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April 17, 2015

Home Improvement: To paint or stain your deck?

The weather, finally, seems to have broken through in to consistently warm temperatures. That means outdoor parties on your backyard patio. 

However if you're just finishing up  your new deck in time for the season, or your old deck is looking rather weathered, you might be facing a hard choice: Do I paint or stain? Well thanks to the networx contracting blog, and some video assistance, here's the best way to carry out either option.


Staining is the safe bet. According to to networx, staining has several benefits. It provides good moisture protection, shows off the wood's natural look and requires infrequent reapplications. 

If you're treating an old and weathered deck, remember to properly clean it and make sure it's dry. For applying the stain once the wood is ready, this Aussie has a thorough step-by-step process of what you'll need and how to clean and prepare it before staining again:


This is the riskier option. The paint needs to be applied really thoroughly to make sure moisture doesn't get in. Also, the amount of people walking on your deck can cause the paint to crack and bubble quite easily. Networx warns that if you really prefer the look of paint and decide to go through with this option, you need to take every precaution. 

Make sure there's clear weather the day you do paint, clean off every bit of old paint before starting, and putty every hole that's open in the wood. Then, make sure to use a high quality oil paint.

There aren't a lot of videos that take you through painting as opposed to staining, probably due to the higher risks involved. However this tutorial (ignore the plugs by the paint company), takes you through how to do it.

Note that even in the video they suggest hiring a professional painter, while many of the comments feature horror stories of peeling. Staining is the recommended option, but if you insist on painting, do so with care and diligence.