Deck Staining: Should You Use Translucent or Solid Deck Stains?

calander Jan 9 , 2020 user-iconAnderson Painting
Anderson Painting translucent deck staining

Depending on where you live, you might not plan on getting much use out of your deck until springtime. That said, it’s never too early to start thinking about ways to maintain your deck so it stays sturdy and beautiful for as long as possible. If you’ve never stained your deck before, or if it’s been several years since the last time you applied deck stain, applying a new coat can help protect your deck from moisture, debris, and the sun’s harmful UV rays.

However, when it comes to picking a deck stain, you’re faced with several options. And before you can choose a given brand or product, you must consider whether you want a translucent or solid stain for your deck. To make matters more complicated, deck stains fall on a spectrum between these two poles. In other words, you might choose a completely transparent stain, a completely solid stain, or some degree of semi-transparent or semi-solid option.

How to Choose Your Stain’s Opacity.

How Much Protection Do You Want?

The main purpose of any deck stain is to protect the underlying wooden material from environmental harm. While every type of stain serves this purpose, certain kinds do a better job than others. Indeed, generally speaking, the more solid your stain, the more protective it is.

A completely solid stain provides full, thick coverage, providing a film or barrier over the wood itself. These opaque stains naturally block UV rays and do a great job of keeping moisture and other particles out of the wood’s pores. Translucent stains still provide some degree of protection, but the underlying wood is at greater risk of absorbing the sun’s rays. Still, these stains penetrate the wood’s pores so water molecules, dirt, and fungi have a hard time entering.

As you go along the spectrum from more transparent to more opaque, your deck will have stronger defenses against these external forces.

What’s Your Aesthetic?

Staining your deck isn’t merely about protection, though. You also want your deck to make a lasting impression, especially if you plan on hosting regularly.

In this regard, what you deem as the best deck stain is mostly a matter of preference. Some homeowners like the look of the grain of their wooden deck and would hate to conceal these designs with a thick, solid stain. Therefore, they’ll go for a transparent or semi-transparent option that provides protection without sacrificing the natural appeal.

Others, on the other hand, might want to give their deck a visual overhaul and introduce some color. With a more opaque option, you can choose a variety of deck stain colors that transparent stains can’t offer.

Perhaps You Prefer Paint

For the most external coverage and widest range of color options, you might choose to paint your deck rather than stain it. This is a viable option for protecting your deck, but keep in mind that paint only lies on top of the wood and doesn’t seep into it like stain does.

Whether you decide to paint or stain your deck, make sure you apply your coat properly. If you’re not sure of how to stain a deck, hire professionals to get the job done right.

At Anderson Painting, we provide both deck painting and staining services. We’re also happy to help our customers choose the opacity and color of stain so we can deliver exactly what they’re looking for. For more about us and everything we do, call us today at (919) 610-1855 or email us at!

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