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Good & Bad Side Of Various Deck Stains

jessicapintoga's picture

Good & Bad Side Of Various Deck Stains (post #215873)

Springtime calls for deck maintenance to most of us. However, for best results, it’s good to know which type of stain is best-suited. Is it water-based or oil-based? Should you go for solid color or semi-transparent? Though there ain’t any sure-fire answer, you can expect some stains to work in your favor.

Evaluating the type of stain colors is important, especially, if there is any on the deck. To get compatibility and maintain color consistency, many customers stick with same kind of stain while re-coating. If there is a solid-color stain there in the deck, putting semi-transparent stain over it is useless. If there is a semi-transparent stain on the deck, you can stay with a semi-transparent or use a solid color to topcoat it.

Take a look at the pros & cons of types of stains:

Water-Based Semi-Transparent: This gives the benefit of seeing the natural wood grain through the stain. Being water-based, they offer longer color retention. These have milky appearance. Sometimes, darker semi-transparent stains appear solid after few applications.

Oil-Based Semi-Transparent: They also allow the natural wood grain show through; however, these are better penetrating. Sadly, they fade quicker. Also, applying them is tricky and if you apply them thick or heavy, they remain tacky for longer duration.

Water-Based Solid Color: They cover the wood completely just like paint. They are good to apply on decks with accumulated numerous coats of stain to give a uniform appearance. They provide a thicker film build; hence, offer UV and weather protection.

Oil-Based Solid Color: There are only few brands that still make a solid color or semi-solid oil stain. They penetrate better but offer less color retention as compared to water-based. These are not common.


Over the recent years, water-based have gained popularity like anything. What needs to be remembered is that proper surface preparation allows the new stain to penetrate into the wood. If unsure, call the experts and let them guide you with thier knowledge.

What is "thier knowledge"? (post #215873, reply #1 of 2)

What is "thier knowledge"?

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Dan (post #215873, reply #2 of 2)

i don't know, I yanked the links and left the body.

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