Wood Stain 101: Choosing the Right Stain For Your Home Project
Renovating your home can be an exciting yet expensive thing to do. For some people, doing the actual renovation themselves has been proven to be a cost-effective alternative. Staining your fencing and deck can bring your property to life. It can add value and can contribute to its aesthetically pleasing nature. Beautiful outdoor spaces can be achieved even through a stress-free staining process.
If you are looking for ways to beautify your wooden fences and decks, you have come to the right place. We will be talking about everything under the category of wood stains. Wood is one of the best elements found inside and outside a home. Because of this, it is important to acquire the proper stain and maintain it regularly.
Why should you stain your fences and decks?
Wood is desirable in part because it looks nice. Whether it is softwood or hardwood, some antiques are deemed beautiful because the wood has acquired a patina over time. This feature serves as a great reason to refinish wooden items. In addition, fences and decks can easily be painted over; however, staining is often believed to be much more aesthetically pleasing.
By selecting the best wood stain for your project, you can turn a valuable piece of your home into something much more attractive. It provides emphasis that will give the wood some character. Furthermore, with the right wood stain, you can make ordinary wood appear much more expensive and elegant.
What are the things to consider when choosing the right wood stain?
Four factors may affect your decision in finding a suitable type of wood stain.
- Your color preference
There are a significant number of wood stain colors that may or may not appeal to you. In considering the color of the stain, you need to ask yourself if there is a need to match existing exterior house colors to their respective fences and decks. If there is not a need for a specific color match, do you want to have it serve as a compliment instead?
There are also dark and light finishes; which of these are you more attracted to? Do you prefer a colored stain or a more natural one? You can answer all of these questions by going through some ideas and images online. Do ample research and order samples before deciding on the stain for you.
- Coverage of the stain
When it comes to stain coverage, it is important to decide between a light or a heavy one. Are you looking for something that allows the grain of the wood to be the center of attention? If not, maybe you would opt for something that subtly shines through?
By answering these questions, you'll be much more confident in finding the perfect wood stain and sealant, whether it is solid or semi-transparent.
- Types of light sources
In finding the right stain, you have to assess whether the wood is located indoors or outdoors. Furthermore, you have to see what type of light source can hit it. This can play a huge role in your decision too! In staining your fences or decks, you need to examine the wood first. If necessary, you need to sand and clean it so you can assess how a particular stain can affect its appearance.
- Type of wood
Of course, last but not least, the type of wood you have can also affect the kind of stain you'll need. Wood texture can change how the outcome of a particular stain will look. Is the wood porous, rough, or smooth? Remember, the stain can highlight the grain, depending on your preferred coverage, which is why it is essential that you look at the wood qualities first before saying "Yes" to a particular stain.
What are the different types of wood stain?
Now that we have run through the things to consider before choosing the best wood stain for your home, let’s look at the different types of wood stain.
Ready Seal wood stain products contain the sealant, right in the mix. Our formula allows the application of color and sealant in one step. This capability eliminates the extra costs and time-wasting that typically occurs during traditional stain application. Ready Seal wood stains penetrate deep into wood, moisturizing with waterproofing oils and creating a flexible barrier that keeps moisture out without cracking, chipping, or peeling.
In essence, a varnish stain is a non-pigmented paint. The ingredients used in varnish stains are similar to that of oil paints. If you opt for a varnish stain, you can expect either an immediate hardening or a gradual hardening as it cures. This can present a very durable option; however, it takes the longest to dry so dust and dirt may be attracted to the surface and disturb the finish.
Non-grain-raising (NGR) stains
With NGR stains, you have a type of stain that uses an aniline dye and volatile spirit mixture. NGR stains to be a bit expensive.
Also, NGR stains are at their best when used on hardwoods. Fences and decks are likely to be built from a sturdy kind of wood. This is also an important factor in deciding whether or not NGR stains are a good option for you. Close-grained woods, as well as wood that does not absorb oil stains properly, may have a better outcome when using this type of stain.
As the name suggests, this type of stain is perfect for water-based finishes. It replaces organic thinner with water. This can serve as the perfect stain if you are looking for environmentally-friendly options. This stain contributes less to pollution and is actually less irritating because it can easily be cleaned up.
Pigmented oil stains
Another non-penetrating oil stain is the pigmented oil stain. Here, pigments are mixed with mineral spirits, turpentine, and linseed oil. These may be the best wood stain for you if you are on a tight budget. The downside to pigmented oil stains is that they don't work well with many hardwoods, and have specific applications.
In the end, finding the perfect wood stain for you and your home is only made possible if you consider all of the factors affecting it. Hopefully, with this guide, you can confidently choose the right wood stain to go well with your house's fences and decks. By the end of this job, you will realize how easy it is to stain. Not only can this process save you a lot of time and money, but you'll also learn a lot about the effects of stains on wood.
Deborah Eldridge says
How often does this need to be reapplied?
It depends on several factors. The darker tones will last longer than the lighter tones. Rough cut lumber will last longer than a smooth-milled board. A project in a dry temperate climate will generally last longer than one in a region that gets a lot of snow and ice. So we can not give you a definitive number, but generally speaking, when you notice any fading or graying of the wood, it may be time to start thinking about cleaning the wood, let it dry completely, and reapplying a coat of Ready Seal. As a ballpark estimate, you can expect 2-5 years on a vertical surface like a fence, and 1-3 years on horizontal surface like a deck. In some cases, you may get even more than these estimates.
Kathy Sullivan says
Our deck was previously stained with a water-based stain that apparently included a wax component. Can your stain be applied directly over that or do I need to strip and sand all current stain?
I used several different stains in the past for 16 years and they never lasted, re stained every year because wears off after 6 mth. I finally used a very good striper from zinser, called jomax stain and deck stripper, not the cleaner or brighter, but the stripper got every bit of old sealers off and then I used ready seal after, with full sun hard Ohio winters and pool we are going to re coat after 4 summers, just because it’s faded a little. Even by the pool ladder it is barely noticeable fade with the water. It is also not slippery like other stains. This stuff is worth every penny. We used peacan which keeps it natural /medium but darkens the grain vs the natural is all one color.
Jamie Murphy says
I have a very nice mahogany floors on my screened in porch. I just got done pressure washing and sanding it all down last week. What product do you recommend for the finish? I want to accentuate the beautiful wood grain in the mahogany. My paint dealer recommended the ready seal exterior wood stain in mahogany. Is that what you’d recommend or should I go with a more clear finish? I did one board with the mahogany and it looks very nice!! I just want to be sure that it’s the right finish and I’m not ruining the natural finish of the mahogany. Thank you.
I just applied a new light oak coat of stain to a new deck which aged for a year. Easy enough job with ready seal paint The question I have is the ready seal looks shiney on some boards and light in areas. Considering recoating the whole deck but does this accent the existing shades or help
Dana Lafita-Smith says
Can I use this product on entry doors?
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