To choose a deck stain color, test various colors on an unnoticeable area of the deck, consider surrounding dominant colors and choose a color that either complements or covers the wood's natural color. In addition to choosing a color, you need to choose an opacity.
A simple way to determine the right color for your deck is to choose a few colors that appeal to you, and buy a very small quantity of each. Find an area of the deck that is inconspicuous, and stain the deck with each of them. Allow the stain to dry, and then chose the one you like best. You can use deck stripper to remove the stain after you have chosen.
Using the color wheel is an excellent way to match your deck with surrounding hues. Look around the yard and surrounding areas to determine the dominant color. Find that color on the color wheel, and then choose a color opposite it or next to it for a complementary or analogous color.
If you don't like the natural color of your wood, you may want to consider a solid or semitransparent stain to cover it. Semitransparent stain changes the color while leaving the wood grain intact, and solid stain covers the wood grain completely. Clear stain maintains the exact natural color, and tinted stain only alters it slightly. Clear and tinted stains are ideal if you do like the natural wood color.