Ask a Pro: Decks

Q:  We want to clean and re-stain our deck.  Is it best to use a translucent or a solid stain color?

A:  The ‘best’ solution depends on your objectives.  Translucent stains add color appeal and provide weather and UV protection while allowing the grain of the wood to show through so your deck has the appeal of natural wood.

You may see some texture to the stained wood, but you will not see wood grain with solid stains (think paint).  Solid color stains will last longer and provide more durability to foot traffic, but show less wood character – which is why some chose wood to start.

Translucent stains may look nicer but will likely need to be re-applied more often (read the manufacturers recommendations) which has a cost.  So, the ‘Best’ solution depends on your need to maximize appeal, or minimize work and expense.