A long debated topic is that of water based vs. oil based deck stains. Which one is better to use and will provide the best protection for a wood deck? Actually, there are advantages to both water and oil based deck stains even though they do have some major differences. Both types of stains can provide a beautiful long lasting finish on all types of wood. Both water based and oil based deck stains help reduce water intrusion and UV damage to increase the longevity of the wood.
Oil based deck stains have been around the longest. Oil deck stains can preserve and enhance the wood’s natural color. They help to inhibit mold and mildew growth, which can lead to wood decay. Oil based deck stains naturally shed water to help prevent warping, cracking, and splitting. Most oil stains are low VOC formulas that are compliant in most states.