Deck Stain Colors  5/5 (3)

This post was updated on April 22, 2024

Deck Stain Colors 2024

DeckStainHelp.com remains the Internet’s go-to site for your questions, answers, and opinions regarding exterior wood surface restorations. In this updated article, we go through the different options for deck stain colors and explain their benefits. We encourage reader interaction on our site, so feel free to leave us a comment below.


The Best Deck Stain Colors

Today’s deck stain products cover a wide range of different colors and tints. Depending on the type or brand of deck stain, you can normally find natural tones, cedar tones, walnuts, and redwoods as the most common choices. Some more unique color choices are grays, rustics, and olive tones just to name a few.

The opacity of the deck stain color will also greatly influence the final look. Very thin semi-transparent stains, for example, have less color pigment and will allow the wood to show through more. This type of colored deck stain may appear slightly different from one deck to another and on different types of wood. Darker more solid colors will show little to no wood grain so the actual deck stain color is more pronounced.

The best way to find out how certain deck stain colors are going to look on your deck is to order some wood stain color samples. Ordering a few of your favorite colors to test on your deck will help you to determine the final look making your decision a lot easier.

Another important factor when choosing a color deck stain is to know that darker colors will give the wood more protection from UV rays. Lighter, less pigmented deck stains will give your wood deck less UV protection. This does not necessarily mean to use a darker more solid color because all colored deck stains will give you UV protection, just some provide more than others. Lighter semi-transparent colors are much easier to maintain than the more heavily pigmented stains, so they both have their pros and cons.

The key is to choose a trusted brand of deck stain in the color you like that will enhance your deck’s appearance while providing protection. Order some samples of deck stain colors to help make the choice easier so you do not end up getting stuck with a color that is not acceptable on your deck.

Deck Stain Color Ideas

Color Ideas for Exterior Wood

Choosing a deck stain color can be a bit confusing with so many different choices on the market today. There is a wide range of colors, tones, and opacity choices to take into consideration. Also taking into account the type of wood you are staining can really leave you more confused than anything. Educating yourself on the different choices of deck stain color ideas will assist you in making the right choice.

Deck Stain Tones

A deck stain tone is basically the primary shade of color that the wood will appear. While the term color, in speaking about deck stains, is mostly associated with solid deck stains, the term tone is more associated with semi-transparent or semi-solid stains. These types of stains do not completely hide the wood grain but rather enhance the appearance of it with a tone. The most common deck stain toners are natural, cedar, redwood, and darker browns.

Deck Stain Opacity

The opacity of a deck stain color is the condition of transparency. Very opaque deck stains will completely hide the wood grain and will reflect only the actual color of the deck stain. On the other hand, only slightly opaque stains like the semi-transparent stains will add some color or tone but still allow the natural color of the wood, its grain, and natural characteristics to show through. This is why the condition, wood type, and natural color of the wood deck will come into play as the final appearance when using a more transparent deck stain.

The Best Deck Stain Colors: Summarized

Deck stain color ideas are really only restricted by the deck owner’s own imagination. Different color combinations, tones, and even opacities can be used together to create a beautiful and unique wood deck. Two-tone decks have become increasingly popular. Most commonly a solid deck stain in any choice of color is used on the vertical surfaces of the deck like the spindles and handrails, while a semi-transparent stain is used on the horizontal decking. These two different types of deck stain in the right color can really compliment each other and give you a beautiful result. Now that you know more about deck stain color ideas see how creative you can get in giving your deck a lasting beautiful finish.

Have a Question? Ask Below

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author avatar
Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
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.

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Georgiann
Georgiann
2 years ago

What color of stain is on the deck n the picture

Chris Berrier
Chris Berrier
4 years ago

How do I order stain color samples?

Daniel Drake
Daniel Drake
4 years ago

Will outdoor dark stains show traffic wear before a light stain?

suegibeau
6 years ago

I am in Georgia and have a 15 year old, pressure treated pine staircase to the lake and a big covered dock. 2 years ago I stripped the old stain from the dock and stairs with Woodrich HD 80 and then used Woodrich Cleaner and Brightener. That was followed by 2 coats of TWP100. Quite a job, but I’m crazy about it. Not slippery, no mildew, no lap marks and rich color. It is time to renew the dock and stairs. TWP100 now comes in a new color called Prairie Gray. It looks a little darker than the Pecan I put on 2 years ago. Can I clean, brighten and pressure wash the wood and then put a coat of Prairie Gray over the pecan? Or will it soak in unevenly and make a blotchy mess? I can’t tell you how great the TWP100 is!

DSY
DSY
9 years ago

Is there a way to test on the deck itself and then remove the stain before it "sets"? There aren't really any inconspicuous spots to test.

Otherwise, would a piece of new pine plywood be an adequate stand-in for an older treated pine deck?

(We will be cleaning and prepping the deck before staining, but I'd prefer not to make that job bigger than it already is.)

DSY
DSY
9 years ago

Thanks. That's what I figured–Plan B is to test on a stair riser.

David
David
10 years ago

For an older more weathered deck, Should I use a semi-solid or solid stain to provide better protection. I m in the Northeast, so am less concerned about intense UV , however we get plenty of damp and wet weather. I am most concerned in terms of sealing/filling small cracks in the wood? Are there more problems with using solid/semi-solid in traffic areas – in terms fo showing wear? (Some online sources say to never use solid stains on a deck.) At this point I need most protection.

Brian
Brian
10 years ago

Is there any way to color tint TWP-103 Dark Oak to an even darker color?
If so how?