We had our deck built 3 years ago and started to notice this year that the wood is changing to a greyish colour. Rain, sun, and winter snow can definitely take a toll on a wood deck. We are looking into deck staining, since treating the wood can help it last longer, and protect and preserve it. There are many different stain choices available to choose from:
Oil based Deck Stains
Oil based stains like this deck stain are made of synthetic and natural oils. It penetrates the wood very well, is easy to apply, and has a more natural look. From what I hear, the better a deck stain can penetrate, the better it performs. It does have a stronger odor and takes longer to dry.
Water-Based Deck Stains
Wood stains must meet new environmental rules that lower volatile organic compounds (VOC). Manufacturers are now increasing their production of water soluble deck stains to comply with theses rules. They are environmentally friendlier, have less of a chance to create mold and mildew growth, and are easy to clean up. A few companies like these one offer water-based deck stains.
Solid deck stains pretty much look like paint covering the wood. Once you apply it you will never be able to apply a transparent stain. It does offer an excellent UV protection. It just covers the wood, so it does not penetrate it, and it will most likely peel.
Semi-transparent Stains provide a transparent protective layer and allow the grain pattern to show. It penetrates very well and can be removed with a deck stain stripper. An oil base stain performs better.
Semi-Solid Deck Stain is designed to almost hide all of the natural wood grain. It last longer than semi-transparent because of the increase in UV blockage. It penetrates well and provide a durable finish.
Transparent Wood stains
Transparent deck coatings gives a natural look. It’s easy to apply, but only lasts about a year, so you must reapply annually. It does not have a very good UV protection.
Clear Wood Deck Finishes
Clear Deck Finishes are more used for sealers as the offer hardly any UV protection and your deck will turn grey very fast.
I found these companies that offer helpful tips and advice on staining a deck:
- Benjamin Moore: Videos on how to stain a deck, deck stain maintenance, preparing a deck for staining, and maintaining a deck
- Shur-Line: Deck Staining Tips
- Cabot: Staining your Deck
- Vicky How to do Anything: How to Seal and Stain Pressure Treated Wood Decking
- Lowe’s: Clean and Stain a Deck
- HGTV: How to Stain a Wooden Deck
We have not made up our minds yet as to which stain to purchase. I am tempted to get the semi-transparent. If you stained your deck, I would love to hear what type you used and why, so please comment below!