To paint or stain the deck, that is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler to totally color the wood
With a solid paint, which gets into the cracks.
Or to use a stain, which mostly lays atop
And lets you see the beauty underneath.
These opposing questions must be answered
For once you have painted there is no going back
To the less pigmented, natural looking stain.
The decision whether to paint or stain a deck is a tough one to make, and once a deck is painted it must stay painted.
About Painted Decks
Paint is thick and highly pigmented, resulting in a completely solid color. Painting offers a more modern look, and more protection from the elements, while staining showcases the beauty of the wood and a more classic look.
Because paint is thicker than stain, it can also fill in small cracks in the wood, resulting in a healthier deck. The right paint can also help the wood resist weather damage, and can be easier to clean than a stained deck.
However once a deck is painted it is nearly impossible to go back to the natural look of stain. So think carefully!
About Stained Decks
Staining a deck allows the beauty of the natural wood to shine through. Stains are transparent and tint the wood a different color, but the character of the wood is still readily visible. It offers a more classic wood deck appearance.
Staining and sealing a deck must be redone more often than paint, but stain is less slippery to walk on.
Remember, it’s easy to paint over stain, but impossible to stain over paint.