Depending on the amount of coverage desired, some good choices for deck stains range from transparent to solid. The solid stain offers the most protection, which is up to 3 years, states Consumer Reports. Deck stains are designed to protect wood texture, but the more opaque stains tend to hide the wood grain.
If the project requires that the wood grain remain visible, a possible choice is the transparent stain, but it is less water resistant. If this stain is used, then yearly deck refinishing may be necessary, notes Consumer Reports. Similarly, semi-transparent stain may be a good choice for cedar and redwood because using it permits some wood grain to show through, but it can require deck refinishing every 2 years.
When homeowners decide on a stain type, then they can choose a stain color. There are more paint choices available for transparent or clear stains, states Benjamin Moore. Nevertheless, making a selection for stain color requires taking into consideration factors, such as existing color schemes of the home's exterior.