Rain, snow, hail, dust, dirt, mildew, and more. All of these elements combine together over time to destroy your deck’s finish. If you don’t restain your deck, you’ll be left with an eyesore in your backyard. If your deck is getting weathered and worn, or if you notice the wood is no longer repelling water, it’s time for staining your deck. Don’t start the project without knowing these five important things about deck staining.

1. Choose the Right Deck Stain

choosing a deckRamp Color Test by rebelxtned on flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]

As with everything in this world, you get what you pay for. Don’t go cheap on your stain, or you’ll end up needing to restain your deck far too soon. You’ll get premium results from a premium product made of better ingredients.

Consider a water-based deck stain, as these types have improved over the years. Water-based stains are easier to clean (just some soap and water will do), resist weathering better than oil-based stains, and dry faster than solvents. Plus, if you choose a synthetic water-based stain, your deck will be more resistant to mold and mildew growth.

What type of finish should you choose? Typically, the more opaque stain you choose, the better it will handle wear and weathering. The only problem is they don’t let as much of your wood’s natural grain and beauty show through.

Semi-transparent wood stains do a better job at letting the wood breathe, and they let the natural grain of the wood show through, enhancing your deck’s beauty. However, they do change the tone of your wood.

Clear and wood-toned finishes will enhance the beauty of your deck.

Before you choose a deck stain, be sure to identify the stain that is already on your deck. If your deck is already stained with a solid stain, a semi-transparent stain simply won’t work on top of it. You can always apply a solid stain over any other stain, however.

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