If you have a deck, or are planning to build on in the near future, congratulations – decks are great. Decks are the under-appreciated little brother to the porch. And though the deck doesn’t have the warm spot in our cultural imagination quite like the ample wrap-around porch, it can provide as much or more pleasure and utility. The deck is your private spot behind the house to bathe in the sun. The deck is central to your summer entertaining ambitions. The deck might be the place to grow your favorite trees, herbs and shrubs. All in all, decks are one of the best things in life – all the more reason to preserve yours well!
We all know that, once built, a deck must be maintained. Sealants, stains, and paints are all used to prevent rot and premature aging, as well as an attractive appearance. But one look at the deck stain/paint market reveals that there are a ton of options! What is a poor deck owner to do? Never fear, friend, All American Painting Plus has everything you need to know before sealing your deck.
Stains, Seals, and Paints. What’s the Difference?
Stains, sealants, and paints all do the same job, more or less. No matter which product you choose, it will protect your deck from premature wear and rot. However, there are many different product features which will affect your decision. Your final strategy will involve many decisional factors, including 1) whether you want the wood grain to be visible/accentuated, 2) whether you want color or natural finish, and 3) how long you want your seal to last?
Any product category mentioned so far will do the job of sealing your deck. Stains sink deep into the nooks and crannies of natural wood, preventing water damage, as well as molds, mildews, and bacteria, but they won’t do the job exactly the same way.
Paints – Paint is an excellent way to protect your deck. However, it has its drawbacks. For one, it’s the toughest option to apply. You’ll need some skills with brushes and rollers to make the job precise and attractive. Of course, All American Painting Plus’s painting contractors could do the work for you in a jiffy. Then there’s the consideration of the deck’s floor. While paint is perfect for railings, it isn’t the best choice for a deck that receives a lot of foot traffic. Finally, many people want to preserve the natural grain and color of their wood, so paint is not the best choice. On the other hand, a good exterior paint job for your deck should last ten years or more.
Stains – Stains won’t last as long as paint, and they won’t protect your deck from UV light either. Ultra-violet light bleaches wood, giving it a grey, worn-out appearance. People who want to use a stain to preserve the color of their deck might lose it from constant sun. However, there are a lot of solid-color stains on the market which can closely match the natural color of your wood, while blocking out UV light. These stains won’t last as long as paint (up to 8 years in most cases), but they are much easier to apply than paint. In the end, you might have to work more often, but the work will be much easier.
All American Painting Plus is thrilled to be named Best Painter in Northern Virginia Magazine's Best of Northern Virginia. Winners are chosen by their read-ers, Northern Virginia locals who pick the companies they trust most to do things right. We're proud to be recognized for excellence in residential painting. If you live or work in Northern Virginia, find out why your neighbors and colleagues named us Northern Virginia's best painter.