Different Ways to Finish Wooden DecksOn January 19, 2021 by Brent Bates
When it is beautiful outside, and you want to have some friends over for a BBQ, a raised wood deck offers a place to congregate and eat. These spaces add another living room and dining area to your home. There are many products available to seal, stain or paint your deck. But, which is the right one? It depends on the look you want and how much time you want to commit to refinishing it each year.
Oil-based stain absorbs into wood more than a water-based stain. Because of this, it takes longer to dry. The slow drying time actually makes it a little easier to get a consistent finish. If you brush over already dried sections, then you may see a line or variation in color. Therefore, keeping a wet edge to each section you stain will give you a nice even look. As the stain is exposed to weather and wears down, the color will start to fade and it is time to re-stain your deck. This should be done every two to three years. If you already have an oil-based stain on your deck then you should continue to use an oil-based stain. If you decide to switch to a water-based stain at this point, then you will have to sand and strip the decking until the stain is completely gone first. If you are sticking with an oil-based stain, then you really only need to give it a good cleaning and then you can re-apply the stain.
A water-based stain is almost twice as much as an oil-based stain. However, it tends to last longer if applied correctly. This type of stain does not absorb into wood decking as easily as an oil-based stain. It forms a protective film that over time will crack and peel. These types of stains dry quickly and are harder to touch up. However, they are environmentally friendly and are much easier to clean. Water-based stains have been gaining popularity as they get more and more advanced.
If you are looking for more color options, then you can consider painting your deck. The paint sits on the surface of decking and does not absorb into the wood. It will fill cracks and chips on the decking, giving a very uniform look. Paint actually lasts longer than stain, but it can also chip and peel. The weather and amount of use greatly influence how long a painted deck will look good. It is important to purchase a durable paint that is for high traffic areas.