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Question DetailsAsked on 3/28/2013

Is it better to restain an older treated wood deck or paint it? What products are recommended? What kind of prep work is need?

Deck has been previously stained but has worn off. Deck is not covered. I want something durable.

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2 Answers


I've interviewed dozens of deck maintenance contractor here in my time as a reporter and editor for Angie's List magazine and, and I'm confident that most deck guys would recommend going with a deck stain rather than a paint.

Stains can typically penetrate the wood grain and seal it, whereas a paint typically "lays" on the surface upon which its applied (deck maintenance guys, please correct me if I'm not describign this correctly). Your wood deck's boards will warp and shrink a certain amount with variations in moisture or temperature. Probably the biggest advantage to stain is that it won't chip, peel or crack in the same way paint might due to that board swelling and shrinkage.

You can also find lots of great info on deck maintenance options in our Angie's List Guide to Decks ( and Angie's advice on deck staining (


Answered 7 years ago by JP


I agree with previous advise. There are 3 levels of stain to choose from. They vary from opaque to semi to fully transperant. I love the latter, The Defy brand has my vote for best transperant stain from my experience. See more advise on resealing decks on Tim Carter's Ask the Builder web site. For others see Consumers Report at your local library (CR charges for on line resources).

Jim Casper

ps opaque lasts the longest but hides the wood grain


Answered 7 years ago by jccasper

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