How to get your best looking deck

Monday Nov 06th, 2017


With summer on its way, now’s the time to start thinking about maintaining the look of your deck. Before you start the process of cleaning and staining, it’s important to know the differences between oil and water-based stains, and which is most suited to your needs.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a stain, says the research and development team at Thompson’s WaterSeal, who are experts at deck care.

The first thing to do is determine the type of wood you are working with and what kind of stain base it needs. Some woods, like cedar, have a natural resistance to rotting, so a water-based stain may work better. Weather exposure is another factor to consider — if the wood is going to be in direct exposure to wind, rain and sunlight, an oil-based stain is the best choice.

Oil-based finishes penetrate deeper into the wood, nourishing it and reducing imperfections and scratches. They are also better at preventing water damage and are long lasting. Oil-based finishes are formulated for all exterior wood types, including hardwoods.

There are also benefits to a using water-based stain, which hide blemishes that might already be on your deck, like scratches and nicks from chairs. These stains also have a less potent odour than the oil-based finishes. Clean up is easy, simply with soap and water.

The stain types also have some commonalities. Both protect exterior wood from the elements by preventing water damage, resisting mildew and providing UV protection, while extending the life of your exterior wood. Both can enhance your deck’s appearance by adding some fresh colour. Thompson’s WaterSeal offers both oil-based and water-based stains.

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