Paint vs. Stain: Choosing the Best Option for Your Patio

calander Feb 21 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Clean patio in Raleigh

Spring is almost here, which can only mean one thing: it’s nearly time to enjoy your patio once more. If you want to get the most out of this outdoor space, though, you should provide your patio with the protection (and style) it deserves this year. So, should you paint your patio or stain it instead? And are these your only options? Here’s how to go about choosing the best coating option for your patio.

How to Choose the Best Patio Paint & Staining

Material Makes All the Difference

To choose the best coating option for your patio, you must understand that different patio materials will warrant different types of protection. For instance, a wooden deck or patio will require specialized paint or deck stain to shield the wood from moisture, pests, and sunlight. On the other hand, a concrete patio will require concrete floor coatings, of which there are several options. Other patio types, such as those built from stone, tile, or pavement, are best protected with coatings specifically made for said material. So, paint and stain aren’t the only coverage possibilities for your patio, but they are the primary options for most people’s patios and serve as umbrella terms for several specialized applications.

Is Paint or Stain Superior for a Wooden Patio?

If your patio is made of wood, you’ll have to choose between exterior wood deck/patio paint and wood deck/patio stain. Both options are viable, but they both offer unique pros and cons. Your choice, then, should depend on what you wish to accomplish with your patio project. With paint, for instance, you’ll have a wide variety of colors to choose from. Paint is also thicker than even the best deck stain, providing solid protection from the elements. That said, paint won’t penetrate your patio’s wood surfaces like stain will. So, while you won’t be able to cover up the wood’s imperfections or go color-crazy with wood stain, you will provide deeper protection -- plus, if you like your patio’s natural wooden appearance, stain is the way to go.

Coating Options for Concrete Patios

As for concrete patios, your choices are between specialized latex paint (such as KILZ Over Armor Smooth Wood/Concrete Coating), enamel paint, acid staining, epoxy coatings, or polyurea floor coating options (i.e. Penntek patio floor coatings). These aren’t the only options, of course, but most people will go with one of these options when protecting their patio. Once again, the best choice for your concrete patio will depend on your practical goals and aesthetic preferences.

Acid staining is the least protective option but offers a unique, washed out appearance. Latex and enamel paint both increase your patio’s durability and hide surface imperfections while offering a wide range of color/style options -- the same goes for epoxy patio coatings, though these tend to offer even more durability and protection. At Anderson Painting, we primarily install Penntek polyurea coatings for patios, garages, basements, and other concrete surfaces. Our customers prefer these solutions because they’re even stronger than epoxy coatings, longer-lasting, more visually versatile, slip-resistant, and easy to install when handled by professionals like us (one-day installation).

The Verdict

By this point, you should know that the answer to a question like, “Paint vs. stain -- which is better?” will almost always be, “It depends.” Indeed, the coating you choose, whether paint, stain or specialty coating like Penntek polyurea, should be based on your specific situation. Anderson Painting, your reliable Raleigh painting partner, can help you figure out what this best option is, so you have maximum peace of mind. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!