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Matching Different Wood Types with Deck Stains

How to Match Two Different Wood Types when staining exterior wood and decking.

There are many different types of wood that can be used on exterior applications. Pressure treated pine, cedar, and hardwoods are some of the most common types for decks and other outdoor wood structures. To protect any type of wood from Mother Nature it needs to be coated with a wood preservative or sealant. A quality wood and deck stain can provide years of protection to all wood types.
Some projects may have two different types of wood that was used. Perhaps some repairs were made using a different type of wood than originally used. Or maybe the project was done in different time frames and a different type of wood was purchased than was before. However it may have occurred, staining two different wood types and trying to get them to match can be tricky.

Different wood types will absorb wood stain at different rates. More porous wood will absorb more stain causing it to be darker. Newer wood or some types of hardwoods may be smoother and more dense and will not absorb as much stain which results in a lighter colored finish.

To match two different wood types prior to staining you should clean the entire wood surface. Use a quality wood cleaner and clean the deck with a scrub brush or pressure washer. This will remove any gray wood fibers, grime, dirt, mildew, and mill glaze. Once all the wood is clean, apply a wood deck brightener. This will correct the pH level of all the wood and lighten up its appearance. This step will help blend different wood types.

As an extra step, use a sander to further match the two different wood types. Softer woods will be sanded down to a harder surface while harder wood types will have the opposite effect becoming softer after sanding. This will bring the two different wood types closer together in stain absorption rates.

Stain the wood surface as directed and try to blend the two different types of wood together best you can. Although you may never get them to look exactly alike, taking these steps to match two different wood types will certainly help the overall appearance of your wood project.

Please Ask Any Questions Below

6 responses to “Matching Different Wood Types with Deck Stains”

  1. Dave says:

    I've got an 11 month old pressure treated deck that I've been looking to stain for the last few months. It's at least 1/2 shaded and it's in Wisconsin so it's a temperate climate. I've been eyeing the TWP100 as that's got one of the highest rankings but I want to be sure it's appropriate for pressure treated wood. Are some stains better than others for this type of deck?

  2. Pat says:

    Thank you for your great articles! I am planning to follow all the steps for prepping old and new pressure treated pine boards on my deck with RAD kit. I will stain with semi solid Armstrong Clark. What sand paper type and machine should my contractor use to sand the boards before staining?

  3. Carol says:

    I have a 20 year old oak railing. I've added decorative pieces to it that are pine. How can I drain them to a dark wood? Will they not match now?

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.