Should You Paint Or Stain Your Deck?

Posted Monday, October 15th, 2018 | 3,538 views

Before after deck painting exampleWhen it comes to painting or staining your deck, the choice is yours, and the results depends on what you’re looking for. When customers hire us for exterior painting services to restore their deck, this is usually one of the major deck maintenance questions they ask us, and it’s an important question because there are substantial difference between staining a deck and painting it. Read on to find out more.

Let’s first get into some of the benefits of both choices

Benefits of Painting Your Deck

Below are some of the major benefits to deck painting and staining.

  • adds durability to your wood planks
  • coats of paint substantially protect your wood
  • paint substantially resits mold and rot
  • painting your deck substantially resits sun damage
  • painting a deck makes it easier to upkeep, sweep and clean your deck
  • paint creates a firm shell on your wood deck planks
  • painting has a restorative quality, filling in cracks and gaps
  • you can use whichever colour you desire

Cons of painting your deck

  • painting your deck can create a slipper surface
  • you can’t interchange between paint and sealants or sealers
  • hides the natural look and feel of your wood deck

Benefits of Staining Your Deck

  • creates and retains a natural looking finish
  • you can interchange from sealer to stain
  • stains and sealants are less slippery
  • less obtrusive stain or sealant testing
  • much easier to work with than paint
  • more forgiving when it comes to mistakes
  • more easily change the colour range of stains (dark or light)

Cons of staining or sealing your deck

  • cracks and gaps aren’t filled in
  • shorter lifespan than paint

Should I Choose A Professional Deck Painter?

Of course you could paint or stain your deck yourself, but a professional painter can definitely bring some of the more important tools and necessary elements to the table which will ensure the job is done right and lasts for years to come. A professional painter will:

  • properly prepare your deck by cleaning it with appropriate detergents
  • advise on rotten boards that need to be replaced
  • stabilize loose nails and boards
  • strip boards of previous finished if any
  • ensure there are no rogue paint or sealant streaks on your exterior walls
  • properly apply preservative applications before painting
  • prime all surface boards
  • paint all surfaces exposed or not exposed to sunlight
  • clean up all work areas after the job is complete
  • advise you on all your colour and sealing options

Above all, painting or sealing your deck takes a lot of hard work to get it done right, so it’s up to you to determine how much you want to invest in the maintenance of your deck vs how long you want the investment to last.

Watch a recent deck painting job we did in in August of this year at a home in Brantford Ontario

As you can see from the video, the main steps to a newly finished deck are to strip, clean, paint and cleanup! The end result is always going to be a deck that looks brand new again.

Should I Just Leave My Deck Unfinished?

Clean darkwood deck stainedLeaving your deck unfinished works for a lot of people, but there are some drawbacks and downsides which can make your deck look really unpleasing to the eye, and more importantly could make it unsafe.

It can be dangerous because after years of neglect, and after being exposed to years of harsh weather, boards begin to warp and absorb moisture; they can start to split and crack and even start rotting in various places which can substantially reduce the stability of your deck and become dangerous for people and pets to walk on.

Neglected or old deck railings are also a hazard because people unwittingly lean against them and damage them, or worse, they fall over and hurt themselves. The higher the deck, the more dangerous an accident can be.

We’ve all seen a deck or two in our lifetime that’s been left to get old and unstable, and can easily remember how weary we’ve been to walk upon it.

The thing to remember is that the more regular the maintenance and upkeep your deck receives, the longer it will last. The bottom line is, if you provide your deck with regular cleaning, staining or occasionally give it a new paint job, the longer it will last, and the safer it will be. 

Read what happened to a Halifax home owner who was sued by six people that fell off his deck which was found not to be up to city building code. If his deck beams were painted and stained, and thus stronger, this surely would never have happened.

The Best Time To Paint or Stain a Deck

If your considering staining or painting your deck yourself, do it in the later spring, in the summer or the early fall. The paint or stain sets better when the air is more dry and it’s a bit hotter outside. Its rare if ever to have any external part of your home painted during the winter.

The Take Home

If you’re tired of looking at your old deck, give painting or staining a try. Simply call your local painter and ask them about the costs, benefits and how long it will take. Most jobs can be done in one day, or two at the max, but the results will last for up to a decade down the road.

Well Done Painting Inc.

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