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Deck Staining: What to Prioritize When Selecting a Deck Stain

calander Feb 15 , 2020 user-iconAnderson Painting

Staining your deck isn’t just a great way to enhance its appearance, but also essential for protecting it. And so we get our residential exterior painting done frequently. But while it may be a no-brainer to stain your deck, choosing a deck stain isn’t always so easy. With so many brands and options out there, how can you feel confident in your stain selection? Let’s go over what to prioritize when selecting a deck stain.

Durability Decisions

While you ultimately want to choose a stain that offers the aesthetic you desire, protection should be your first priority. So as you begin your search for the best deck stain, don’t merely look for the cheapest options available, as cheaper stains won’t hold up as long.

Instead, take the time to look at user reviews and specific product features that list details such as estimated longevity, level of protection against UV rays, moisture, and impact, etc. Just keep in mind that your regional climate will affect the lifespan of your new stain. If you live in an area that features powerful sunlight, stormy weather, snow, and/or other inclement weather on a regular basis, even the strongest, highest-quality deck stain might not live up to its maximum potential.

Opacity Options

Once you’ve found some durable contenders, you can start narrowing your search based on looks. Stains come in a variety of opacities, ranging from clear to solid. Clear stains protect your deck while barely affecting its appearance, if at all, while solid stains completely cover up the wood’s grain. Between these poles are various semi-transparent and semi-solid stains.

The level of opacity or transparency you choose is really a matter of preference, but keep in mind that more solid stains offer a bit more protection than clearer options, especially against sunlight. So, if your main goal is to find the most durable option, a completely solid stain is the way to go. But if you don’t want to sacrifice your deck’s organic beauty, you might ease up on the opacity a bit. You can find great stain options regardless.

Color Choices

Deck stains also come in various tones and colors. Of course, perfectly clear stains won’t alter your deck’s color at all. But even mostly transparent stains can tint your deck in interesting ways. If you’re looking for a major transformation, however, you’ll find that semi-solid and solid stains offer the widest range of deck stain colors. If you want to achieve a red deck, for instance, you’ll have to go with a solid stain. Just remember that the more you saturate your deck with color, the less visible the wood’s texture will become. So, in terms of aesthetics, you’ll have to balance opacity with color.

Deck Age and Condition

The age and condition of your deck might help you narrow your stain search a bit as well. Newer decks might warrant a more transparent stain to bring out the natural grain, while more solid stains can conceal some of the wear and tear undergone by older decks. And if the deck has been stained in the past, it’s a good idea to apply a new coat of the same finish used before.

Which Stain Reigns?

Starting your search for deck stains can seem overwhelming. But understanding the different options stains offer and what matters most to you will help you make the right choice. Once you’ve selected a stain, the next step is applying it properly. If you don’t know how to stain a deck, or you lack the confidence to do so, seek help from professionals. At Anderson Painting, our team can stain or paint your deck so it’s well-guarded and beautiful for years to come.

For more about us and everything we do, call us today at (919) 610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!