Wood is a classic building material that’s still used in many houses, apartments, and other structures to this day. Aside from being a cheap and reliable material that’s sturdy for large projects, it also carries a certain aesthetic appeal to it with its natural feel and looks. For these reasons, many people still opt to use wood despite the presence of more modern alternatives, such as concrete and steel.
However, not all wood looks and feels the same. There are different kinds of brown and some people even decide to paint the wood a certain color. If you want to change the color of your wood without actually removing the natural look of wood, then you’ll want a wood stain. In this article, you’ll find the best deck stain in 2023 for your wooden floors and platforms to really stand out and fit your ideal look.
Deck stains can really improve the overall look and feel of any outdoor deck. Here are some tips to make the process of picking the right deck stain for your home.
What Is a Deck Stain?
Deck stain refers to any sort of formula or solution that you apply on wooden decks to change their color and improve their resistance to the environment. The color change differs from using paint, as the stain retains the natural shape, color, and markings of the treated wood.
Things To Consider Before Buying Deck Stain
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when picking a deck stain.
Wood stain is useful, but you really won’t be using it more than once, as once you’ve applied the stain, your deck should be able to go for years without needing any treatment. As such, you want to buy the right amount of deck stain for your home. Not too much, but not too little, either.
As a general rule of thumb, smaller decks should be fine with 1-gallons of wood stain, whereas larger decks or homes with multiple wooden surfaces may need 5 gallons or more. Be sure to figure out where in your house you want to apply the stain first, then pick an ideal amount. Remember, you can always purchase more wood deck stain in the future if you don’t have enough.
Another thing to keep in mind is the color of the wood stain itself. Exterior wood stain can come in various colors to change the look of the wood that’s being treated. This can make it seem like your deck is made with a certain type of wood when in reality, it isn’t. Alternatively, you can also use transparent solutions, which retain most of the color of the wood, if you already prefer the original color of your deck.
How to Apply Wood Stain On a Deck
You can easily apply deck stain yourself. There’s only a few things you have to know to get started, and you can learn about that process from this video by Fix This Build That:
Deck Stain Price Range
Wood stains are somewhat affordable, with many 1-gallon formulas costing around $30-$50. There isn’t much variance when it comes to the price of wood stain, as it’s more or less the same product no matter where you buy your stain from. Just keep in mind that you’lll be spending considerably more for 5-gallon bottles or cans of wood stain.
How We Choose Our Deck Stain
Our wood stains are chosen based on their color, transparency, quality, and customer reviews.
Let’s start off this list with the most popular deck stain you can find on this list. With over 4,800 ratings on Amazon and a 4+ star rating, it’s safe to say that thousands of people are satisfied with their purchase. The stain comes in both 1-gallon and 5-gallon options. So, if you’re only applying the stain on a small area, you can go for the 1-gallon option, or you can choose 5 gallons instead if that isn’t enough.
The deck stain comes in a variety of colors. In total, there are 9 different options to choose from, ranging from Light Oak to Dark Walnut and even Burnt Hickory. There’s a shade and color for just about everybody, so you’ll actually be spoiled for choice, and you may even find it difficult to choose the ideal stain. Interestingly, the stain does not require any sort of primer to be applied to the wood. So, you can simply apply the stain directly as soon as you get it cleaned up, which makes the entire process much simpler and faster.
While stains are usually bought for aesthetic purposes, other substances are used to protect the wood instead. These types of treatment substances help preserve the nature and overall quality of the wood for years to come. This can be useful if you’re exposing your wood to the elements, such as outdoor weather, rain, dirt, and possible abrasion.
One key feature of this oil treatment is the fact that it helps block ultraviolet rays. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are powerful, and they can wear down any wooden plank or deck over time. Placing this treatment on the deck keeps the wood in good condition despite direct contact with the sun’s rays. If your deck isn’t in the shade, you may want treatment of this kind to keep your wood looking fresh and new.
A common issue or worry people have when it comes to wooden decks is whether or not they can handle rain, especially intense storms. Water is known to wear down anything over time, including wooden decks. As such, people use treatments such as the STORM SYSTEM Storm Protector Penetrating Sealer & Stain Protector to keep their decks in prime condition.
The formula of the stain protector works with many types of wood. Whether it be mahogany, cedar, redwood, pine, cypress, spruce, or anything else, the stain will penetrate deep into the wood to keep both the interior and exterior in shape. It’s easily applied by using a brush, roller, or even a spray, so you’ll find it surprisingly simple to work with.
While indoor decks do actually exist and are found in houses every now and then, most decks are typically exposed to the elements. This deck stain is ideal for outdoor use and outdoor use only. So, while it’s perfect for outdoor decks that are left to fend off rain and sunshine on a daily basis, it isn’t worth using on an indoor deck that’s safe from these elements. The stain comes in five different colors, giving you a bit of freedom to choose the ideal color for your deck.
A nice feature about the stain is that it turns your deck into a water-repellant surface. Wood typically absorbs water and, as a result, loses its quality over time. If you apply a stain, however, this quality doesn’t go away as the water doesn’t get to penetrate deep into the wood. And finally, while the stain does come in a few colors, the stain is translucent, meaning that you’ll still see the natural look and color of the wood before the stain.
Hardwood is a common material used in building decks. It’s sturdy, affordable, and reliable. If you’re one of those people who owns a hardwood deck, then you’ll want a specific stain that works best with the nature of hardwood. Enter DeckWise Ipe Oil Hardwood Deck Semi-Transparent 250 VOC Natural Finish – a natural-looking solution to keep any hardwood floor or deck in tip-top shape.
The formula minimizes odors left behind by penetrating deep into the surface of the hardwood. It’s also useful for any type of hardwood structure or component, whether it be a deck, railing, or stairs. You only need to apply the coat once for it to work, and the stain doesn’t crack or peel at all, making it incredibly easy to work with.
There’s a good chance that you’re still a little skeptical about the effectiveness of deck stains. After all, what can a thin layer of stain do against years and years of weathering and environmental changes? Well, this deck stain hopes to prove you wrong, as it boasts a very powerful formula that keeps any outdoor deck in perfect form.
The formula uses waterproofing technology that prevents the wood from cracking due to the presence of water. It’s also made with a Weather-Ready Application, which means that no matter the weather condition, you’ll be able to apply the stain whenever you feel like it. You don’t need to wait for the weather conditions to be perfect to start working, as the formula was designed to work regardless.
Deck stains can come in transparent or semi-transparent formulas. Many people prefer the transparent formulas as it retains the natural color of the wood. But if you want to give your deck a little makeover while also improving its overall quality, then a semi-transparent solution would be better. You still retain some of the original nature of the wood while introducing new colors to shake things up.
The formula claims to be better for the environment, as it has less than 50 g/L VOC content. A simple application of soap and water also gets rid of the formula from your hands or clothing, so you don’t have to worry about cleanup, either. Finally, the formula actually works on damp wood, so you don’t even need to wait for your deck to dry before starting your work.
People Also Asked
Q: How does staining help a deck?
A: Using a wood stain helps keep the wood in prime condition. It prevents the wood from losing its quality and color while also preventing any cracks from appearing.
Q: Can wood stain protect my deck from mold and mildew?
A: Yes, wood stain prevents any mold or mildew from building up on the surface of the treated wood.
The Woodsmith Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best tools and gear to build great-looking projects confidently. The content is created by The Woodsmith Review Team. Woodsmith’s editorial staff is not involved. Woodsmith is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.