How To Choose A Stain Color For Your Deck

Deck staining enhances the look of the wood and can help reduce fading or other damage caused by the sun.

There are a variety of deck stain colors to choose from. You may prefer a natural look, a shade that compliments the color of your house, or a contrast that makes a bold design statement.

Removing dirt, mildew and loose wood fibers significantly improves the adhesion of stain to your wood.


Cleaning with the proper deck cleaning product also has a big impact on the final color and on the ease of removal of mold, mildew and algae stains.

You may think about pressure washing, but this method won’t clean as thoroughly and the pressure needed to remove dirt and stains will damage the wood. This damage has the potential to negatively impact adhesion of a stain. It’s better to go with a quality cleaner meant for the job, with a gentle scrub for stubborn stains.


Pros should try to understand customer expectations and preferences. Before beginning a project, ask how much grain they want to see and assess the condition of their wood before recommending a clear, toned, semi-transparent, or opaque finish.  Also, determine if the customer is looking for a lower-maintenance solution, as some finishes require periodic maintenance and refreshing.

If you’re doing the job yourself, ask all of the same questions.


Make a list of the products you’ll need before you shop, and make sure to include cleaner.


Solid deck stain sits on top of the wood. Therefore, peeling is a concern if your deck is not maintained properly. However, it offers the greatest UV protection of all stain types.

Like paint, you have a wide variety of colors to choose from, so you can easily match your house or opt for a bold color statement.