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Why Do You Need Deck Stain Color and Tints?

Deck stains have come a long way in appearance over the years. There is a wide array of colors, tints, and tones that can be added to deck stain. But what if you like the natural look of wood, do you really need a color or tinted deck stain or can you use a clear sealer? There are several reasons a deck owner may choose a colored deck stain over a clear sealer.

Color enhances beauty. Even if you like the natural look of wood, a slight color or tone can be added to enhance that “natural look.” A natural colored stain will also last longer in appearance than clear stain. A tinted deck stain is great for worn or older wood decks that need the boost in appearance.

The sun’s UV rays fade unprotected wood rapidly. While most deck stains repel water not all of them shield against sun fading. The more pigment that is present in a deck stain the more UV protection it provides. On a scale of 1-10 a clear stain would be a 1 in sun protection where a solid colored stain would be a 10. So when choosing a deck stain, sun blocking color stains and tints should certainly be part of the equation. Another reason many deck owners go with a colored or tinted deck stain is in the case of covering up or hiding an older stain that could not be completely removed. Cleaning a deck with deck stain stripper should remove most of an old failing stain. But not always does all of the old stain come off even after several attempts. A deck stain with tone can help hide some of the older stain that might try to show through. Perhaps there are also other unwanted stains that won’t come off from where a grill has sat or something has been spilled. Character flaws in the wood may also be an eyesore that a particular deck stain color may help hide.

Though many people like the natural look of wood, there are plenty of deck owners who do not care for it. A semi-solid or solid colored wood stain can hide the wood completely revealing only the stain color. This is popular for those wanting to match the color of the deck to the house, fence, or some other surface.

There have also been some beautiful examples of two tone decks where a solid color deck stain has been used on the railings or spindles and a different color or opacity of deck stain was used on the flooring. The combinations of colors, tints, and opacity levels are really only limited to your imagination.

You can undoubtedly use a clear or non-colored deck stain if that is your choice and there is nothing wrong with that. But you can certainly see how a deck stain tints or colors can have many positive benefits to your wood deck as far as appearance and protection.

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8 responses to “Why Do You Need Deck Stain Color and Tints?”

  1. rogdj says:

    What is a good brand of solid redwood color stain for a deck that already has that but is showing lots of wear and peeling?

  2. Faye Grimes says:

    Our deck was stained with "honey gold" stain. We have power washed it and would like to re-stain it using another color (new red wood) semi-transparent. Would this work?????

  3. Peg says:

    Can deck stain advice cross over to siding? There appears to be a lot of info here that may prove it true, with the exception of not needing tread wear. Looking for the best semi-solid or semi-transparent for the NE/USA area having a lot of moisture and resulting mold/mildew issues.

    Am toying with abandoning ode fav Cabot, which has been reformulated, in favor of SW, but all appear to have a linseed or oil element.

    35 years ago, had double stained siding, both top and bottom, of ship-lap pine with Cuprinol with long lasting effects. Re-stained every 2-5 years until Cuprinol went away, and then used SW successor's Woodscapes with relatively decent success, albeit not a true oil stain.

    Due to years and checking, are replacing pine siding with same, but due to VOC regs, unable to find any stain even comparable. In testing the oil based S/S Cabot toted to be water clean-up, found it to be downright nasty stuff to work with … ditto for the clean-up afterward.

    • Peg, yes wood siding is treated the same way as decking. Stay with an oil based stain for the future. TWP 1500 or the Armstrong Clark. Make sure to remove all of the old coatings first.

  4. Joe M says:

    Can you tint a ceder decks a pastel color

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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.