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Tips For Painting Or Staining Your Deck

perfect backyard deck

There are virtually endless reasons to bring great outdoors closer to your home, from adding value to your property to creating more space to entertain your loved ones. That's why decks are getting a lot of attention from homeowners in Sydney and many other parts of Australia.

These days, homeowners avoid formal living spaces such as tile, concrete or stone to create open floor plans and wooden decks. As a part of the process, homeowners should also be aware that outdoor deck maintenance is required. Unprotected wood absorbs moisture and quickly becomes unsightly.

Without proper protection, it can tear, distort, and twist. In addition, the sun's UV rays discolour the deck, whether it's unprotected, painted, or dirty. The sun also breaks down wood lignin, the natural glue that holds the fibres together. In other words, proper maintenance and painting or spraying the decks on time can save unavoidable expenses associated with enjoying a beautiful patio.

No matter what kind of deck you have, staining or painting protects it from the elements and prolongs its life. As both painting and staining are vital parts of deck enhancement and maintenance, we will try to help you with some tips you may find quite helpful.

Let's start with the differences.

Stain vs. Paint- The Fundamental Differences

Whether you use paint or stain your deck, your decision should depend on the look you need, the type of protection you need, and the time and energy you can spend applying the paint or stain. Of course, painting and staining are ideal choices from different perspectives, so here's a breakdown of the two fundamental differences between painting and staining a deck.

Natural Appearance:

The most distinguishing feature between paint and stain is how the colour works by covering the base and masking the original colour and surface appearance. For example, if you use white paint on a wooden deck, the finished deck will lose its original colour and become white. Paints come in a variety of shades, from neutrals such as chocolate brown and forest green to striking royal blues and purples with a more contemporary feel. This property also means that the wood grain will not be visible when painting. All you can see is the brilliance of the selected colour. However, you can permanently remove and clean the paint layer to restore the beautiful deck to its original colour and appearance.

On the other hand, wood stain is intended to emphasize the natural quality of the wood and is usually limited to clear varieties or shades of brown. Stain brings out the warmth and beauty of the wood's natural grain. It's a great option if you are looking for a more rustic or natural look.

Lasting Coverage:

In addition to the visual benefits, regular patio staining can significantly extend the life of the patio by preventing rot and invasion. Wood stain also helps seal the deck from moisture and pest infestation and common damage such as sagging, cracking, mould, and rot in the deck area. Staining can take less time than deck painting, but painting often fills cracks better, covers imperfections, and provides long-lasting protection. Paints are also usually more resistant to spoilage, and better prevent mould and sunlight damage.

Since deck staining has a thinner layer, it requires frequent application. Deck paint lasts longer and better covers defects than deck staining because of its thicker layer and complete surface coverage in each application. Paint also protects the deck from sun UV rays and moisture-related damage. So you should consider deck painting, especially if you live in a sun-soaked region.

As both deck painting and staining are all-rounded and versatile deck maintenance solutions for the long run with very similar application techniques, let's get into some of the tips you might find handy.

Firstly, Remove Debris and Apply a Cleanser beforehand

• Before applying your stain or paint, it's essential to ensure your deck is adequately prepared. To remove any tough remaining dirt, make sure you thoroughly use a cleanser and let them soak for the recommended time and then thoroughly scrub it with a stiff bristle brush.

• Once you are done with scrubbing off the extra specks of dirt and stains on the deck, you can rinse the cleanser from the wood using a pressure washer or garden hose. Since a high-powered pressure washer can damage the wood, be careful with using the washer or still power-washing if it's not required.

• When preparing an old deck, removing any remaining paint or dirt in advance is essential. However, this process can be very time-consuming. For more information on the options you have, consult a Dulux certified professional painter and choose the right paint or stain. Some paints allow you to get over old stains/paints without spending a lot of time stripping the wood.

Keep Weather in Check

• Make sure of the weather forecast before applying exterior paints or stains. If the patio is not in the shade, apply the coating on a cloudy day rather than using the coat of paint or stain under direct sunlight. Direct sunlight interferes with adhesion and affects colour uniformity.

• Ensure that the weather and surface temperatures are between 10 ° C and 32 °C for 24 hours. High humidity can affect gloss and drying time as well. So check if the drying time specified by the manufacturer applies to the standard conditions of 21 ° C and 40% relative humidity.

• If rain, dew or frost is expected within three days, do not start the application process as the deck wood must be very dry. Make sure the amount of moisture content that can be confirmed with a hygrometer does not exceed 15%.

Use the Right Tools in the Right Way

• If you use an oil-based paint coating for deck painting, choose a natural fibre brush or synthetic nylon fibres for acrylic coating.

• The rollers accelerate the painting process and ensure a uniform layer of paint. In addition, the roller handle is connected to the extension pole, making it easy to paint while standing. You can use paint rollers for faster application, but you still need to brush over the edges to ensure the layer penetrates properly.

• Before opening the paint or stain, apply the painter's tape to the adjacent area of ​​the house or garage. This is a minimal step after all the rest of the preparatory work. Also important is the tool selected to apply the new finish.

• Stain pads are designed to quickly stain unpainted wooden decks. Stain pads are made of absorbent materials such as cotton. There is also an option to install foam and extension poles. To reduce streaks, stain or paint in the direction of the wood grain, one at a time, in the length direction of each plank.

• Allow the coating to cure for at least 48 hours before walking and wait 30 days before cleaning until it is completely healed. If possible, coat the surface of all wood, including the grain. The wood grain absorbs moisture and separates the wood fibres. This can cause coating problems.

Choose a Durable Stain or Paint

• If you want a freshly stained deck or pouch to last longer, you must choose the right stain or paint. Solid stains always last longer than translucent or transparent stains for colours. Solid colour provides the most durable and long-lasting finish. But while semi-transparent stains are a bit of a compromise, it still shows some wood details but covers much better than fully transparent stains material.

• Similar to stains, deck paints have matte, satin, semi-gloss and gloss finishes, where gloss paint finish always has the best outcome, ease of maintenance and longevity.

• Last but not least, you make sure you apply deck colours with wear and tear in mind. Because different parts of the deck are used in different ways, you need to consider both shades and finish when choosing a deck colour. For example, stairs have more traffic than railings, so you may need a more durable seal, or you may need to reseal more often. Also, keep in mind that all decks require regular cleaning, and all finishes require regular maintenance and reapplying.


The deck is a significant investment for any residence, so it is important to manage your deck well to prevent flooding, sun damage and debris. But, will proper planning and execution, you can have a stunning deck floor interior or patio this fall.

As one of the most reputed painting service companies in Sydney, we, Premier Painting Company, encourage you to try our residential painting in Sydney backed by highly experienced professional painters for longer, lasting deck maintenance or even anything else inside your home- for your home. We provide a guaranteed professional look and get the job done quickly and 100% right from the start. So consider working with us for your deck paint project.

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