Have you had dinner on your deck recently? Has it been the hot spot in a recent outdoor gathering? Are you thinking of sipping cocktails on it tonight? Your deck is an incredible feature of your home. Not only is it perfect for relaxing and entertaining, but it adds value and aesthetic appeal to your home. While you might love using your deck, you might not love maintaining it. Many homeowners resign themselves to the yearly staining task. Did you know that you don’t have to?
It’s All In the Type of Stain
The type of stain you choose for your deck makes all the difference in its longevity. Some require yearly application while others can last as long as five years. A quick rule of thumb is that more opacity means more UV protection–which translates into longer times between re-stainings. The quality and formulation of the stain also matter. A high-quality stain will not only give you the best results, it’ll also provide longer-lasting durability. And you can’t forget to factor in your deck’s exposure to the elements. If it’s constantly taking a beating from sun, rain, and snow, you’ll have to reapply more often than you would on one that’s more protected. So, what type of stain do you have to refresh yearly, and which one will last the longest? Here’s a breakdown of the four main types…
Clears, Transparents, and Wood Toners
Decks featuring clears, transparents, and wood toners typically need to be re-stained every year. The draw to these types of products is their aesthetics. They allow the maximum wood grain and texture to show through for a completely natural look that still provides protection against the elements. Lightly tinted transparents and wood toners will add a subtle color to the wood’s surface for a beautiful finish.
Semi-transparent stains are incredibly popular for decks. They add delicate color to the wood while letting its grain and texture show through. Semi-transparents enhance and accenture the natural character of your deck and safeguard it from the weather. They generally need to be reapplied every one or two years. As the most sought-after type of stain on the market for decks, TWP 101 Cedartone falls into this category.
A semi-solid (sometimes called semi-opaque) stain finish masks some of the natural grain and texture of your deck’s wood to feature more color. As a result, it provides higher UV/weather protection and a better life span–requiring application only every three to four years. It’s higher-hide makes it a great choice for wood that has minor imperfections.
As the most opaque option available, a solid stain will hide the wood grain completely but enable a bit of texture to show through. It delivers rich, vibrant color and the highest level of protection. Staining your deck with this type of stain will make it maintenance-free for three to five years! It’s also perfect for decks that have reached the end of their life cycle because it hides imperfections well. Plus, there are some formulas designed to improve the look of worn or weathered wood.