Painting versus Staining Your Deck

If you want to give your natural wood deck a new and improved look but are still determining if you want to paint or stain it, you have come to the right place.

Below is a complete list of the pros and cons of painting versus staining your deck and the differences between both. 

Depending on the area, you may be OK to leave your wooden deck without either stain or paint.  

However, for most you will likely need to add some protection to keep your deck in pristine condition for years to come.

Both Painting and Staining Have Their Advantages and Disadvantages.

Painting Your Deck

Advantages of Painting Your Deck 

If you are looking for a dramatic change or to hide the imperfections on your deck, painting your deck is the best option.

Painting your deck allows you to cover your wood with the color of your choice. Since it is painting, your color options are endless! 

Plus, paint can blend in the appearance of gaps, holes, or cracks in your deck. This is due to the paint having a thicker finish than the stain.

Another great benefit of painting your deck is that it is easier to clean stains (depending upon the color, of course). 

Light-painted decks will show stains, dirt, and grim more quickly, making it imperative to clean lightly colored decks more often than if you choose a darker color. 

Darker paint will hide environmental particles more effectively, making the dirt and grim on darker decks less noticeable.

[Read also: Everything You Need to Know about Painting the Outside of Your House].

Disadvantages of Painting Your Deck 

One of the most significant disadvantages of painting a deck is knowing it is difficult to return to stain. 

If you decide to paint your deck, ensure you will want to paint your deck throughout the wood deck’s lifetime!

To go back to stain will require sanding the paint from the wood. 

Although possible, it is time-consuming and will require patience to get into the cracks and crevices. 

If you decide to hire a professional, it will cost you more to go from paint to stain due to the required work.

Another major disadvantage of painting your deck is that it will likely peel, chip, and blister later, causing you to scrape the old paint chips off when you repaint.

Although, it is still easier to sand old chipped paint and repaint than to go from paint to stain. 

Furthermore, you can leave some remnants of old paint on the deck since the new fresh paint will cover it. 

Therefore, painting over old paint is much easier than going from paint to stain.

Pros of Painting Your Deck

  • A large variety of colors to choose from
  • Ability to cover the deck from imperfections
  • Many different application methods
  • Easier to clean (depending on the color)
  • Paint resists environmental damage better

Cons of Painting Your Deck

  • It can get slippery in rain or snow
  • Paint is forever- Harder to go back to staining
  • Hides the natural beauty
  • Crack and blister due to prolonged sunlight

Staining Your Deck

Advantages of Staining Your Deck 

The best part of staining is that it preserves the beauty of the wood, allowing you to keep your wood looking natural while protecting the deck from environmental harm.

There are several different kinds of stains. Since most stains highlight the wood grain and natural features, it makes stains easier to apply. 

If you miss a few spots within the deck, it is likely less noticeable than using a heavier coat of paint. Another significant factor about the stain is that it wears away gradually, making it easier to reapply. 

If you later decide to paint your deck after staining, no problem, you can do so. 

With paint, it becomes more of a permanent option as the paint is more difficult to remove.

Disadvantages of Staining Your Deck 

One major disadvantage of staining your deck is the lifespan is shorter than paint. Therefore, you will have to apply stains more frequently than if you were to paint your deck.

Another disadvantage of deck stain is that it can become slippery when wet. Thus, possibly making it dangerous to elderly or younger children.

Pros of Staining Your Deck

  • Keeps the natural beauty
  • Easier to apply – Miss a few spots without it being obvious
  • Wears away naturally, making restaining easy
  • Can later paint over stain

Cons of Staining Your Deck

  • The stain has a shorter lifespan than paint
  • Slippery when wet

We hope this article helped you in making the right decision when it comes to your project! 

If you are painting your deck soon, let us know in the comments below if you will use stain or paint for your next outdoor project.

About Author, Meho Besic
Guest Writer, Amora V Lifestyle
Husband, Explorer & Adventurer 

Meho is a contributor to Amora V Lifestyle, where he takes his knowledge from owning Certified Painting Professionals and shares it with the world.

Meho is passionate about his family and, when not working, exploring the great outdoors! Meho loves nature and never turns down a great adventure.

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