Is it that time of year again for home improvement projects outdoors? You might be giving some thought to repainting or staining your deck. Wood decks need to be taken care of to maintain their beauty. Because wood finishes will fade over time, you will need to reapply a protective coating to keep it looking nice. There are numerous options for what stain would work best for your application. Decks can be next to pools or off of your home as a casual sitting area for you and your family. Whatever you use your deck for, it’s important to maintain it.

Staining Versus Painting

As mentioned, you have two options when it comes to protecting your deck from stains and UV damage. Painting and staining are two very different applications. Painting is a thicker option that has certain advantages, while staining has another. For instance, if you choose to paint your deck over staining it, you have many more color options available. When painting, you literally have hundreds of options available. When it comes to staining, you’re slightly limited to a few natural wood tones. That being said, choosing staining over painting allows for a more natural look overall.

Painting is known to have a longer-lasting protection for wood surfaces. It’ll prevent moisture from penetrating the wood, which can prevent wood rot from happening. If you forget to restain your deck, it could open it up to moisture-related issues. Preventing damage is something most homeowners would like to do. Both painting and staining are critical to stopping damage to wood, as it is exposed 24/7 to the elements. Though paint can conceal any imperfections in the wood, when it starts to age, it will peel and flake—which can be incredibly undesirable.

Choosing The Color

It is critical when choosing a stain that you pick the best color possible. But there is a wide range of options available, from a dark satin Walnut finish to even a cherry wood color. Which you decide will greatly affect the look of your home. Choosing the wrong color can detract from your home’s curb appeal and could even affect the value of your home.

We recommend that when choosing a color, you look at your existing color scheme. What colors are already being utilized by your home? Is there a more neutral look, such as white and black? Or do you have accent features such as gray siding? Certain tones will go better than others. One example of homes that feature a warm tone, most notably seen in brick or stone features, will benefit from a brown undertone with perhaps a reddish tint.

Because wooden decks are made from an organic material, you may want to show it off. This means simply highlighting the wood’s natural look. With that thought in mind, we recommend a transparent or semi-transparent finish that shows the texture of the wood, not hiding any imperfections the wood may have. Homeowners can preserve the natural beauty of the wood deck simply by applying a gloss or semi-gloss clear coat.

Consider The Transparency of The Stain

As mentioned above, those that want to highlight the natural look of the wood may choose a transparent finish. But, there is a wide range of wood stains available and just as many transparencies. Opacity and transparency refer to how much grain and texture you’ll see after the stain has dried. Opacity relates to the natural color of the wood, while transparency refers more to the texture.

If you like the look of natural wood grain, why try and hide it? Choose a transparent stain that lets your deck look as amazing as it was when it was installed while giving it greater protection against the elements.

How Important is Durability?

Durability is something many homeowners will look for when choosing a product. How long can they expect it to last? Ultimately, stains don’t last as long as most homeowners would like. You’ll likely need to reapply a stain every few years. Oil-based stains are typically more durable than a water-based option. This is because they can penetrate the wood better and give greater protection against UV rays. That being said, oil-based stains are known for being more difficult to apply and need frequent maintenance.

A water-based stain is notably easier to apply. It also has a reputation for easy cleanup. If you are looking for a fast dry time and mild protection against moisture and UV rays, this could be a good fit for your deck.

Application Tips

Whether you’re applying a deck stain on your own or hiring a pro, there are a few application tips to follow. One of the biggest is to not stain yourself into a corner. How you apply and where you start are huge factors to consider. Start at the furthest corner away from you and work your way outward to an easy-to-access exit. In addition to this tip, you’ll want to apply one coat of stain and a long and even stroke. Once you apply the first coat, you’ll want to consider multiple coats for consistent coverage or darker tones.

Certain products need multiple coats to achieve a dramatic finish. The best tip we can provide is preparation is key. Before you do anything, the deck needs to be free of debris and clean, old paint needs to be removed, and there should be zero chance of rain.

Choosing Who To Hire or DIY

Not every homeowner is thrilled to get started with prepping and painting their deck. Should you be feeling this way, searching for Deck Staining Near Me might be a better alternative to a DIY job. There are several advantages to DIY, including saving some money, but many homeowners find that the time and energy it takes to purchase materials end up being a wash. You can hire a professional to prep the surface, such as performing pressure washing, application of the stain, and making sure everything looks perfect. If you want a professional look, hiring a professional is usually the best route to take.

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