Painting vs. Staining Your Deck: Weighing the Pros and Cons

When deciding whether to stain or paint your deck or porch, there are a number of factors to consider. Looking at the pros and cons of each will help you determine whether painting or staining is the best choice for your individual deck needs.

Painting Pros 

Paint is available in an array of colors, from neutral to bold. Since staining simply accentuates the existing wood, paint provides more options for personalizing the look of your deck. For example, you may want to choose a paint color that complements the exterior paint color of your home. 

Painting also offers better coverage and more durable, long-lasting protection for your deck. Painting can last for 10 years or longer before reapplication is needed. Paint can also help with the aesthetic look of your deck by covering imperfections and filling in unsightly cracks. Paint can provide protection for your deck and prevent things like mold, sun damage, and rot. 

Painting Cons

Though paint can provide important protection for your deck, the layer of paint covering the wood can lead to water pooling, which can eventually lead to moisture getting trapped in the wood. This can cause peeling, bubbling, and chipping. Moisture from heavy snow and rain can lead to stains on your painted deck. 

Painting will generally be more expensive than staining, as it is necessary to purchase primer and wood preservatives in addition to the paint. 

Staining Pros

Staining is both easier, and faster to apply than paint. It is also a more affordable option. 

Staining offers a more natural look. This is a matter of personal preference, but some prefer the visibility of the wood grain, as it provides a warm, rustic appearance. Though you will not have the variety of colors to choose from, as you do with paint, you can choose the level of opacity, and how much of the original wood you want seen. 

Stain offers more friction on the surface of the deck, making it less likely to be slippery than paint. This makes staining a safer choice. Stain will also provide superior moisture protection and UV protection for your deck. 

Staining cons

 Stain does not last nearly as long as paint. To keep a deck looking its best, and to maintain the wood, a deck should be stained every two to three years. It is also more difficult to clean a stained deck versus a painted one. 

Imperfections and discolorations will show more clearly in a stained deck, whereas paint can cover those flaws more easily. Staining will not hide cracks the way paint can, but instead will show the distinct wood grain.

Making the Decision

As you weigh the pros and cons of painting and staining, consider which factors are the most important to you, as this decision is a very individualized one. The good news is that either choice will upgrade the look and protection of your deck.

If you think you need to replace your deck altogether, you may want to consider learning more about our exclusive partnership with Turtle Decks.

If you still have questions, feel free contact our experienced professionals at Advantage Home Contracting to learn more about deck building, replacement, or repair.


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