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Seal Vs. Stain: What Protects A Deck Best?

There are two popular options when protecting your deck: sealants and stains. So, what’s the difference? And which option is better for your deck? AJ Painting Contractors Inc will discuss the pros and cons of sealants and stains to make the right choice for your needs.

Protect Your Deck

It’s time to start thinking about protecting your deck from the elements! But what method should you use – sealant or stain? To help you make the best decision for your needs, we’ve put together a quick guide to the pros and cons of each option.


Sealants are typically clear or tinted liquids applied to the deck’s surface. They penetrate the wood, creating a barrier that repels water and protects against UV damage. Sealants will usually last for one to three years before they need to be reapplied. They are not as effective at hiding imperfections in the wood and may require more frequent reapplication in areas with high UV exposure. Sealants are available in clear and pigmented versions. Clear sealants show the wood’s natural grain, while pigmented sealants add color.


On the other hand, stains are pigmented products that sit on top of the wood. They provide UV protection and help hide imperfections in the wood grain. Stains will typically last for two to four years before they need to be reapplied. They come in a variety of colors to suit your style. They will not protect against water damage as effectively as a sealant. Stains also come in clear and pigmented versions and range from semi-transparent to solid.

Sealant vs. Stain

So, what’s the verdict? Sealants and stains protect your deck from water damage, but they do it differently. Sealants create a barrier between the wood and the elements, while stains penetrate the wood to create a protective layer. If you want your deck’s finish to last longer without needing much maintenance, go with a sealant. If you are willing to give a little more time on upkeep and want more color options, the stain is the way.

Choosing the Right Protection for Your Deck

So, which one should you choose? The answer depends on your personal needs and requirements. If you want a product that is easy to apply and maintain, then the sealant is the way to go. If you are looking for more protection against UV damage and hiding imperfections in the wood, the stain is the better option.

Whichever route you choose, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that your deck is adequately protected.

Ending Note

Hopefully, this information has helped you make a more informed decision. Contact AJ Painting Contractors Inc., serving Fox Point, WI, if you’re still unsure what to do. We offer our services to protect your deck and keep it looking beautiful for years to come. Get a free quote to begin today.