Sydney Outdoor Style: Picking the right stain for your outdoor deck

November 14, 2013

The unassuming outdoor deck is an important haven in your home. Designed with entertaining in mind, the deck needs to be able to take a beating – whether it be from wind, rain and sun, to the movements of outdoor furniture and the shuffling of foot traffic. It should come as no surprise, then, that after a couple of years, the hardy wooden boards that make up your outdoor deck may look a little bit worn and tired.

That’s where the power of a great stain can really be seen.  A good stain brings a ragged deck back from the brink and makes it look as good as new.

While it may seem insignificant at first, there are actually a few things you need to consider before you begin staining your deck. Here are a few of our tips:

  • Before you consider anything else, make sure you choose an exterior wood stain. This will guard the deck from the weather, protecting it from the sun and rain.
  • From here, there are two basic types of exterior wood stains to choose from: solid colour or semi-transparent. The first entails that you will not be able to see the woodgrain once stained, the second entails that you will. Following those basic types, you can also get semi-solid, translucent and clear stains.
  • The type of stain you choose may be dependent on the current status and quality of the wood decking itself. If the wood is relatively new and the grain stands out, a semi-transparent or clear stain will enhance that. If it has been a few years and the grain has dulled, a solid colour stain will cover that up but still allow for the wood’s texture to show, while also providing extra protection from the sun’s UV rays.
  • Another staining aspect to consider is whether to go with a water-based, oil-based or emulsified oil plus acrylic stain.
    • Water-based stains are thin, allowing the stain to soak easily into the wood. They dry quickly and are very durable. However, it limits you to using a solid colour, as semi-transparent water-based stains tend to look uneven or have discoloured patches.
    • Oil-based exterior stains penetrate the wood better, have an overall better appearance, but have a shorter life than water-based stains.
    • Last but not least, there’s an emulsified oil plus acrylic exterior wood stain – a combination of acrylic and oil based components. It’s the best of both worlds, penetrating the wood excellently with a fantastic finish. It’s easy to clean up, too, using just soap and water.
  • One final thing to look for in a wood stain is mildew and rot protection. Make sure that the stain you purchase contains mildercides and wood preservatives to add an extra layer of protection to your deck.

With all these considerations, you’re now well-equipped for the world of outdoor decking. Get the hard part out of the way early and you’ll soon have an enviable outdoor entertainment area ready for summer parties, or ready to keep to yourself!

If you’d like an upgrade to your current outdoor decking setting, give Home Wizard Improvements a call today on 1300 920 788

Kevin Pobjie grew up in Sydney and started working in the home improvements industry over 30 years ago. He is married with two children, one boy and one girl, 24 and 20. Kevin started selling awnings, pergolas and sunrooms using Hunter Douglas and Stramit before he started Wizard Home Improvements in Granville in late 2004. He is now licensed by fair-trading to build awnings.
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