Angie’s List: Giving Your Deck a Facelift
If your deck needs a facelift, you have options. But, should you paint your deck or stain it? Angie’s List went to the experts to find out.
“As the wood shrinks and expands with changes in moisture and temperature, the paint doesn’t always have the ability to move at the exact same rate and the only thing it can do at that point is release and let go of the wood and that manifests itself in cracking and peeling and chipping of the coating,” says Deck Company Director of Operations John Nearon.
Unlike paint, a stain won’t chip, peel or crack. Instead, it will penetrate the wood grain, allowing moisture to escape the wood.
“We prefer oil-based products,” says Nearon. “There are water-based products that have come onto the market that are working to different levels of success, but what we are looking for is a good quality product in terms of its coloration and the way it has the ability to penetrate and soak into the wood fibers.”
Deck staining can also be time consuming, since it requires some prep work, like power washing. If you don’t have the time to do it right, Angie says don’t hesitate to contact a pro.
“Typically a company will quote staining a deck by the square foot or by the hour, so be sure it’s clear in the estimate, the size of the deck,” says Angie Hicks of Angie’s List. “Additionally, find out what types of materials they are going to use and remember if they are going to have to do a lot of prep work, like stripping old paint or stain, that’s going to cost extra.”
Wood decks do need to be re-stained every few years because even the best stains will fade, especially in high-traffic areas.