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Decks have always been an area of value in the home that are beneficial in many ways. And since the need to stay home in the not-so-distant past, many more people are looking to have great outdoor spaces they can enjoy anytime they want. But in order to be able to enjoy the space, it needs to be well-maintained.

One of the biggest things you can do to keep your deck in top working condition is to make sure it is painted or stained to provide a layer of protection for the wood against the natural elements of weather. Wood left untreated and unprotected will quickly become unsightly as it absorbs moisture. When unprotected wood will crack, warp, twist, and eventually even rot and become unsafe and unusable.

Is it Better to Paint or Stain a Deck?Is it Better to Paint or Stain a Deck?

What is the best type of wood protection for a deck? Is it better to paint your wooden deck or stain it?

Painting and staining are the two most common types of protecting your decking so that it is usable for much longer. A very common question of many deck owners is whether it is better to paint their deck or to stain it. The answer to this question really depends upon your personal preferences, your lifestyle, and the location of your home because of weather patterns.

The facts about painting your deck

There are several good reasons to choose paint to protect your wooden deck. One reason people do not prefer paint is that it covers up the natural elements of the wood grain that many people find beautiful. Paint does last longer as compared to other protection options and comes in many more color options. It can also provide a uniform look to the exterior of the house. With time, however, the paint will peel and crack and this can look unsightly. However, this could be a better option for an older deck where the wood is looking very tired.

Benefits of using paint on a wooden deck

Paint is easy to maintain. Choosing paint to protect your deck means you do not have to refinish it quite as often. A well-done quality proper paint job can last as much as 10 years before the need to paint again.

A larger set of color options. Paint comes in more color varieties as compared to staining. There is pretty much no limit to your color options when you choose to paint your deck. You could even easily match your deck color to the rest of the home’s exterior. Or you could choose a color that nicely complements your exterior color palette.

It hides the flaws in the wood. If the wood in your deck is older and weathered displaying every detail of the wood might not be the best visual choice. The painting will allow you to mask any flaws in the decking and is a better option for a deck that might be nearer to the end of its useful life. Using a paint can help to restore the look so that it seems brand new again.

Some drawbacks to using paint

Though there are some benefits to using paint on your wood deck to protect it there are a few drawbacks to consider as well. These include the fact that paint traps in moisture which can lead to water pooling in certain areas of the deck and this can also cause paint to chip and peel. Once you paint the wood this is pretty much a permanent decision that you will always continue to use paint because going from paint to stain is a difficult and time-consuming process.

The facts about staining

Using a stain on your deck will protect the wood from the elements of nature while enhancing and maintaining the natural look of the wood. There are some great choices when it comes to stains including solid stains, semitransparent stains, and clear wood preservation stains. The type and color you choose really depend on the type of wood that you use to build your deck and how it best works with the exterior style of your home.

The benefits of staining your deck

You can choose how much color and how much of the wood’s texture is visible. When you stain you can choose how much of the natural wood gets to show through. You can opt for completely showing every detail of the wood with a clear stain or go for a little less of a reveal with a solid-colored stain.

High-quality stains will penetrate into the wood grain. This is a good thing to help seal and prevent moisture from getting into the decking which causes several issues. This provides better moisture retention as compared to paint.

It creates a less slippery surface. Compared to paint stain gives you a little bit more grip under your feet when you are walking across the flat surface of your deck. If slipping and the safety of walking across the decking is a concern then stain may be the better option.

The drawbacks of using stain

One of the largest drawbacks of choosing to stain your wood deck for protection is that it only lasts a few years. Stained decks need to be re-stained every two years. Though an oil-based semitransparent stain can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years. This is still a lesser timeframe than painting, however. You want to be careful as some very high-quality woods will not hold stains very well such as tropical hardwood.

For more information on building a custom deck in Snohomish County and surrounding areas please contact us anytime or stop by and see us in the Marysville/Arlington area.

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