When it comes to getting your deck ready for use, there’s some discussion on which is better: painting or staining. Homeowners tend to get confused, especially when they hear that wood stain or sealants can be better than painting – which is true.

So let’s take a moment to clear this up.

Painting is always a good idea and should not be ignored, but it mostly depends on personal preference. Most homeowners prefer the natural look of wood and because their decks stay outdoors enduring harsh weather, it needs the level of resilience that sealants can provide. Paint can protect to an extent, but the paint itself will crack and weaken over time, and that can reflect damage onto the wood itself.

Wood stains are great for maintaining the natural look of wood and there are a variety of different finishes to choose from, along with being much faster to apply and offering a number of other benefits. 

Let’s take a look at them below!

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation. – Michael Jordan

1. Prevents wood rotting

Wood rot is bound to happen to any piece that remains outdoors unprotected, and that applies to your deck as well. 

Paint is not necessarily a good way to protect the wood from rotting, which is usually caused by mold and mildew. Although it creates a protective layer, it can still be breached after some time, and after that water can be absorbed and essentially be trapped in the wood. 

And when the rot sets in, there’s no way to get rid of it except by replacing the boards entirely.

Staining and sealing provides a much better solution. It will offer a visual improvement while retaining the look of natural wood and providing a much better protection than just paint. 


Be sure to reseal the deck regularly and you will never have problems with wood rotting.

2. Offers reliable protection from moisture, cold, and heat

Wood can absorb moisture, and that’s essentially the cause for most problems you’d come across, such as the aforementioned wood rot. If it’s too cold, the absorbed water can freeze and make it more fragile. And if it’s exposed to the sun, the heat can damage the coloration of the wood or even cause it to dry up. 

For these cases, staining the deck will do the job of maintaining the look, and sealants will protect from all of these potentially harmful scenarios. 

3. Makes high-traffic walking areas more enduring

We’re talking about decks mostly, but this goes for any high-traffic area with wooden floors. You have every reason to use your deck this summer for fun outdoor activities and celebrations, so sealing and staining will come in handy to make it as resistant as possible. 

Once again, painting does help, but high-traffic areas will start to show signs of decay sooner rather than later. Besides, as an added benefit, sealant is considerably cheaper and easier to apply than a full paint job.

4. Looks much better

Painting is not a bad idea to dramatically change the look of something, but when it comes to wooden decks, you can use staining for that same purpose. Staining will preserve the natural look of wood, and you can even use different finishes to tweak to your personal taste, which looks much better overall.

Besides, if you just want to maintain the original look, there are options for untainted stain, which don’t alter the coloration of the wood at all, simply protects it from discoloration and other weather elements.

5. Easy to apply and cheaper than paint

It’s already clear by this point that for the purposes of protection alone, paint is not the most optimal solution for wooden decks – and when it comes to looks, staining also gets the job done quite well.

But there are two other great benefits to staining and sealing your deck: it’s cheaper and much easier (and faster) to apply.

Painting almost always requires primer, which has to be applied on the entire surface and needs time to dry before committing to the actual paint. Staining doesn’t usually require primer, which already cuts the time and effort in half. 

Looking to seal and stain the deck for the summer? Ask a deck professional for free quotes in your area!


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