Film Forming vs. Penetrating Deck Stains  5/5 (2)

This post was updated on May 1, 2024

Penetrating Decking Stain

Penetrating Decking Stain

Film Forming or Penetrating Deck Stains

We appreciate you visiting Deckstainhelp.com as we continue to be your go-to source for the latest in deck restoration news and trending topics through 2024. Below, we talk about Film Forming vs. Penetrating Deck Stains. Feel free to leave a comment below with any pictures you may have.


A wood deck can be subjected to tough weather conditions. Deck floors are subjected to the excessive friction caused by heavy foot traffic. Because the flooring and tops of the handrails are horizontal surfaces, they are more exposed to harmful UV rays and moisture than the vertical surfaces of the deck. This constant moisture followed by drying out, along with fluctuating temperatures causes the wood to expand and contract almost daily. This constant swelling and shrinking can result in cracking, splitting, and splintering.

To prevent damage to the wood, it’s necessary to block out the sun’s damaging UV rays and to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood. Applying a quality deck stain to the wood is the best level of protection. Deck stains do require maintenance every couple of years but you’ll get many more years of life out of your deck.

Deck stains are generally listed under one of two categories. Film-forming stains like primers, deck paints, and heavily pigmented stains are in one group. These stains protect the wood by leaving a coat or film on top of the surface. They are normally time-intensive and expensive to maintain due to their nature. Some common problems with film-forming deck stains are cracking, flaking, and peeling.

Film Forming Deck Stain

Film Forming Deck Stain

Penetrating deck stains are commonly semi-transparent to semi-solid in opacity. They penetrate into the wood rather than forming a film on top. A penetrating deck stain is not susceptible to the cracking, flaking, and peeling that a film-forming stain is.

Oil-based penetrating deck sealers do an incredible job of shielding the wood against harsh conditions. These particular types of deck stains will simply fade over time making them much easier and affordable to maintain. They are offered in different colors and tones to suit your needs but still allow the beauty of the wood grain to show through.

No matter your choice of deck stain, it’s more important that you are protecting the wood as it will increase the longevity of your deck.

The Different Types of Deck Stains Video – DeckStainHelp.com

YouTube player

Please Rate This. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

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.

Related Deck Stain Help Articles & Reviews

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
newest
oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Debra Cochran
Debra Cochran
4 years ago

Is there an oil stain that can be applied in lower temperatures and wood slightly damp?

Dave
Dave
10 years ago

Gorilla glue,color tinted, thinned with turpentine is waterproof, and the bond to wood is exceptional. Not its intended use. Any one ever try it? I have on vertical surfaces, doors in particular where by dog likes to scratch and it does not scratch.

mattsffrd
mattsffrd
10 years ago

Anybody know what the stain is in that top picture?

Aaron
Aaron
10 years ago

How do you feel about Cabot's semi-solid oil-based stains?

I have found the slightly higher pigmentation makes older (untreated) wood look nicer by unifying the overall appearance. I add a shot of mildewcide into the stain to prevent mildew growth. I have found that it works well in colder climates because it is a penetrating stain.

Deck questions
Deck questions
10 years ago

Freshly sanded 25-year-old cedar deck in northern Illinois (full sun). Have seen your recommendations for TWP, but nothing regarding Sikkens products. An acquaintnace in Wisconsin has otained beautiful results with Sikkens, which has lasted five years before requiring a redo. Please advise.

escot
escot
10 years ago

Plus, they don't seem to offer any warranty of any kind. Went to their web site, and see they're the product of the same company that has owned Flood brand of late…. (or at least did…)

Acer
Acer
10 years ago
Reply to  Deck questions

I agree with DeckStain Help.

Very hard to re-coat, because it fails in some places, and remains stubborn in other places*.
Sikkens creates a slick surface that is very slippery when wet.

*That 'hard,slick surface' makes it difficult for any new product to stick to it when trying to re-coat. Will cause next product to fail.

jjmaass
jjmaass
10 years ago
Reply to  Deck questions

sikkens did not hold up over our harsh wisconsin winter. very expensive and very disappoining. followed directions to a t when we applied it. dont waste you money

12
0
Questions or leave a review, please comment!x