A deck is an extension of your living space that is susceptible to the harsh external environment. The scorching heat of the sun, the cold temperature of the winter season, and the humidity can greatly affect the quality of your deck and weaken it over time. That’s where different types of deck stains come in, to preserve your deck’s beauty and lively color and avoid costly repairs.
Staining your deck is extremely important for keeping your deck in great condition. Aside from preserving the aesthetic appeal of your wooden deck, staining also protects it from decay. Moisture can penetrate the materials of your deck more easily if it is not stained; thus, causing premature rotting which brings about a lot of dangers.
When it comes to deck staining, there are three types of deck stains to consider:
- Clear stain
- Semi-transparent stain
- Solid stain
Clear Deck Stain
If you are looking for a type of deck stain that offers enough protection but leaves the wood looking natural, then a clear stain is a great choice. Clear deck stains and sealers give the needed protection to your wood decking while retaining the natural look of the materials. Apart from that, it can lock the moisture out; thus, increasing the lifespan of your deck. If you live in a moist location or a place that rains constantly, then applying a clear stain on your deck is a good idea.
Unfortunately, clear stains won’t be able to provide protection against the harsh UV rays of the sun; which is another enemy of a deck. When the deck is exposed to too much heat from the sun, it can cause the wood fibers to warp and eventually split, resulting in damage.
Semi-Transparent Deck Stain
Semi-transparent stains are one of the most popular choices by many homeowners when staining their decks. It is water repellent and provides enough protection against the harsh heat of the sun, and at the same time, allows the beauty of the wood to show through. With this, you can be sure that your wood deck is protected against mold and mildew. It doesn’t peel off like what usually happens in paint. Not only that, but semi-transparent deck stains are also easy to apply and reapply.
Semi-transparent stains can be water-based or oil-based. Water-based semi-transparent stains provide longer color retention; thus, letting the natural grain of the deck materials become visible. Oil-based semi-transparent stains, on the other hand, are a bit challenging to apply and would take longer to dry compared to water-based ones. This is because of the modifications in the formula in making oil-based semi-transparent stains in order to meet the VOC standards.
Solid Deck Stain
Solid stains are the type of stains that sit on the wood surfaces only, instead of penetrating the wood materials. The good thing about solid stains is that they give homeowners a wide array of colors to choose from.
So if you are planning to add color or give a contemporary look on your deck, then solid stain is the best option for you.
Application: Prior to staining, the wood should be sanded smooth and cleared of any dirt or debris. The stain can be applied using a brush, cloth, or sponge. It is recommended to apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain, ensuring even coverage. After application, excess stain should be wiped off with a clean cloth. For a deeper color, multiple coats can be applied, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat.
Finish: Once the stain has fully dried, it is essential to protect the wood with a clear protective finish, such as varnish or polyurethane. This will enhance the stain’s longevity, provide added durability, and bring out the shine and luster of the wood.
If you are running into the issue of having to stain your deck every year, you might want to get a Trex Composite Deck. This eco-friendly deck material is great because unlike wood, which fades over time, composite stays vibrant for many years. Wood decks also deteriorate faster than composite, so if your deck is looking a bit unsafe you might want composite for your deck replacement.