The Three Main Types of Stain for a Backyard Deck

Posted May 7, 2020 to Before You Buy: Tips, Advice, Checklists.

Tags: Decks

Spring in Raleigh is a great time to get your deck ready for some outdoor living! Outdoor spaces are even more important now that we’re spending so much time at home, so it’s a great time to make sure those backyard decks look good! There are lots of ways to refinish a wood deck, but there are three basic categories of deck stain to look into.

Here are the three basic deck stain categories:

  1. Clear: Clear stains are mostly for basic weather proofing a wood deck. They provide a seal for the elements, but don’t add color to the deck. It leaves wood looking completely natural.
  2. Semi-transparent: Semi-transparent stains add some color, but soak into the wood to allow the natural grain to show through. We like stains because it allows homeowners to add some character and style to their outdoor structures. Another bonus of semi-transparent stains is that you can choose decking material based on sturdiness of the wood or the budget available, but then give it the desired look with the stain.
  3. Opaque: Opaque stains don’t really work like the other types of stains. They work more like paint, which sits on top of the surface of the wood deck. Because they cover the grain of the wood, opaque stains offer a very clean, smooth look. They are also available in really fun colors that make outdoor spaces pop. However, because they don’t soak into the wood deck, they tend to take a beating and are more susceptible to chipping and cracking.

The longevity of any of these products depends on many factors: quality of the stain, how well the surface was prepped, exposure to the elements and how much the deck is used, to name a few. Each brand will have its own best usage instructions, so be sure to follow those specific steps to ensure the best application. Contact Sierra Structures to build a dream backyard deck, or get recommendations on deck staining for your amazing outdoor space.

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