The Most Popular Deck Stain Colors in 2024: Expert Reviewed  4.8/5 (77)

This post was updated on May 1, 2024

Deck Stain Colors – Updated Spring 2024

Choosing a new deck stain color is not an easy decision, and there are a few things to consider before you start staining. We have put together this handy guide on the most popular deck stain colors to help you decide which is best for you.

Before we look at the colors, let’s talk about a few of the main types of deck stains transparent, semi-transparent and solid color stains and the pros and cons of each one.

  • Transparent stains provide a clear finish that will show the most of your deck’s natural wood grain without altering the color. However, transparent stains offer minimal or no UV protection.
  • Solid color stains will cover your deck surface completely and the natural grain will not show through. They are prone to peeling since they dry on top of the wood.
  • Semi-transparent stains offer the best of both worlds. They enhance the wood’s natural beauty and change its color. They’re less likely to peel and are easier to reapply as needed.

The Most Popular Deck Stain Colors: The Quick Answer

Whether you’re prepping for a DIY deck staining project or searching for inspiration to share with your contractor, here are the four most popular deck stain colors of 2024: 

  • Cedar tones: A forever classic, cedar’s red-gold hue pairs with virtually any home or landscaping design, making it the perfect option for homeowners who want to amp up the timeless appeal of their patio. 
  • Brown tones: Rich chocolate brown deck stain provides an anchor for a light, bright exterior.
  • Honey tones: Honey-toned stains may require more upkeep, but the lighter tone can add a touch of cottage charm to any deck. 
  • Redwood tones: The ruby tones of a semi-transparent redwood stain make it easy to highlight the natural beauty of a wood deck while creating an eye-catching addition to your home. 

Take a closer look at each of the most popular colors for deck stain below, plus a few watchouts to keep in mind before starting on your next home improvement project.

Cedar Tones and Semi-Transparent Colors

Cedar is by far one of the most popular deck colors and will fit on any deck and in any garden. As a rule, it is wise to take the most dominant color in your yard and work from there but with cedar, it is hard to go wrong. The color is not too dark for warm summer days and is perfect for those cozy winter evenings.

Brown Tones and Semi-Transparent Colors

Sometimes brown gets an unfair reputation as an unimaginative or dull shade. When you know what you’re doing with this color, it can really shine in your garden. It’s important to note that when using a brown deck stain, it should be paired with lighter and brighter color furniture and accessories to bring out its rich natural qualities. If you find the perfect match, then you will have a gorgeous, aesthetically pleasing deck.

Honey Tones and Semi-Transparent Colors

Honey is a light tone that will augment the natural look of the grain on your deck. This color deck stain is popular in places that have year-round sunshine, as regular rain can cause it to turn dark and dull. Use this color wisely if you live in an area that is prone to showers or the close to the coast, or consider investing in a gazebo to help protect the color.

Redwood Tones and Semi-Transparent Colors

Similar to other darker shades of deck stains, redwood should be paired with light colors to accentuate its beautiful ruby undertones. Alternatively, people who select a semi-transparent redwood stain are in luck as the softer shade allows you to see the intricate wood beneath and work comfortably with any color palette.

This striking color will last for many years when properly cared for but can fade to an iron-grey if allowed to weather so be careful to protect and maintain your deck as required.

Consider using a color chart when choosing a new deck stain. These handy tools help by showing you which colors fit best with those that are already present in your garden. With some deliberation, you will find the perfect fit.

Most Popular Deck Stain Colors FAQs

Still searching for the perfect deck stain color? Take a look at these frequently asked questions to learn more.

Should the deck be lighter or darker than the house?

As is the case with many home improvement projects, you’re in charge of the design! Choosing to stain your deck darker or lighter than your home is up to you. Rather than worrying about a general rule, consider factors like the aesthetic you’d like your home to have and the weather conditions your deck may face.

What color deck stain best hides dirt?

If your deck is a high-traffic area, you may consider opting for a darker stain, like cedar or brown stains, to hide footprints, dirt, and grime. 

Which are the best solid color deck stains?

Here are our favorite solid color deck stains of 2024: 

  1. Restore-A-Deck Solid Color Deck Stain
  2. Defy Extreme Solid Stains
  3. Flood Pro Series Solid Stain

Learn more about each and shop online in our guide to the best solid color deck stains.

Which are the best semi-transparent deck stains? 

We’re big fans of semi-transparent deck stains at DeckStainHelp.com. They’re durable, easy to clean, and won’t peel, making them a low-maintenance option for most homeowners. Take a look at our five favorites of 2024: 

  1. TWP 100 Series Semi-Transparent Stain
  2. Restore-A-Deck Semi-Transparent Stain
  3. Armstrong Clark Semi-Transparent Stain
  4. TWP 1500 Series Semi-Transparent Stain
  5. Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent Stain

You can read our reviews and learn more in this review of the five best semi-transparent deck stains.

What should you look for in a deck stain remover?

Check out this guide to the best deck stain strippers of 2024 to learn more about deck stain removers and find the best type of stain stripper for your needs.  

Deck Stain Photo Color Ideas

Most popular/longest lasting deck stain colors?

Ask Below!

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.

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Arnette
Arnette
9 months ago

I used honey oak on my deck and it is to yellow, what color transparent stain can I use on it to change the color to maybe a light walnut color

Rusty
Rusty
1 year ago

Had my deck staned in a Semi transparent with a SW color. I believe it went on to thick and now peeling off. House is red brick open any suggestions and help.

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Rusty
Rusty
1 year ago

Sorry correct it is a semi solid. So can it be used just Stained over again same color.

Maria
Maria
2 years ago

I have a deck stained 1 year ago with Clark Anderson Stain- it is a dark color and i have dog and other scratches. We want to sell our home and not resand and stain it all over again since it is over 2000 sq feet- its huge. I just want to fix scratches by fading them into the color. I do not want to make the deck any darker, do I apply a very light stain to fade the scratches? Ive researched and read everwhere that you cant.

Jon Anne Winstead
Jon Anne Winstead
2 years ago

Can you please tell me the color of this fence

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Noelle M. Pixley
Noelle M. Pixley
2 years ago

Hi! Great article, thank you for all the useful information. Could you tell me the name of these two colors?

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Noelle M. Pixley
Noelle M. Pixley
2 years ago

Excellent! Thank you so much!

Dominic
Dominic
2 years ago

What name is this colour

s.g
s.g
2 years ago

Hi, half of our deck is open and half is a covered screen porch with a roof. The open deck and stairway was refaced with new pressure treated pine about 3 years ago and has not been stained yet. Cannot tell when the porch was last stained by the prior owners but the wood is much much older. How can I minimize the color variations in the two sections after staining – currently considering a semi-transparent stain in cedar, pecan or maybe redwood, but willing to go to a mid brown like rustic if going to a darker color like that will help in minimizing color variations between newer and older wood. Don’t want it to turn out to be too dark though – ie like black walnut etc. Thanks!

Last edited 2 years ago by S.g
s.g
s.g
2 years ago

Pictures attached (some of the support posts are newer as well)

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s.g
s.g
2 years ago

Thank you!

Maureen Anderson Green
Maureen Anderson Green
3 years ago

We have a cedar deck installed less than a year ago. It looks very clean there has been no use or furniture on it. We live in the north and it had snow on it . It is a bit grayer than brand new but not too bad. Does it need to be cleaned before staining? It does not look dirty.

Heather
Heather
3 years ago

Can you stain over a semi clean deck?

Donna clarke
Donna clarke
3 years ago

What about if you are in an area that has a lot of freeze and thaw ,and Usually a lot of snow ?

Despina Vellios
Despina Vellios
3 years ago

I have a deck which is i think color stained. I would love to color stain it black. Its a screened lanai with rails on the ouside.

Susan Maxfield
Susan Maxfield
3 years ago

My house is olive smudge which is dark green, which deck stain would look the best?

kathy
kathy
3 years ago

is it better to stain or paint a outdoor deck after its been sanded? what’s the best to use?

Karen
Karen
3 years ago

Images of blue painted concrete decking for an Inground concrete pool with existing blue tile trim

Doreen Melling
Doreen Melling
3 years ago

What about sage green on my deck to match my shutters?

Ron
Ron
3 years ago

Can you recoatca semi transparent over a solid color?

Judi price
Judi price
3 years ago

Isthis a 5 star paint

Miriam Gravatte
Miriam Gravatte
3 years ago

Recommendations for a deck that has cured for 13 months. Wanting a semi-transparent, oil-based, color grey. Thx for any suggestions.

Miriam Gravatte
Miriam Gravatte
3 years ago

You recommend certain stains for decks that have cured for 1-3 months, but what about decks that have cured for 12 months? I am looking for a semi-transparent oil-based grey. Any suggestions? Thx!

Sheila
Sheila
3 years ago

We want to stain our front porch an opaque color by Flood. They have an online color chart of their more than 100 colors, but it’s hard to determine the undertones by looking at something online. Our house is pale yellow with a light blue door and there’s a column of tan bricks with a dark gray mortar along the porch. For the porch apron/skirt, the deck and the treads of the stairs, I am going to choose either a muted off-black opaque stain OR something lighter from the gray family. For the railings and risers of the steps, I’m going with white.

Whether I choose a lighter gray or an off-black stain, I don’t want to wind up with any weird purple, pink, blue or green undertones. Instead I’m looking for a brown undertone. Do you happen to know which of Flood’s opaque colors have brown undertones?

Last, which color would you choose–the muted black (think charcoal) or a lighter gray. There are now lots of plants in front of house (the entire lawn has been replaced with a garden) so I was thinking that an off-black might help the flowers pop, as well as making the pale yellow look a bit more yellow but I also think that a lighter gray might feel more airy.

Thoughts?

And thanks!

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Sheila
Sheila
3 years ago

Thanks! If we go with a black, it will be a muted, off-black (as close to Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron as possible), which I think would help anchor the house (it’s a small apron) and set off the flowers in front, but I am leaning more toward an airier gray. I just have to find one with a brown undertone to mach that porch column.

Which opaque deck stains do you recommend? I’m leaning toward Flood only because it has a lot of colors to choose from and I can pick it up at Menard’s. I was also considering at Deck Restore but they have only very limited colors.

Lisa
Lisa
4 years ago

Hi, we are staining our pressure treated deck for the first time. We have read that solid stain lasts the longest but have also read that it can chip/peel off. Wondering your thoughts on durability between solid and semi-tesnsparent stains?
Also, hoping for some color advice. Our house is a greenish-gray. My husband wants to do a gray deck, not sure if that will look good?

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Keisha Robinson
Keisha Robinson
4 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

You shouldn’t stain a new deck with a solid.

Stuart
Stuart
4 years ago

I have a summerhouse which I have painted using Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 plus, satin Rosewood. I have decking around the summerhouse, but so far, nothing has been done to it, either by way of staining or painting.

I’m looking for suggestions as to which colour I should stain the decking, (this is my preferred choice), as I have no idea what will go well with the Rosewood colour of the summerhouse.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
Stuart

Stuart
Stuart
4 years ago

Many thanks.

Celeste Decker
Celeste Decker
4 years ago

Looking for a stain color for my cessation post railing. I also have a BBQ deck off the side of my house. You can see both from front of yard. So both will have to match. House is taupe and tan trim. Have Kansas rock wall around front with pine tree and grease. Going for natural look .

Pam
Pam
4 years ago

I have a brand new deck and want the most natural look what color should I use. My house is cream, brown shutters and a dark red front door.

Juan
Juan
4 years ago

Trying to find a good brown from Benjamin Moore. Tried Potters Clay and it leans too pink

Juan
Juan
4 years ago

That was not my question. Any color recommendations in general more brown than that color? I love Benjamin Moore.

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