Deck Paint vs Stain: Which One Is Better?

Wooden decks are something everyone likes to show off. One of the best ways to beautify a deck is to keep them in better condition. There are two options for that, deck paint and deck stain. If you are confused about which one to choose, here is a guide for deck paint vs stain in detail.

Deck paint vs deck stain

Staining a deck or painting, its an important decision that can affect the overall look of your deck. There are many advantages of both stain and paint and also a few drawbacks as well. Let’s take a better look at how they work and which one is most suitable for you.

Deck Paint

Painting a deck can add more color to the house and also sustain the deck for a longer period of time. Decks are out in the open and they face strokes, heatstroke, and snowfalls and deck paint can help with that. Deck painting looks elegant and there are many options for best deck paint colors as well. 

There are many types of deck paints available in the market. Most of them are weather resistant which is a useful feature. Decks need to face more rain and still need to stay intact and for the protection, waterproof deck paints are the best option. It protects the wood from any water damage and keeps them in the best shape.

Decks also face more amount of sun and it can harm the wood. That’s why some deck paints have UV resistant formula which can protect the deck. All-weather deck paints can protect deck from every kind of weather. Cold weather paint is also a good option when snowfalls are common occurrences.

Wooden decks face higher foot traffic and it could wear them off. Deck paint can fill the cracks and splinters as well. Its important for families as children might get hurt from splinters. Thick deck paint covers all the pores and cracks and keeps the surface smooth enough to walk.

That’s why non slip deck paints are one of the most useful as well. This type of non skid paint makes sure that the deck surface stays walkable. If the house is near the ocean or in are which dews are common, deck surface becomes slippery and anyone could skid off. That’s why non slip deck paints are the best option. 

There are many useful factors in deck painting but they are more expensive than deck stain. 1 gallon of stain covers more area and its cheaper than paint. Prices can be a deciding factor and if so, most people tend to go for a cheap alternative.

Weatherproof paints are a good option but when paints applied to the deck it can trap the moisture inside. Which can cause the expanding or shrinking of the wood which peels off the paint. The most common reason is the water puddle which can ultimately lead to cracks in the deck paints.

One of the reasons some people don’t like the paint is because they hide the wooden surface. Old wood has distinct patterns and natural grain which makes it look good. Paint can hide everything and one thick coat of paint covers every grain and crack as well. 

Deck Stain

Maintaining a deck is not easy and it’s costly as well. That’s why most people opt for deck stain because compare to the deck paint, its available at half price. Also with the deck stainer, we don’t need primers and preservatives because they already contain those. That makes it a lot easier to choose.

One of the main concern about wooden decks is they can lose it originality with time. Deck stain offers a natural look and compliments the originality of a wood. Wood stains have different types of opacity from transparent to semi-solid. It will cover the deck with a thin coating that can keep wooden grain and old patterns intact. Deck stain is simply opaque and gives the wooden deck old rustic looks.

Painting a deck needs more preparation. The deck needs to be clean and scrubbed and sand. Then it needs preservative, primer, and once completed, it needs a seal. There is no more preparation for a deck stain as it can be applied directly after sanding. This can save time and because it’s almost transparent, no lap marks can be discovered.

Deck stain can cover the deck with only one paint and doesn’t need more than one coat. It can cover the whole area and doesn’t need more stain as well. It can save a lot of time and money too. Deck paint needs more than one coat which makes deck stain more preferable.

A wooden deck can absorb the stain and which makes them perfect for the rainy day. Deck paint might feel a little slippery but stain makes sure that the original wood surface which creates traction and doesn’t let anyone slip.

There are few drawbacks as well with deck stains. Despite the fact that deck stain is better for wood and they can truly refine the true beauty of wood, they don’t offer colors. Those people who like to use different colors on their deck have no other alternative than painting. Also when the wooden deck gets old, those old patterns and grains don’t help the look and stain doesn’t cover them as well.

Deck stains are cheaper and better but they don’t last long. Average deck paint lifespan is at least 10 year on the other hand regular deck stain last about a year before it needs to be stain again. A transparent strain is also doesn’t provide protection against UV and moistures. 


There are many factors about deck paints and stains and its always hard to choose. Simple solution is if you need an original wooden surface and don’t need UV protection go for deck stain. If you need your deck colored and protect it against all weather conditions, go for the deck paint.

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