Should You Paint or Stain Your Wood Deck?
Paint or Stain? Stain or Paint?
What is the best way to finish and preserve your wood deck? This is a question that homeowners have struggled with for a very long time.
Whether you’re working on a new deck or refinishing an older deck, the fact remains, it’s a long, tedious job, especially if it’s done right. So, obviously you want the job to last as long as possible. Although there isn’t a simple answer, many professionals recommend using either a semi-transparent stain or a clear sealer rather than paint.
What you should know about painting your deck:
First of all, keep in mind that your deck is a horizontal surface, which means lots of use and abuse from the weather and from foot traffic as opposed to a vertical wall that may be exposed to weather, but not people walking on it.
With that in mind:
- Applying paint to your deck is similar to laying down a blanket on it…the paint just lays on top, and doesn’t penetrate the wood.
- Paint doesn’t allow the wood to breathe, so moisture can get trapped inside and can cause the wood to rot.
- Because the paint just lays on top and does not penetrate, when the wood expands and contracts with the heat and cold of the weather, it can cause the paint to bubble, crack, chip and peel.
Nevertheless, if you still decide to use paint because you want color or you just like the look of paint, follow these steps for an optimum job.
- Thoroughly clean and remove all previous paint…pressure washing will do a good job for you.
- Let the wood totally dry
- Fill or patch any holes
- Apply a coat of good primer
- Then apply a good quality paint
What you should know about staining your deck:
Begin by using a good quality semi-transparent stain which will outlast lesser quality stains.
- Stain will penetrate into your wood decking, and unlike paint, will allow the wood to breathe as well as contract and expand.
- Stain doesn’t crack, peel or chip.
- Stain allows the beauty of the wood grain to show through.
- You can choose stain in a variety of pigments.
- Stain is found easier to work with by many homeowners
Preparing your deck for staining requires the same steps as preparing it for painting.
Whether you’ve chosen to paint or stain your deck, it is a time consuming job, one that many people want to avoid at any cost. If this is a job you’d like to avoid…