Staining a Deck Without Incurring Exorbitant Costs

Timber Decking Oil

The best way to save some money on staining the deck is to DIY (do it yourself). Let’s take a look at the benefits, price, and the process involved in staining a deck for beautiful and eco-friendly results.

 Whether you are painting or dyeing the deck, you need to clean the surface first. Wipe it with a store-bought or homemade deck cleaner, repair or replace the damaged board, and then lightly sand any surface ridges. Then, the stain can be applied directly to the timber by brush or roller. The fairly fluid consistency of the stain can prevent pellets from gathering, and its transparency can minimize lap marks at the surface. In addition, when you choose a two-in-one stain and sealant, such as Behr waterproof stain and sealant (available at $34 per gallon), no additional clear topcoat is required.

By matting the old finish with sandpaper, wiping the deck with delustering, and then applying primer and smearing or topping with the new stain, the stained deck can be easily painted or coated with new stains. 

 Although it is easy to paint on a coated deck, the transformation from paint to stain requires the use of commercial paint strippers or sandpaper to completely strip off the old paint and primer, clean it with a deck cleaner, polish the defects on the deck, and then apply the stain.

 The stain dries to a more matt finish and requires greater effort to clean. This tempts some homeowners to bring pressure washers to their staining process, but the sheer power of washing machines can dig out wood. For softwoods like cedar, the maximum washer setting should not exceed 600 psi, and for hardwoods like oak, the maximum washer setting should not exceed 1500 psi. At least once a year, you need to do a deep clean of your deck, whether it is painted or stained, to remove bacteria and mould. This includes applying a deck cleaner with a sprayer or roller, scrubbing any particularly dim spots with a soft brush, and then rinsing with a garden hose.

Stain is More Economical

The price of paint per gallon ranges from US$20 to US$35. In comparison, the price of exterior paint suitable for decoration ranges from US$30 per gallon to US$60 per gallon. In addition, if you paint, you need to add $15-40 per gallon of wood preservative and $15-30 per gallon of primer. Most commercial wood stains already contain preservatives, so no primer adhesion is required.

Dyeing Provides a Natural Appearance – Beauty is in the Simplicity

Paint has a high proportion of pigments and resins, which completely fill the pores of the wood and dries to an opaque surface, hiding cracks and covering the unique wood grain, resulting in a more refined and manufactured appearance. If your goal is to conceal imperfections but still retain a rustic appearance, then highly pigmented and almost opaque solid wood stains are a good choice.

The paint is available in a variety of shades, from neutral colors such as chocolate brown or forest green to eye-catching royal blue or deep red for a more modern atmosphere. Because wood stains are designed to highlight the native characteristics of wood, they are usually limited to transparent varieties or brown tones.


● Stain can be applied easily.
● The paint lasts longer.
● The stain is easier to apply.
● Paint offers more variety.
● Dyeing provides a natural appearance.
● The stain is more economical.
● The stain is easier to apply.

On the contrary, before painting, the deck should be treated with wood preservative and then coated with a high-quality primer. Usually, clear decking oil application is required to protect the wood from within. The consistency of the paint means that balls and lap marks will usually appear during finishing. After painting, the surface must be sealed with a transparent polyurethane sealant.

Paint Lasts Longer

Peeling Paint

Both paint and stained deck finishes are prone to unique problems-peeling or flaking paint, and heat-related discolouration. However, in contrast to the dyeing of the deck, the paint usually appears as a more durable and colour-fast surface that lasts 10 years or more before needing to be reapplied. 

A Little Investment Goes a Long Way

 Oil-based paint provides the best protection against moisture, while latex paint can effectively prevent UV-related fading. The stain coating on the deck is more short-lived, requiring one to eight years before recoating is required. Generally, the higher the staining degree (the higher the opacity), the greater the resistance to moisture and UV damage. Transparent stains provide low moisture protection and almost no UV protection, while solid stains provide high moisture and UV protection.