Clear, translucent, semi-transparent, solid? With so many choices in opacity and color, it can be overwhelming choosing the right deck stain! Regular maintenance is key for improving the life of your wood deck, and it helps to have a reference guide when choosing stain for your deck care project. GNH Lumber recommends Arborcoat Exterior Stains by Benjamin Moore for durability and style.
Spring is the perfect season for your deck staining project! It’s still low humidity, and the sun shines longer each day. Choose a stretch of days without rain in the forecast and get it done!
Staining your deck is one of the easiest ways to transform the look of your home’s exterior, and a great way to protect and beautify your gathering space for years to come. But the options may seem endless. There are endless color and opacity combinations. Plus, there are better options available for each wood type.
Here are 5 simple tips for choosing the right deck stain for your wood deck:
1) Opacity: The Key to Wood Grain Appearance
According to BenjaminMoore.com, when it comes to the impact stain will have on your deck’s design, understanding opacity is key.
Opacity is the degree to which you can see the natural grain of wood, achieved by using one of the following:
- Clear stain has no color added and shows the natural beauty of the wood.
- Translucent stain doesn’t obscure grain and texture of wood and includes just the slightest tone.
- Semi Transparent stain allows most of the grain and texture to show through, with slightly more prominent color.
- Semi Solid stain, with its deeper shades, covers most imperfections while allowing some of the grain and texture of the wood to show through.
- Solid stain offers the greatest color depth of all, covering the majority of imperfections while allowing the texture of the wood to peek through lightly.
2) Considering Color: Choices Abound
When thinking about color for your deck, consider the same shade as your home’s trim. This technique will make it stand out against the main field of your house for a unified look that still highlights your deck’s architecture.
For a more monochromatic look, use a similar shade as your house’s primary color, a good choice if you want features like your fire pit or dining area as your deck’s focal point.
There’s a huge spectrum of color to explore in Arborcoat Exterior Stains, from driftwood grays to warm russets to woodland greens.
3) Wood Type Matters
Wood remains the most common choice for decks. More expensive hardwoods such as mahogany or ipe offer gorgeous grain and texture that shine through when using a more transparent stain like Arborcoat Transluscent or Semi Transparent. Softer, less expensive woods, including pressure treated southern yellow pine or cedar, benefit from Semi Solid and Solid stains’ innate weather barrier.
Wood alternatives known as “composite decking” are also a popular choice. While often sold as maintenance-free, composite decks demand protection from color fading as well as from the elements–just like their wood counterparts; Arborcoat Solid Deck & Siding Stain provides excellent color retention for these popular decking choices.
4) Narrow the Scope
Not ready to go big? Repainting or staining wood outdoor chairs and tables is less of an intensive project than redoing your entire deck. Almost any bright color pops off neutrals and wood tones in an eye-catching way and revitalizes decking with ease.
Another option is to stain your deck’s handrails and bannisters only. Pull from your interior color palette to visually–yet subtly–unite indoors and out. Or consider using a combination of stains to designate where one section of your deck begins and another section ends.
5) Audition Your Stains
Ready to turn inspiration into reality? We’re here to take you every step of the way, from prep to finish. Watch our how-to video to see how we do it, then download the PDF for the step-by-step method.
Pint-sized samples are available in all ARBORCOAT opacities as well as Solid Stains, which are available in all 3,500+ Benjamin Moore colors.