This post was updated on January 18, 2023
Difference Between a Deck Sealer and Deck Stain?
Here at DeckStainHelp.com for 2023, we continue to be your go-to source for the latest in deck restoration news and trending topics. See below for an article that sets apart the difference between a deck sealer and deck stain, and when is the best time to use each. We appreciate your input. Feel free to leave a comment below and pictures of your completed projects if you have them.
Deck Sealer versus Deck Stain
Some might think that a deck sealer and a deck stain are basically the same things but in all actuality, they are two different products. They both share the same purpose in general, to preserve and protect the wood but there are some major differences. Most people use sealers or stains to protect exterior wood from the elements. Surfaces such as decks, wood siding, fences, and so on need a protective coating to keep from weathering so fast.
A deck sealer is typically a clear or transparent finish that either penetrates into the wood or forms a clear film on top. It helps to lock out moisture and reduce water intrusion. Unwanted moisture can lead to fungal growth and wood rot so it is crucial in reducing the chances of jeopardizing the wood’s longevity. A deck sealer, however, will not protect from sun damage. UV rays can be very harmful to exterior wood. Prolonged and unprotected exposure to sunlight can lead to graying and fading. It also dries up the wood’s natural oils causing cracking and splitting. So although a deck would benefit from a deck sealer by repelling moisture, it will still turn gray and become sun-damaged.
A deck stain has the same water-resistant qualities that a deck sealer does. A deck stain, however, has added pigment or tone, which gives the stain some color. The opacity of the stain can vary from solid to semi-transparent but it will still have added color even if it is partially transparent. This added pigment gives the stain UV blocking abilities to help reduce sun damage. The darker the color or the more pigment added, the more sun protection the stain will provide. With stain, there are many different shades and tones to choose from such as natural, cedar, walnut, or redwood. Choosing the perfect tone and opacity can really help enhance the natural beauty of the wood while providing adequate water and UV protection.
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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.