A well-designed deck can not only become a favorite getaway as a homeowner during fine weather, but it can also considerably raise the value of your home in the process. They can add personality and life to the exterior of your home and provide a charming place for dining or entertaining.
To protect your investment and your haven, it is essential that your deck be properly finished and maintained as the years go by. An unfinished deck can quickly become an eyesore as the wood deteriorates from being exposed to the elements and foot traffic. Even the strongest of woods can crack, split, warp, and rot — requiring a lot of time and money to repair or replace.
When it comes to finishing and refinishing your deck, you have a lot of options, but two methods are the most popular: staining and painting. So which is right for your deck? In this article, we will outline the pros and cons of painting vs. staining so you can make the best choice for your deck, your budget, and your life.
What Does Each Process Involve?
Both stain and paint involve different application processes, which could be a determining factor for your choice.
When staining a deck, a clear or tinted stain is applied to the surface of the deck. The stain you choose is based on not only what kind of aesthetic you want to achieve but also what kind of wood your deck is made from. This transparent stain penetrates the wood and forms a clear film on top. Since it’s transparent, you will still be able to see the natural grain and texture of the wood.
When it comes to painting your deck, the main difference between it and stain is the thickness of your final product. You can choose an exterior paint in any color and apply it over the wood’s surface. Since paint is not transparent, you will no longer see the natural grain of the wood, but you will have a solid look of the color you choose.
How Do Staining and Painting Compare?
While both finishes will certainly get the job done, they will differ in not only appearance but also in application, durability, maintenance, and cost.
If you’re looking for something that is easier to apply, then you should know that stain is the easier of the two. While both require a considerable amount of preparation of your deck, once it’s prepped, stain usually just takes one coat. Stain can also be purchased in a two-in-one format that has stain and sealant in one coat to eliminate the need for a clear top coat.
Paint, on the other hand, requires at least two coats of a good exterior paint that can stand up to extremes in weather. Since paint goes on thicker than stain, you also have more of a risk of having pooling or forming unwanted globs that can be unsightly.
If you’re looking for something that’s durable that won’t need to be reapplied often, paint is the most durable of the two. While chipping and peeling may require some touch-ups, overall paint can last 10 years or more before you should consider repainting. By contrast, stain is more short-lived and can last as short as two years before it begins to discolor and should be reapplied.
Both a stained or painted deck require that you deep clean at once a year to remove bacteria and mold that accumulates over time. However, for regular maintenance, paint makes the job easier. The surface of a painted deck makes it easier to sweep away debris and keep clean. The matte finish of a stain, however, requires more effort in making sure it looks spotless.
For the budget-minded, stain is definitely going to make less of a dent in your wallet. A good exterior paint will not only be more expensive in the store, but you will also need to treat and prime the wood before you paint. Stains usually come with treatment and primer already in the mixture, so these additional layers aren’t necessary. Also, don’t forget that you usually need more coats of paint, which equals more money.
One last thing to keep in mind is that you can try them both and see which one works for your needs best. But here’s a tip: It’s far easier to paint over stain than it is to remove paint and then stain. If you think you might want to try both, try the stain first.
If you want to talk to an expert about your deck and which finish would be best for you, look no further than the experts at Dependable Home Solutions. Our expertise stretches from deck design all the way to finish, so we know how to help you navigate your way through the project. Contact one of our professionals today to discuss which finish will help your special haven look amazing.