This post was updated on January 18, 2023
Why Choose a Two-Toned Deck?
Two-toned decks are becoming more popular every year. With a solid color (opaque) deck stain on the verticals and a semi-transparent stain on the horizontal, two-toned decks look great and can ease the maintenance down the road.
If you have any questions or have done a two-toned deck restoration, please post the pictures below in the comment area with some tips on what you used and how you prepped the wood.
There are several visual and maintenance advantages of having a two-toned deck. Here are a few of the main reasons consumers have been switching to the two-toned look.
- The ability to color match the railings and vertical wood to blend with the color of the house by using a solid color stain. The most popular solid color stains are White, Taupe, and Gray but most brands can be tinted to any color.
- The deck floor/horizontal wood is stained with a semi-transparent stain so it still has that natural wood appearance. However, solid stains and paints do not perform well on horizontal surfaces such as decking and are prone to cracking and peeling so only use them on vertical surfaces.
- Solid stains on vertical wood/railings can last 2-3 times longer or up to 6 years with little to no maintenance.
- Future coatings typically consist of cleaning and reapplying a semi-transparent stain to the horizontal floors every 2 years.
- Visually a beautiful two-color look to your exterior wood deck.
Tips on Two-Toned Decks
Here are some basic tips on prep and application of a Two-Toned Deck.
- Prep all wood first by cleaning and/or stripping the wood. It is important that you strip and or sand the horizontal areas to remove any previous coatings. Brighten the wood after. No need to strip the verticals wood where the solid stain will be applied. Just pressure wash the railings to remove all dirt, grime, and loose stain.
- Apply the solid stain first to all vertical wood. Be very careful to cover and tarp the horizontal wood from any drips of the solid stain. Make sure to follow all manufacturer application directions of the solid stain brand you choose.
- When done and the solid stain is dry, apply your semi-transparent stain to the horizontal areas, following all manufacturer directions.
- Let all stain dry for 12-24 hours before using.
A properly done two-tone deck can really add appeal and value to your property. It may take a little more time and labor initially but as some deck owners know, the end result can be amazing.
For a Solid Color Wood Deck Stain on the verticals/railings we suggest:
For a semi-transparent deck stain for the flooring/horizontals look at:
Two-Toned Deck Stain Photo Ideas
Tips On Two-Toned Deck Stain Video – DeckStainHelp.com
Deck Stain Help & Questions
Stain Reviews & Comparisons
Products & Brands
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.