Q:

What is a good stain to protect a wooden deck?

A:

Quick Answer

One stain that does an excellent job of protecting a wood deck is TWP 1500 Series Deck Stain. Product testing found this stain easy to apply, fade resistant and exceptionally effective for locking out moisture. It is the only stain registered as a wood preservative by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Full Answer

Other stains on the market that are highly rated by consumers, professionals and testers are made by Ace, Sikkens, Cabot, Wolman and Behr. The most important features in a deck stain are the ease of application, durability, maintenance requirements and weather resistance. It is important to consider wood types, sun exposure and location when choosing a wood deck stain. Freezing, thawing, moisture, intense sun and high traffic are all factors to consider when applying a deck stain — a deck in the northeastern United States is subject to different elements than one in Arizona.

The type of finish desired must also be considered when choosing a stain. A clear finish shows off a wood's natural grain, but won't keep wood from turning gray and lasts only a year. Solid stain lasts longer, but covers the natural grain. Semi-transparent is often the best choice, since the tint can add years of UV protection, allows the wood grain to show through and is easily maintained.

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