What Paint Stain Is Right For Your Fence Or Deck (2)

What Paint Stain is Right for Your Fence or Deck

Homeowners are always looking for ways to increase property value and improve their home’s appearance. For those with a handyman’s touch, improving the condition of your fence will surely increase property value and appearance. Weather and environmental surroundings will eventually alter the presentation of your fence, which is why so many homeowners look to re-paint or stain their fence in hopes that they can restore its aesthetically pleasing qualities. Before you decide to either stain or paint your fence, you should understand the differences between staining and painting.

Since 1989 there have been power washing and sealing decks for hundreds of customers throughout Maryland and have learned from mistakes and other mistakes. There are a lot of misconceptions, and mistakes people have made on treating their deck and fence. Deck and Fence staining are extremely similar in basic practice, but they vary in how they respond to the elements simply because water can sit on a deck while it runs off of a fence. Knowing how to manage and treat your deck and knowing how to best treat and service your fence is important for any homeowner.Looking for fencing services Melbourne services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

Thought it would be helpful if I shared my experiences and guidance in our property management services. For many of us, the deck is a place to retreat from life for a little bit and have dinner, relax and enjoy the changing seasons. So it’s important to have the deck being in proper condition and not a distracting honeydew project. Decks are also one of the most frequently improperly maintained areas I run across. Wrong stains, poorly applied, with bad results again turn your oasis into a mess. And to be fair, if your deck is a mess, and you did it, you might be able to shed some of the blame. Decks are not simple. There is room for error, and this article can hopefully navigate you through the process of picking the right stain or paint to best suit you and your deck.

Differentiating between different deck & fence stains & paints

Before we get started, let’s define a few terms:

Damp means a moisture content above 16%. New Pressure-treated wood is considered damp and can take a full season to dry out. If the rained last night, the wood is damp. Some toners/wood preservatives and semi-transparent stains can be applied the same day a fence or deck was power washed providing there are no puddles.

One coat products – One coat products seal themselves up when they dry. If the deck boards are sealed, and you apply a second coat and can dry to a glossy finish, and or also stay tacky for weeks!

Yes, I learned this lesson the hard way. Years ago a customer insisted we apply a second coat on her deck and the deck boards didn’t dry for about two weeks. Unfortunately, her party was one week out! Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of decking services Melbourne

When to apply a second coat:

  • Prior to the first coat drying
  • If the wood is old and porous
  • Suppose the surface is scuffed up with sandpaper or scrubbed with TSP. These two methods will break the sealant, which would be blocking the second coat from absorbing.
  • Water test – drop a couple of drops of water on areas that you desire to apply a second coat. If the deck wood absorbs in 10 seconds, it is safe to assume that your wood will accept a second coat of the one coat product. But I still would try a couple of sample areas as well.

Wood Preservative or Toners

When you see the words “Wood preservative” or “Toner” they mean the same thing. Think of a toner as a clear solution with a “tone” of cedar or redwood pigment added to it to give the wood some added colour and protection. Wood preservatives will show more of the natural look of the wood than the other stains and paints. They come in several different tones as well as clear. Stay away from the clear unless you don’t mind redoing your deck next year, and they after that too. The pigment or lack thereof is what protects the deck. With clear wood preservatives, there is no pigment and very little UV protection. The darker the toner, the better the production and the longer it will last and protect your wood. Wood toners and wood preservatives for the purpose of this article will mean the same thing.

Advantages of a wood preservatives/toners

  • Wood preservatives and toner do not peel; they simply fade over time.
  • Many wood preservatives are one coat products as well.
  • They are very easy to apply. Meaning wet drips and runs can be easily wiped off and blended in.
  • Can be applied over brand new pressure-treated wood.
  • Future maintenance is easy. Just clean and reapply.
  • As the deck ages over the years, more opaque stains can be applied over wood preservatives.
  • Deck railing.

Negatives of wood preservatives/toners

  • Deck and Fence wood preservatives and toners cannot be applied over anything darker or opaquer than what is currently present.
  • Decks over 15 years old that have cracking and obvious age only look marginally better.
  • If not applied properly, it will certainly leave lap marks. Boards need to be done from one end to the other.
  • Clear toners with little or no pigment need to be treated more often than semi-transparent and semi-solid stains. Most toners last 2 ½ years on decks and four years on fences. Areas with significant shade can last at least a year longer. The reason decks last a shorter amount of time is because of the constant wear.

Semi-transparent Stains

Semi-transparent deck and fence stains come in a larger sample of colours than wood preservatives/ toners. Semi-transparent stains will allow you to see plenty of the wood grain on your deck or fence, but typically less than a wood preservative. Like toners, they also don’t peel, and some of them can be applied on damp surfaces. This will allow you to power wash and seal on the same day! Many semi-transparent deck stains are one coat products as well. If so, do not put a second coat on unless you try the water test.

How long will it last? Not as long as the can says. It depends on the short answer is 3-5 years. For fences, railings and vertical surfaces expect 4 to 5 years. For horizontal surfaces three years max. This means if you are sealing your deck and handrail in 2018, in 2021, you will only need to seal the deck! Besides the very top of the handrail which can easily be re-stained all the spindles can skip a recoat.

Advantages of semi-transparent stains

  • The darker semi-solids will give slightly more protection and longevity than a toner.
  • It never chips or peels.
  • Some products such as Olympic and Woodscapes can be applied on damp surfaces.
  • It is recommended for decks less than ten years old.
  • Can be applied with brush roller or sprayer

Disadvantages of semi-transparent stain

  • The pigment in semi-transparent settles, quickly making it difficult to apply evenly and get even coverage. To avoid the settling of pigment, it is necessary to stir every ten minutes or so. Many semi-solids are one coat products. If a second coat is needed, it should be applied before the first coat dries (about 15 minutes). This is a common problem.
  • Apply a second coat before the second coat seals, within 15 minutes or so.
  • Should not go over decks that have had semi-solid stains or opaque stains or paints.
  • Should not go on decks with uneven areas where the deck is 15 years old or older. It will still likely look blotchy, less blotchy but not still blotchy.

Semi-Solid Stain

The stain shows a little of the grain and gives you the best possible protection that will not peel. It will chip over time but very little. Some grain of the wood will still be visible but not much. If you apply 2 or 3 coats of semi-solids over the years, it will look like a solid, but it won’t peel. If you want to see some hint of the natural grain of the wood, a semi-solid is the most pigment you can have prior to having a totally opaque finish like a solid stain or paint.

Advantages of a semi-solid stain

  • It won’t peel, but it will chip.
  • It has the best UV protection from any product that won’t peel.
  • Can be brushed rolled or sprayed.
  • Semi-solid deck stain comes in many colours.

Disadvantages of a semi-solid

  • After 2 or 3 applications of a semi-solid, it looks like a solid stain application.
  • Because it seals so well after several applications, vertical surfaces can get stay glossy. If you don’t mind this look, then it’s no problem. What the product is basically saying is “This surface was sealed, and the last application was unable to penetrate.” It’s like a sponge that can’t absorb any more water.
  • It will not fill in cracks in wood as decks start to age at the end of its lifespan.
  • The pigment also settles quickly and must be stirred frequently, or it can have an uneven finish.
  • Most be applied on the wood below 16% moisture content. Cannot clean and seal on the same day. Also, it cannot be applied to new pressure treated wood for 90 days.

Solid Deck Stains

Solid Stains – Experts say that solid stains provide maximum protection, but I disagree. It peels too easily, and water gets trapped underneath the solid stain, which provides more opportunity for peeling. Solid stains do not penetrate, so the heaviest traffic areas where you want the most protection are the first to go. Plus, they peel, which adds to the future prep work down the road.

When to use a solid deck or fence stain

I start recommending solid stains when the deck is around 15 or 18 years old. By this time the wood has typically had areas that look okay and areas where the wood is getting near the end and apply something other than a solid probably won’t hide the discrepancies and variations in the deck floor. Solid stains will solve this problem.

Solid stains will fill in minor cracks and can get multiple applications. In fact, most recommend two coats which I 100% agree with. I would strongly recommend always applying two coats on all surfaces because it greatly increases longevity. You might not be able to see the difference right away, but you will down the road. Solid stains are also good choices to use if the deck is uneven with past wood preservatives.

Advantages of a solid stain

  • Hides unevenness in deck wood.
  • Solid deck stains will fill in minor cracks.
  • You can make older decks look reasonable better.
  • You can pick any deck colour you like.
  • Your deck wood can be brushed rolled or sprayed.
  • Your deck or fence can be touched up without flashing or getting glossy.
  • If your deck stain is maintained every 2-3 years, it will give maximum protection to the wood.

Disadvantages of a solid stain

  • Deck stain chips and peels over time.
  • Displays dirt and mildew faster than toners, semi-transparent and semi-solid stains.
  • Requires more prep work to apply future recoats if it is peeling.
  • Flat surfaces that are exposed to the elements rarely last more than 3-4 years.
  • The deck must be below 16%.
  • I am applying two coats of solid deck stain results in more labour and materials.
What Paint Stain Is Right For Your Fence Or Deck

4 Benefits of Building a Fence on Your Property

To declare territory to be truly your own, you need to clearly and assertively mark its boundaries. When it comes to your home’s property, there is no better way to do this than with a fence. Whether you go with something made of wood or metal, that is intricate or simple, it will say to the outside world that this is your kingdom and not a space that is open to the rest of civilization. Sure, your neighbours are the kindest of folks. It’s not that your fence tells them to stay away from you. The fence just lets them, and everyone else, know that your privacy is to be respected and that you have intentions to live your life free of anyone’s prying. Not only will the fence make this declaration, but it will also be an expression of your personality. Looking for fencing services Melbourne services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

If you’re of the more traditional mindset, you might go with the classic white picket. If you’re an enthusiast of fine craftsmanship, you might choose a style that features elegant woodworking. And if you just want to just make sure that people stay out, you could go with something tall and spiked. Whatever your taste, there are a variety of designs that will meet your aesthetic and practical desires. There are many benefits of adding a fence. Here are four:


If you have a hot tub, like to sunbathe, or just want to be able to sit on your back deck in your bathrobe, you want to know that you are not in anyone’s line of sight. Your neighbours might be good pals, but there’s still no good reason for them to get an eye-full. Also, your backyard should feel like a sanctuary, a place where you can sit back and listen to the birds sing, and revel in the giant cedars and firs. A fence will help to provide a feeling of solitude.


A fence will help you regulate who is coming onto, and going off of, your property. It will help to deter lurkers, while it will help to keep in the kids and the pets. Rather than going through the hassle of getting to the park, you can turn your backyard into your own private, secure park with play equipment for the kiddos.

Aesthetic Appeal

Your fence will work as the frame for the masterpiece that is your home. And that frame can be as elaborate and intricate, or as simple and traditional, as you would like.

Increased Home Value

A professionally constructed fence is an upgrade to any property. As has been previously noted, there are a number of reasons why a fence is desirable. All of these reasons add up to increased home value. Your fence is an investment that you get to enjoy all the way up to the day it’s officially sold.

4 Benefits of Adding a Deck

Benefits of Adding a DeckAdding, a deck may seem like a lot of work, but it is actually relatively inexpensive, and the long term benefits greatly outweigh the initial cost. There are many options of materials for decks, from different types of softwood, composite materials that are resistant to scratches and stains. Then, of course, there are different styles and railings. Building a deck is very exciting, and the planning process can be fun. When you decide that it is time to build call a professional deck builder to help with planning and installation. Once it is complete, you can begin enjoying these benefits of adding a deck to your home.

Increase Property Value

One of the best benefits of adding a deck is not something you can even see. A deck will increase your home’s value more than adding a living room or an extra bathrooms according to some expert.

Adds Beauty

The addition of a finely built deck provides great aesthetic appeal for your home. Decks are easy to paint or stain in order to match the colours of your home and a deck built away from home can help highlight an area of a yard or garden that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Additional Space

No room in the garage for the barbeque and patio furniture? Well, that’s exactly what the deck is for! Decks are a great place for potted plants, bird feeders and other odds and ends that may not have a place elsewhere in your home.

Room to Host

Of course, the absolute best thing about a deck is it provides a great place to host parties and other events. Nothing is better than the sun beating down and the barbeque blazing while friends and family gather.

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