Summertime. Time to be out more than in. Relax. Kick your heels up. Enjoy the beauty of your backyard.
But what if your deck is less than lovely after a long winter?
It’s time to refinish it! For even the toughest of woods, it is recommended that you apply some sort of finish, paint or stain, to guarantee longevity.
Deciding between painting or staining your deck can be a tough choice. Below, I’ve outlined the pros and cons of each approach and given you some tips on getting the job done easily and quickly so that you can get out there and enjoy it all sooner than later!
Painting Your Deck
Pros of Paint:
- Tons of color options.
- Protects wood.
- Fills gaps in wood.
- Thick; covers well.
Cons of Paint:
- Difficult to clean.
- Slippery when wet.
- Masks the wood’s natural beauty.
Staining Your Deck
Pros of Stain:
- Beauty of wood grain shines through.
- Not slippery.
- Available in wide variety of colors.
Cons of Stain:
- Doesn’t last as long as paint.
- Requires regular maintenance.
- Won’t conceal cracks or repair damages.
Still unsure which option to choose for your deck? Don’t be afraid to ask your local paint or hardware shop for tips and advice. Depending on the type of wood, age and overall condition, the experts will recommend whether paint or stain will provide the best coverage for you.
Prepare for the Job
After you decide to paint or stain, first you must prep. It is important you make sure that the deck is clean and a water test is completed before applying any product. Look for deck cleaning products that are specific to your type of wood or one that removes mold or mildew.
While most of us are familiar with the outcome of a coat of paint, not everyone is as familiar with stains. Before selecting a stain, be sure you know the different types. For staining a deck, choose a product for the appearance and durability you desire. Clear stain offers little protection from the sun but allows you to see the most wood grain. Toners add a little bit of color while also highlighting the wood grain. Semi-transparent stains are very durable with a nice color saturation allowing natural wood grain to show. Finally, solid-color stains cover blemishes in wood or ugly wood grains and are extremely durable (great for composite decking).
Use the Right Supplies
To properly prepare and finish your deck or porch, make sure you have the proper tools and supplies, including the following items:
- Safety glasses
- Garden hose
- Drop cloth
- Sanding sponge
- Stiff synthetic-bristle brush
- 4″ brush
- Brush holder
- Extension pole
- Cleaning products
Here’s to a beautiful deck and a summer filled with lounging around on it!