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Paint VS Stain – Best Paint for Outdoor Wood Deck

Paint VS Stain

The Pros and Cons of Staining and Painting:

It’s a seemingly age-old debate: paint or stain? We offer both services here at Century Painting so we know firsthand the advantages and drawbacks of both approaches. A lot of our customers ask us Paint VS Stain colors deck which we would recommend and the answer is usually subjective. What kind of surface are we talking about? Do you like the look of your wood grain? What is the local climate like? Do you prefer function or aesthetic appeal? Like most debates in the trades, there is really no one answer. So instead of trying to encourage you to paint your wood rather than stain it or vice versa, we are going to devote today’s post to simply laying out the pros and cons of each method, informing you, and letting you come to your own conclusion.

Pros of Painting:

  • Versatility:

    Painting affords more variety. If you are looking to Paint VS Stain deck evoke a certain look or feel for your home, you will likely find a match for what you have in mind with paint. And we aren’t just talking about color. Of course, there are myriad colors you can choose from but we are also referring to finishes. Whether you want a glossy or matte finish, paint can deliver.
  • Longevity:

    While both paint and stain have their weaknesses (and in certain circumstances, excessive exposure to those weaknesses can shorten the lifespan of either), paint tends to last longer than stains – especially on decks.
  • Maintenance:  

    In general, painted decks and fences are easier to clean. The smooth, slick surface is less porous than stained surfaces which usually makes it easier to sweep or rinse off effectively.

Cons of Painting:

  • Cost:

    Quality exterior paint will generally cost you more than a stain of equal quality. You can pay as much as $60 per gallon for high-quality exterior paint.
  • Opacity:

    Some people are ultimately turned off by the opacity of paint. Especially for decks, some people prefer the transparency of stains.
  • Application:

    Paint can glob or pool easily due to its consistency. Plus, you will most likely need more than one coat.

Pros of Staining:

  • Transparency:

    If you like the natural look of your wood, then choosing a transparent stain colors will better suit your tastes.
  • Time:

    You will usually need only one coat of stain to get the job done and no primer. This makes the application quicker.
  • Chipping:

    While you may see some degradation or peel with stain over time, you will not see chipping or other, more obvious signs of breakdown like you will with paint.

Cons of Staining:

  • Protection:

    In general, the stain does not offer the same level of UV and moisture protection that paint does – especially if you choose a transparent stain.
  • Choices:

    Your choices are pretty limited to stain. By and large, you have the choice between a natural (transparent) finish or a tanned, darker (opaque) finish.
  • Durability:

    While high-quality stains applied professionally may last up to 8 years, lower quality products may only last one year.
There’s a lot to consider when you are on the fence (no pun intended) between stain and paint. But if you need help sorting it all out, talk to us here at Century Painting!  
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