4 Reasons to Use Exterior Wood Stain

A man stains a wood deck.

If you are planning to use lumber in any capacity, you should strongly consider using an exterior wood stain. While this may seem like an unnecessary step, the truth of the matter is that there are many reasons to stain wood. Staining wood has both aesthetic and functional benefits for any kind of wood in your home. There is no excuse for leaving wood unprotected. Below are a few of the benefits of staining wood.

Making Your Wood Waterproof

There are many situations in which wood will be exposed to water. In particular, wood siding and wooden decks will be exposed to a great deal of water in their lifetimes. Even wood that is indoors is not safe from accidental liquid spills. Unfortunately, no matter the location or source, water can cause all sorts of problems for wood. This is where your wood stain goes into action. Wood stain forms a barrier over the surface of your wood that is waterproof. This causes water to flow away harmlessly without having the slightest effect on your wood.

Protection from Rot

Wood is also vulnerable to rotting. Rot is particularly problematic for your wood, as once your wood rots, there is no going back. Rotten wood can be quite dangerous, as it is not as structurally sound as wood that is in good condition. Unfortunately, if your wood is rotten, you will simply have to replace it. Obviously, it is better to prevent the wood from rotting in the first place. Luckily, this is quite possible and well worth the effort. Wood stain protects your wood from all kinds of rot. Staining your wood will keep out termites, mold, mildew, and many other pests that can cause rot.

Blocking Sunlight

Over a long period of time, repeated exposure to sunlight can damage the wood. If you have wood in your home that is located in a place where it will receive lots of sunlight — wood siding, a wooden deck, wood floors, or furniture that are near windows — the only way to protect it is with wood stain. Using wood stain will prevent the wood in your home from being discolored.

Coloring Your Wood

If you want your wood to be a specific color, wood stain is a great way to do it. By staining your wood, you can achieve many different colors, which can be very helpful when matching your wood to existing or planned decorations. For the purpose of aesthetics, wood stains come in two varieties — dye and pigment. Pigment-based stains will color wood with large pores, whereas dye-based stains will color wood with smaller ones.

You can even give your wood a color that does not occur naturally in wood, all while preserving the things that make wood naturally attractive, such as grain and texture.

However, wood stain does not have to color your wood. Many wood stains are clear and only preserve and highlight the natural beauty of the surface they are applied to. Most stains, instead of being entirely opaque or entirely transparent, will be somewhere in the middle.