cedar deck

To Stain or Not to Stain

Published On: September 15th, 2015

While having a backyard deck that looks like the hardwood inside your home is ideal, it’s not realistic and staining your deck can be more hassle than it’s worth.

Many decks are made from pressure treated wood, cedar or other hard woods and many different exotic woods. Deciding to stain these decks may not be your best choice. There are many misconceptions about the benefits of staining. Here are just a couple:

Staining will prolong the life of my deck.

This is not necessarily true. For most decks, the staining is not done on all six sides of each board. This will not provide a seal and, therefore, will not give your deck the protection you’re looking for. A deck that is elevated may be an exception.  It’s recommended that your wood be kiln dried and pre-stained on all sides and edges before construction. This can be very time consuming and costly.

Staining a deck will lead to less work in the future.

One of the main reasons the professionals don’t recommend staining wood decks is because of the amount of time and energy involved. Stains don’t generally last more than a year. This means yearly cleaning, staining and, if necessary, sanding of your deck every year.  To hire the professionals to do the job yearly can be expensive. To do it yourself can leave you with a hate/hate relationship with outdoor space.

Your professional deck builder will recommend that instead of staining your deck every year, you allow the wood to naturally gray over time.  If you just can’t live with the grey and you do decide to stain your deck, do your research on products. Or better yet, opt for a low maintenance deck that provides better durability and an array of colour options.

Spend your summer enjoying your deck, rather than working on it.