budget.

Realize Your Aesthetic Preferences

You don’t merely want your deck to be well-protected -- you want it to look beautiful, too. As such, aesthetics always come into play when choosing the right stain and finish for your deck. If you wish to show off your deck’s natural wood grain, then you’ll want to go with a more translucent finish. Conversely, if you fancy deck stain colors, a solid stain will be more up your alley. Note that even the most solid stains are somewhat limited in the color department, though. If you want to explore even more color options, consider choosing a deck paint rather than a stain.

Mind Your Maintenance

Lastly, your choice of stain should be partly based on the amount of maintenance you wish to perform to keep your deck in great shape. A clear wood stain finish, for instance, is the thinnest option available and therefore requires more maintenance than a semi-transparent to solid stain. So, while you might save some money going with a less substantial stain, you can save yourself time and frustration by choosing a more durable stain instead. Ultimately, the best deck stain for you will depend somewhat on where you land on this equation.

Need More Help Choosing the Right Stain/Finish for Your Deck?

At first glance, choosing a deck stain might not seem all that complex. The more you dive into the details, though, the more difficult it becomes to make the final call. Fortunately, the deck staining experts at Anderson Painting can help you explore your options, so you’re confident in your choice. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at!

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