What Type Of Stain Should You Use On Your Deck?

Wooden Floor Pattern Material

A quality deck can completely transform your backyard spaces for the better, giving them a whole new dimension and opening the door to a world of new possibilities. However, building a sturdy deck is only half of the battle. You also need to choose the right type of stain in order to create a winning finish that will enhance the overall look for the immediate future and many years to come.

While the longevity of the finish will naturally be influenced by a host of other factors such as the timber type and hours of sun exposure, the choice of stain will naturally be one of the most significant features.

The information below will give you a head start on your decision making process, however if you’re ever unsure try consulting your deck builder as their experience will likely make things much easier for you.

Water-Based Versus Oil-Based Stains

For many homeowners, the choice between water-based and oil-based wood stains will form one of the key decisions.

There are pros and cons to consider from both, which its why it’s vital to weigh up the positives and negatives of each option.

Water-Based Deck Stain

During the coating process, the water-based stain will offer quicker drying times and cause less smell. It also produces no blistering.

Perhaps the most noticeable benefits, though, revolve around the easy cleaning attributes as well as the fact this type of wood stain will not fade as quickly as oil-based counterpart, meaning that the colour is restored for longer.

Water based deck stain
Image source: Cabot’s

When the time to reapply the wood stain arrives, water-based coatings won’t need to be stripped first, which will save time. Applying maintenance coatings can provide some difficulties, though, which should not be ignored.

Oil-Based Deck Stain

Oil-based deck coatings are more durable than water-based alternatives while they also show greater sealant properties and penetration.

Like water-based options, they do not require stripping before reapplication and are also permeable without blistering.

Oil based deck stain
Image source: BetterToolz.com

They can also be mixed with oil-based paints to open up flexible aesthetic options.

The downside of oil-based solutions are that they start to fade far sooner, which means the deck will need to be treated every year or two.

It should also be noted that the drying time during application also tend to be longer.

Wood Finishes

It’s also important to think about the wood finishes that can be embraced during the process as this will ultimately dictate how the final colours appear.

There are several options to consider, including;

Stain colour and transparency guide
Image source: Olympic.com

Clear Sealants

A clear sealant is completely transparent, meaning it will not influence the appearance of the wood in any way.

Clear wood sealand
Image source: Storm System

It simply serves to seal the wood, allowing the natural looks to remain visible without leaving the wood at risk of weather damage.

When you are attempting to create a natural aesthetic for a modern or a contemporary deck, the clear sealant is always a smart solution.

Toner Wood Stains

Toner wood stain solutions focus primarily on allowing the natural beauty of the wood’s grain to shine through.

However, they do produce a slight touch of colour that has the ability to alter the look of the deck while still retaining a natural wood grain look – only it will be a different shade to that of the original wood that was installed.

Semi-Transparent Wood Stains

Semi-transparent wood stains will still provide a wood look, as well as protection for the wood.

“While the longevity of the finish will naturally be influenced by a host of other factors, the choice of stain will naturally be one of the most significant features.”

However, you’ll have a vast array of different colours and shades to select from, allowing you to juggle the underlying natural tones with the need for personality through colour.

This makes semi-transparent wood stains a very popular solution.

Solid Wood Stains

The choice of wood as a material doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right look for your deck, especially if the surrounding materials used by the main building are a stark contrast.

Solid wood deck stain example
Image source: Deckstainhelp.com

The solid wood stain won’t stop you from seeing it is a wood deck, but the fresh aesthetic will certainly take your attention away from this fact and enables you to choose virtually any aesthetic.

The Final Word

Once you’ve selected the right type of wood stain for your deck, you can start to consider the various colour options at your disposal.

Be sure to choose a solution that suits your personal tastes as well as the general aesthetic of the property and any garden features or plants.

Ultimately, there is no single right or wrong choice of wood stain for your deck, other than the one that suits your family’s needs.

Thankfully though, when you make the right decision, the benefits will improve your daily life as well as the property’s appeal for years to come.

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“Outstanding quality work by your carpenters. We couldn’t be happier with our new benchtops.”
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