What’s the Best Deck Stain?

What’s the Best Deck Stain?

Choosing the best deck stain can be more difficult than most people think it is. This is because there are certain deck stains that are better suited for different types of climates. If you want your deck stain to last throughout the seasons and the years, you need to be very particular about the type you purchase and put on your deck. If you do not, you run the risk of having to reapply after a short period of time because the stain has worn down. Save yourself some time and money in the long run by being very particular about the deck stain you choose for your home. Choosing the right one is the first step to having a long lasting deck stain.

Deck Stain 101

deck stain exampleWhen asked what the best deck stain is for a home, there is really no “best” choice. It simply depends on several factors about the location of your home and deck. Instead of looking for the best stain on the market, you should be looking for the deck stain that will out perform all others for your deck and environment. There are deck stains that work better in certain parts of the country. On top of that, there are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Laws that are in place in certain parts of the country. Because of these laws, for example, there are some deck stains that cannot be used in 17 states because they have low VOC content of 250. For this reason, you will not even see these types of stains for sale in your area, if you fall under these sets of laws. Every state is different so you may want to research what they are in your state, especially if you are planning on purchasing your deck stain online. If you legally cannot use it in your state, do not purchase it.


Sometimes, deck stains will fail for various reasons in the wrong climate. Some of the most common reasons are listed below. It is important to understand these reasons so you can avoid choosing the wrong deck stain in the wrong environment. These common reason for failure will lead to you have to redo your deck stain more frequently.

  • UV Rays. We all know the sun can be damaging to skin but did you know that it can also damage your wood stain and ultimately your wooden deck. The UV rays can damage the wood and degrade the cellular structure of the wood. It will then break down the stain and oxidize it which will make your wood turn gray!
  • Water, Snow, and Ice. These common elements can also break down the wood and damage the exposed cellular structure.
  • Freezing and Thawing of the Wood. When wood freezes and thaw, it will expand and contract. With the wrong type of stain. the stain bond to the wood will fail.
  • Mold, Mildew, and Algae. These unsightly problems  do not just make your wood look dirty. They also can result in rotting of your wood.
  • High Traffic. In areas with high traffic, you are likely to see patterns of wear where people are commonly walking.
  • Poor Stain. If you have previously used a poor quality stain, you will notice a difference. This is true if it is also incorrectly applied. It will likely be unsightly in no time.
  • Bad Prep Before Stain Application. Not prepping your wood properly before application is the most common reason that deck stains fail. You should always talk to a professional to ensure that you have correctly prepped and know how to properly apply the stain.

When you are shopping for your stain, there are certain questions you should be prepared to answer. If you visit or speak to a professional in your area, they will know the basic information pertaining to your state. You should also know the type of wood and if the area is in full sun, partial, or in shade. This will help the professional narrow down your choices so you can have a long lasting deck stain that you can enjoy.


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