This post was updated on January 14, 2022
Deck Finishes, Stains, Sealers, or Both?
Here at DeckStainHelp.com we continue to be your go-to source for 2022 on the latest in deck restoration news and trending topics. See below for an article that answers the question, are Deck Finishes, Stains, Sealers, or Both? We appreciate your input. Feel free to leave a comment below and pictures of your completed projects if you have them.
One of the more popular questions asked on DeckStainHelp.com is what is the difference between a deck sealer and a deck stain and do I need to apply a sealer over a deck stain? Some might think that a deck sealer and a deck stain are basically the same things but in all actuality, they are two different products when it comes to appearance. They both share the same purpose in general, to preserve and protect the wood but there are some major differences.
A deck sealer is typically a clear or transparent finish that penetrates into the wood. It helps to lock out moisture and reduce water intrusion. Unwanted moisture can lead to mildew and wood rot so it is crucial in reducing the chances of jeopardizing the wood’s longevity. A clear deck sealer, however, will not protect from sun damage or prevent the wood from turning gray from UV oxidation.
A deck stain has the same water repellent qualities that a deck sealer does. A deck stain, however, has added pigment or tone, which gives the stain some color that can range from transparent to solid in color. The pigment is your UV blocker and will help prevent oxidation/grating of the wood. The darker the color or the more pigment added, the more sun protection the stain will provide.
Can you Apply a Deck Sealer over a Deck Stain?
The short answer is no and there is no need. A deck sealer needs to penetrate into the wood grain. If you try and apply a deck sealer over a deck stain, it will not be able to soak into the wood grain and will dry sticky or unsightly. There is also no need to seal over a deck stain as deck stains will have the same water repellency properties that a deck sealer has.
With a deck sealer or deck stain, we prefer semi-transparent deck stains. These stains offer the best of all worlds.
- They penetrate into the wood grain
- They tint or enhance the wood while still showing the natural wood grain
- They offer UV protection from graying
- Most can be cleaned and reapplied as needed without the need for heavy stripping/sanding
Choosing the perfect deck stain can really help enhance the natural beauty of the wood while providing adequate water and UV protection. See here for our Top Deck Stain Brands
Deck Stain and Sealer
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As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.