How to Choose the Right Deck Stain
By Mark J. Donovan
||Staining a deck is a great way to protect your deck from the effects of moisture and ultra violet light damage. There are many deck stain types and products on the market today that offer a plethora of color choices. Staining a deck is a home improvement project that most do it yourself homeowners can tackle.
There are three main phases to staining a deck. The first phase is selecting the right deck stain type for your particular deck project. The second phase is preparing the deck surface for staining. The final phase is actually applying the deck stain. In this article I will focus on phase one – selecting the right deck stain.
Selecting the right Deck Stain Type
If your deck has never been stained, sealed or painted you have more options to choose from when it comes to selecting a deck stain.
When picking out a deck stain type, you will first want to decide if you want to use a clear, solid or semi-transparent stain (alkyd stain).
|Clear Stain / Deck Water Sealer
A clear stain will allow the grain colors to show through the stain. Clear stains are also referred to as deck water sealers and only contain wood preservatives and water repellant. Most clear deck sealers typically have no pigment or oils in them. Typically clear stains have to be reapplied every year or two. Some clear deck sealer stains do however have some oil in them that penetrates the wood and helps to protect the wood longer.
Solid Stains Types
A solid stain actually sits on top of the deck surface and does not permeate the deck wood. Consequently solid stains, like paint, are not good for decks. Solid stains will quickly show signs of wear, including chipping, cracking and peeling. Solid stains are however good for hiding discoloration patterns and can provide a uniform appearance. However, if you choose to use a solid stain, plan on having to reapply a new coat every year.
If the deck had previously been sealed with a semi-transparent stain you can change the tint of stain.
For help on building a deck, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Deck Installation Bid Sheet. The Deck Installation Bid Sheet will teach your how to hire the right deck contractor, and help to ensure that your deck project is completed on time and budget.
- Instructions on Deck Staining
- How to Seal a Deck Properly
- How to Restore a Deck so it Looks Like New
Additional Deck Building and Design Resources
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