Deck Paint vs. Deck Stain: which one should I go with?

Home ownership is both a blessing and a curse, for on the one hand you have secured a roof above your head that should last you a lifetime, and on the other hand you’ve accepted your faith in terms of home repairs and maintenance. With great houses comes great responsibility, and in traditional houses with lots of space, one of the most beautiful things you can build if it doesn’t already come with the house is a wooden deck. However, like most things around the house, decks come hand in hand with one of the toughest choices there are: paint or stain? Below we tell you which one to choose according to what you want.

Deck paint: paint your deck if…

  • You like being able to change the color of your home’s interior/exterior every so often.
  • You have a decent budget for the project.
  • You have a preference for easily cleaned surfaces.
  • You want your deck to be protected and last for a long time as is.

Deck paint is the go-to answer to your house aesthetic problems if you like to be in control. It’s a double-edge sword though, since once you paint a deck there is no going back to that beautiful, natural wooden look. However, it shouldn’t be an issue if you consider the pros of going with paint, which include an infinite amount of colors to choose from, a smoother surface which is easier to clean, and a more durable finish overall that also works wonders to protect your wooden planks from the elements and natural damage after time.

A couple of factors to consider if you choose to go with paint are the costs and the labor. Painting your deck involves investing on primer and preservatives, which quickly ramp up the costs depending on the size of your deck. Also, because the paint is prone to smudging and bubbling when applying it, you should have a professional do it if you don’t have the time or patience to do it yourself.

Deck stain: go with stain if…

  • You much prefer the natural look of wood.
  • You have a smaller budget but still want to protect your deck.
  • You have no problem with regular maintenance.
  • You live in an area where the weather is not too unpredictable.

Those who choose to go with deck stain are probably more fond of the way the wood grain looks in its natural state and would much rather preserve it than paint over it. There are many options available to people who choose to go down this route, including several tones ranging from clear sealer to dark matte brown stain. The downsides can be few or many depending on who you ask and where you live.

If the homeowner doesn’t mind doing regular maintenance on the deck, then he or she should have no problem keeping the wooden planks in perfect state for a long time. This time, however, is not as long as the duration of paint on painted decks, which even without much maintenance can protect the planks for a decade before showing decay. Weather plays a big role in this, so deck stain is not the most suitable choice for houses built in places with high humidity or constant precipitation.