How To Choose The Best Exterior Wood Stain For Your Deck

A backyard deck is the best place to organize such family events if you’re looking to enjoy an outside family dinner. It also gives you a perfect space to relax your body and mind after a long day. However, natural factors like sunlight, rain, snow and even pets can take a toll on the deck’s wood. After some time, it’ll appear dull in color, which could affect your home’s overall curb appeal. (1) 

A fresh coat of wood stain can revive the beauty of this area and bring out the colorful nature of your backyard. Proper deck stain application can make your deck appear as good as new. It’s recommended that you do this every two or so years to ensure that you maintain the value of your home.   

But for you to get the best results, there are several factors that you’ll need to keep in mind. For one, you must choose the tung oil that best fits your needs. Premium products like Exoshield wood stain will give your deck the desired appearance and ensure that it withstands tough conditions like sunlight, snow, and heavy rains. (2) 

If you’re struggling to find the best exterior wood stain to revive your deck, here are some tips to consider:  

  1. Consider opacity 

Opacity refers to the degree of transparency of a given wood stain. People have different preferences when it comes to this aspect. Some love the natural beauty of the wood, while others like the artificial color of the tung oil applied. Whether you fall under one of these groups or in between, you’ll always find something that fits your needs. 

So, what options do you have when it comes to opacity? Check the list below to find your best choice: 

  • Clear: This stain is entirely transparent, and one can see the natural color of the wood. 
  • Translucent: Although it’s not completely transparent, the stain doesn’t obscure the appearance of the wood’s grain and texture. It also adds the slightest tone to the beauty of your deck. 
  • Semi-transparent: Most of the wood’s grain and texture are still visible, but it adds a more prominent tone than the translucent stain. 
  • Semi-solid: If your deck’s wood has a lot of imperfections, but you still want some of its texture to show, then a semi-solid stain will suffice.  
  • Solid: With this stain, your deck will be covered with the greatest color depth possible. Most of the wood’s imperfections will be invisible, while the texture will still peek through slightly. 

As you can see, there is an option for every preference. So, consider this factor when shopping for a new exterior wood stain.    

  1. Choose the right color 

Another essential aspect to remember before you stain your deck is the wood stain color. These products come in different colors, but not each is right for your deck. It’s worth noting that there are different types of wood, and you need the right wood stain color to complement the grain and texture appearance. (3) 

So, how will you know which wood stain color to choose for your project? The best way is to test the stain on a spare piece of wood or a hidden part of your deck. You can never go wrong with this option because it’s practical and gives accurate results. But make sure you wait until the stain completely dries before concluding on your choices.  

Even with the test described above, you’ll still need to consider a few other factors before deciding which wood stain to purchase. First, check the wood’s natural coloring because these undertones can greatly impact the appearance of the deck once the project is complete. The deck’s age and overall design of your home are other things to also keep in mind.   

  1. Choose the best in terms of protection 

Since color and opacity are the main aspects of the overall appearance, you’ll still need to consider the protection of your deck against sunlight and rain. Some wood stains are designed majorly to enhance the beauty of your deck rather than protect the wood against these natural occurrences. This option will only force you to purchase another product for the same purpose more frequently than you’d like. (2)  

Almost every manufacturer claims that their wood stain provides these benefits. But to be sure of your choices, you must read product features and go through online reviews. The feedback from previous customers should give you an idea of how well a given product works.   

Be sure to read reviews from clients who’ve used the stain for at least two years. This way, you’ll get accurate feedback from first-hand experiences. If you’ve used a certain brand before and it worked fine for you, then you should consider choosing the right color of stain from the same brand to avoid frustrations. 

  1. Be mindful of the price 

Of course, everyone would like to have a stunningly beautiful deck. But that doesn’t mean purchasing every expensive product you can find in the market. There are actually many affordable wood stain products that can give you the best possible results. All you need to do is visit various stores to check what they can offer and compare prices.   

It’s also important to note that cheap can sometimes be expensive. So, don’t choose a tin of wood stain just because it’s the most affordable on the shelf. Make sure you do your due diligence before finalizing your purchase. 


Finding the right wood stain for your deck can bring the best out of your backyard. To get the best results, you’ll need to consider the opacity of your chosen product. A clear stain works best for those deck materials with beautiful grains and texture. If your deck is aging, you might want to use a solid stain to cover the imperfections. The color you decide to use is also important for the overall curb appeal of your house. While at it, don’t forget to read through the product features to see whether they meet your needs in appearance and protection from rain and sun damage.   


  1. “The Benefits Of Staining Or Painting A Wood Surface.”, Source: 
  1. “The Best Wood Stains To Use In Your Next DIY Project.”, Source: 
  1. “Match new stain to old wood”, Source:,into%20suspension.%20Let%20your%20test%20samples%20dry%20fully. 
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