Solid Deck Stain: The Basics Explained

A solid deck stain is a way of protecting wood that must perform more than ordinary paint. When finishing a deck that you are worked hard to build, and sunk a sizable investment into, you want to feel confident that the finish you put on it is going to give it the best protection. Besides the protection, solid deck stain also comes in various tints and shades for different degrees of color. If you have never used a deck stain before, here is some information to help explain what it is and what it does.

Provides Long Lasting Protection

A deck stain is something that is used to protect your outdoor living space from a whole host of different conditions. It must stand up to UV rays, rain, heat, ice, freezing, thawing, heavy foot traffic, and even insects that will invade any unprotected area. It is applied a lot like paint and will require constant monitoring and reapplication. 

Water Barrier

One of the most damaging factors against your deck is through rain. Water can seep into any crack that is not protected by some sort of paint or stain. The great thing about solid deck stain is that it will penetrate into the wood itself in order to create a water barrier. Water will usually just well up on the surface of the wood and can be squeegeed off or just dry up in the sun. 

Short Protective Life

While solid deck stain is used to preserve the life of your wooden deck for many years to come, the stain itself does not have a very long, active life. Over the course of a few years, with the sun shining on it, rain beating on it, and cold weather ravaging it, the stain begins to break down. This is usually in the four year range, but can be shorter depending on the exposure your deck has to direct sunlight and rain.

Color for Variety

A solid deck stain can come in a wide variety of different colors that can be painted over the wood. While it will have a painted look, the same protective qualities are still evident. Solid decks stain will cover over the wood grain, but will leave the texture of the wood intact. This painted look can also have a glossy sheen to it to give it a shine that can be seen from the roadside. 

Oil or Water

Most of the solid deck stains that are available today are available in either a water or oil based formulation. When buying some deck stain you will want to look for the oil based stains as they have a much greater penetrating power than normal water based stains. An oil based stain is also less likely to peel after exposure to the heat and rain. The extra cost of the stain my be a limiting factor, but it is worth the extra protection.

Normal Schedule Makes Removal Easier

When you use a solid deck stain you should keep to a normal schedule of removing it and giving your deck a fresh coat of stain. Doing this every 2 to 3 years will help make the process easier so you can do it with a simple power washer and light sanding.