Deck Stain Facts: Frequently Sought Questions & Answers

This post was updated on June 8, 2022

The Top Decking Staining Questions & Answers

In 1993 we started restoring exterior wood and decks and that led us to start which has become the internet’s largest resource for all things deck restoration related. Our deck restoration business restored over 10,000 decks and during that time, we have tried nearly every brand of deck stain and deck sealant on the market. was started 10 years ago as a way to help consumers find and use better prep and stain products and give customized help towards each individual deck or wood restoration project out there.  There have been currently over 74,00 Deck Stain related Questions and Answers on this site since it was started.

Deck Stain Facts Answered

This particular page was designed to help consumers and contractors find the Questions and Answers they are seeking with their wood and deck restoration projects. We plan on giving simple Questions and Answers to the most common deck staining and prepping inquiries that we receive, making it easier for the consumers to search and find what they are looking for. We will be constantly adding new Q&A posts as needed when new deck restoration questions arise.

Do You Need More Help?: Do you want personalized help and cannot find the answer in our Deck Staining Facts? Just ask below in our comment area and we’ll be glad to help. We may even make your question part of our permanent Deck Stain Facts Q&A section!

Calling all Deck and Wood Contractors: If you are a Wood and or Deck Restoration Contractor and are interested in becoming a contributor to this page with a Q&A, please email us your exterior wood or deck-related question and answer to *Any other inquiries to this email address will not be answered.

If approved, we will provide a link to your website with a summary of you and your business on your Q&A page!

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Wood & Deck Staining & Cleaning Facts

What Deck Stain Lasts the Longest?

Penetrating Decking Stain

Which Deck Stain Lasts the Longest?

No deck stain can last forever. The best you will get on a horizontal deck surface is 2-3 years and 4-7 years on vertical surfaces like wood railings and wood-sided homes.  Since nothing lasts forever, what you really should be asking is "Which Deck Stain is Easiest to Maintain" while giving the longest life possible?


What is the Easiest Way to Stain a Deck?

Deck Staining Brush
What is the easiest way to apply a deck stain to a deck and which tools to use? This varies on the deck stain type you are using and the brand as well. We will list your best and easiest tool options for applying to each stain type.

How to Apply a Clear Sealer Easily

-Clear deck sealers are very easy to...

Can Deck Stain be Painted Over?

The Best Solid Color Deck Stains

Can you Paint Over a Deck Stain?

No, you should never use paint on a deck as it will lead to peeling and will be a huge burden to fix. If you want a solid opaque appearance, then use a Solid Color Deck Stain on your deck. Solid color deck stains are designed to penetrate and adhere better to a...

Will Deck Stain Freeze?

Will a Deck Stain Freeze in Winter?

Yes. Does not matter if water or oil-based. If you leave your deck stain in a garage or shed where temps can fall below freezing, there is a very good chance your stain will be ruined. Signs that your deck stain has gone bad are excessive thickening, jelling/clumping of the deck stain, or skinning...

Will Deck Stain Peel?


Will My Deck Stain Peel

Yes, it is very possible that a deck stain can peel. Any deck stain that films or forms a coating on top of the wood can be prone to wearing and peeling. These stain types include solid color deck stains and acrylic-based filming deck stains that are semi-solid and semi-transparent.To avoid the chance of this happening,...

Why Do I Have to Stain My Deck Every Year?

Why Deck Stain Every Year

Staining Your Deck Yearly

If you are staining your deck every year then you are using the wrong stain brand and type of stain. The best deck stain for staining every 2-3 years for a deck is a semi-transparent or a semi-solid penetrating deck stain. Penetrating deck stains soak into the wood grain so they are not prone to lifting or...

Remove Deck Stain When Reapplying?


Remove Old Deck Stain for Reapplication

Not all deck stain types and brands of deck stains are compatible with each other. Below are some tips when switching your brand of deck stain or type of deck stain and how to prep for maximum results when reapplying a deck stain to your wood if you have used a different stain prior.

Changing Brands...

How to Reapply a Solid Color Deck Stain

Prepping for Solid Color Deck Stain Reapplication

Solid (Opaque) deck stains are not transparent and will cover the wood fully, masking the wood grain. Once you apply a solid decking stain, there is little chance you will ever be able to go back to a transparent stain unless you want to heavily power sand. One question we get often here at

Will Deck Stain Cover Paint?

Best Deck Stains

Can you Apply Deck Stain over Paint

The simple answer is no, you can never apply any type of deck stain over a painted surface. You will have immediate failure if you do. If your deck is painted, then you would have to fully remove your paint off your deck by power sanding. Deck Sanding Tips. Once you fully remove the...

How To Remove Rust-Oleum Deck Restore

Rust-Oleum Deck Revive Failed

Can you Strip Rust-Oleum Deck Restore?

The simple answer is no, you cannot chemically strip off the Rust-Oleum Deck Restore. The only way to remove this deck resurface coating is to power sand and scrape.  Some customers have had very good luck using the Diamabrush. This is a wood coating removal and grinder tool. If you cannot get it off with...

Will Deck Stain Fade Over Time?

Fading Deck Stain

Do Deck Stains Fade?

Typically a deck stain does fade over the years from UV exposure but this varies based on the stain brand and type of stain that is being used. Most penetrating deck stains that are of high quality will fade lightly through the years and that is normal. This is a good thing though as this makes cleaning...

Will Deck Stain Kill Grass?

deck stain killed grass

Do Deck Stains Harm Grass?

Absolutely! It is very important to avoid getting your exterior wood and deck stain on your grass when applying. This can easily be avoided by using poly tarps and plastic sheeting to cover the grass and capture any overspray or drips when applying your deck stain. It is very important that you remove the plastic tarps...

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Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
10 days ago

Hello Paul,

Just installed a new deck and screen room in May 2022 with #1 grade pine in Raleigh NC. In reading will wait 4 months before staining.

Question is for my location, what is best stain to use? semi transparent vs semisolid?

Location of deck has very shady location and will not have tremendous traffic on it.

Thank you for your assistance.

Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
10 days ago


13 days ago

For pressure treated lumber do you have to stain a deck after stripping it and using brightener and can you leave it natural or does the whole stripping process destroy the treated chemical?

Craig Kohn
Craig Kohn
23 days ago

Does restore a deck fill in the wood where cracked

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