6 Reasons To Stain Exterior Wood Stairs

a set of wood stairs
  • 8-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 20-175

When considering what treatment to apply to exterior wood stairs, you have many options and choices in what material to use to gain the maximum protection. They will be susceptible to various weather conditions and will need a resilient exterior wood stain.

1. Sealing

Sanding the wood surface with fine-grade sandpaper smooths out any blemishes and gives the wood a good bonding surface. Painting a stain on to your exterior wood stairs offers a seal against cold, damp, wet conditions and also against the sun. Heat damage can be just as damaging to exterior wood as it dries it out and causes premature flaking and splintering. Using an all-weather stain offers a firm seal against such conditions.

2. Protection Level

Protective barriers are highly important. Solid color wood stains do not penetrate the wood and do not leave a protective surface on top of the stairs to stop the wood from rotting. You would be advised to use a semi-transparent stain if you wish to protect your wooden stairs or decking.

3. Non-Slip Surface

Using stain instead of paint will prevent your wood from becoming slippery. When wood gets wet it expands and can sweat, leaving a slippery slime on the surface. If you treat your wood with the appropriate stain you run less risk of having your stairs becoming a hazard. Also, plaint has a tendency to chip and flake after heavy use and using a stain you will see less cosmetic damage to the wood stairs.

4. Wood Aging

Wood will age naturally and eventually the natural oils will disperse and the wood will turn a grey color over a few years. You cannot totally prevent this but you can slow down the aging process by using a good semi-transparent stain on your wood stairs. One of the key factors in controlling wood aging is to keep excess moisture out of the wood. Moisture allows fungal activity to increase in the wood and this will eat away at the wood, causing it to become brittle and on a staircase. This is a highly dangerous hazard.

5. Weather Conditions

Untreated wood is highly susceptible to extreme weather conditions and leaving exterior stairs untreated will lead to faster rates of wood decay and create dangerous walking surfaces. It is important that exterior wood which services heavy foot traffic is protected against weather conditions as it will quickly wear down. Treating the wood at least twice a year with a fresh coat of stain protection will slow the rotting process caused by extremely hot or wet weather.

NOTE: Sealing water inside of wood where it can sometimes boil inside the wood and molder in the sun and causing the wood to rot from the inside out is a leading cause of premature decking demise. Weathering lumber naturally is not known for causing rot prematurely. At no point has sealing bacteria-laden water inside of an organic oven to feed, and fester in the sun been considered a good idea.

6. Aesthetics

Wood stain on exterior stairs provides a very attractive and welcoming finish to your project. Stained wood is pleasing to the eye and can bring out the grain and natural patterns in the wood. A staircase that has been treated with a beautifully colored stain also adds to the value of your home which you will appreciate when selling your property. It is also a must for potential buyers to know that any exterior stairs on the property are safe to use.