Should You Paint Or Stain Your Deck?
When you have a new deck, it is important that you do everything that you can to care for it and protect it. If you are looking for longevity, you will want to go with a clear sealer or even a stain that is semi-transparent for the best results.
The thing with painting a desk is that the majority of deck surfaces are horizontal in nature, meaning that the pain will simply lay on the deck. These areas can hold water and lead to damage in the future. If you paint or you end up using a solid color stain without any type of a sealer, you could end up trapping in moisture that will cause issues with the wood. Once your deck starts to contract and expand, you will find that the paint can chip and then you may have peeling paint, sections that are rotting and a number of other problems on the horizon.
A high quality sealer or a stain will be able to get right in and penetrate the wood grain to seal it properly, allowing moisture the chance to escape from the wood. These products will not chip, nor will they crack or peel as the wood of the deck shrinks and swells. The more of a tint your stain has, the better protection your deck will have from moisture and fading.
Always prepare your deck before applying stain to it. For a brand new deck, there may be very little prep work necessary. However, if your deck has been up for a while, you will want to try to have it pressure washed and cleaned properly before any stain is put on. A deck that is prepared ahead of time will be able to last much longer and look great for years to come. You can either pressure wash your deck on your own if you have the equipment and know how or you can hire a professional to get the job done for you.
Never stain your deck when it is wet. Always make sure that your deck has completely dried after washing, typically waiting for about three days in weather that is nice and dry. Once your deck is dry, you can then apply your sealer or semi-transparent stain. Deck professionals will often say that a semi-transparent stain or one that is oil based will give you the most natural look possible.