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Deck Paint - A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Right Stain

By Edited Jun 25, 2015 1 0
Deck paint

Every part of your house is going to need a touch up sooner or later. Whenever you commit yourself to fixing up your home, there is no doubt that you not only want to restore the areas that need a little primping and polishing but that you might perhaps want to give certain spots a complete face lift. When it comes to choosing the correct deck paint for the job, you might find yourself a little lost. The good news is that certain deck stains are designed to be used for specific purposes -- all of which are easy enough to spot once you take a look at a simple guide.

When choosing a deck paint, it would be in your best interests to read the specifications printed on the product of your choice. Here you will find information about whether the product is best suited to the interior or exterior parts of the home, or both. This is also a good time to spot certain useful properties such as anti-scuff additives, mildew blockers or fade resistors. Not all products are identical, so you should take your time in reading the "added extras" found in each. Take the time to consider whether the deck in question experiences high amounts of foot traffic, whether you are likely to move furniture around regularly or whether the area in question is exposed to large amounts of sunlight. A little bit of logic goes a long way into choosing an appropriate product.

Something you should definitely look out for is the "stain grade" of your deck paint or varnish product. The higher the grade, the more likely it is to last for a long period of time. The stain grade offers an indication of how likely the paint is to absorb deep into the wood. In general, you will be looking for a product that sinks deep into the pores of the wood, protecting it as far down as possible. Simply slathering a product over the surface and hoping for the best probably will not provide  you with the results you are after.

If your deck is provided with enough shelter from the harsher elements of nature, then you might consider latex deck paint. If, for example, your deck is covered by a roof of some sort and there is enough protection on the sides, then you could treat the decking as an interior floor. Latex stains are water-based, which means that they can easily be wiped down with a sponge and some warm, soapy water.

Oil-based deck paint, on the other hand is better suited to exterior flooring. Oil stains are also known as Alkyd stains and are a lot more durable than their latex counterparts. During application you will probably notice that this particular type of stain has a particularly pungent smell -- which is an indication of the fact that an exterior area of the home is the best place for it. Floors that have been treated with an oil stain are best cleaned by using mineral spirits.

Deck paint also comes in a variety of different opacities. It is up to you to decide what sort of look you are going for. This, of course, depends largely on the condition of the wood itself. If the wood is relatively new and you find it attractive, it may be wise to go for a clear varnish. Many people are of the opinion that a clear varnish or sealer allows the wood to show its "personality". Semi-solid wood stains will allow you to effectively dye the wood the color of your choice -- oak, cherry, walnut -- while still allowing the grain of the wood to show through. A solid stain enables you to completely transform the appearance of the wood by allowing very little of the original to show through.

Transparent or semi-solid stains are best suited to living areas that look for a natural, casual sort of atmosphere. Solid stains are quite often the choice for a more formal setting. In order to choose the correct type of deck paint, you will need to decide on the purpose of the deck itself. As a rule of thumb, however, it is always best to keep areas in the home as natural as possible while a more professional sort of area (a restaurant, for example) will need something extra to kick things up a notch. Of course, what it really boils down to is personal taste and style.

If you decide to opt for a solid stain, you will be faced with more options in color than you think necessary. There are innumerable shades of wood color, with paints and varnishes to match. When choosing your deck paint you will not only need to consider the furniture on your deck but also the natural surroundings and the style of your house. It is fairly important to attempt to get your deck to blend in with the rest of your home, otherwise you may be faced with something that is completely unsuitable.

In some cases, people will move away from stains and varnishes entirely. You may decide that you would prefer a deck paint that completely hides the wood underneath. In this case, it is always best to find a paint with particularly strong binding agents that will assist in keeping it adhered to the wood. If you do not find the correct paint, you run the risk of it chipping of in the sun or swelling and flaking off in the rain. It is probably best to only use this type of paint on an interior floor -- or at least one that is completely protected from the elements.

Choosing deck paint, despite the wide variety of products on the market, is actually a fairly simple process. All you need to do is consider the location, function and purpose of the deck in order to make a smart choice. As with all things, a little research and some logical thought is all it takes to find the right product.

Deck paint

Here is a related video on how to stain a deck

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