Decking stains are products that colour and protect wooden decking, usually by forming a pigmented or coloured film over the surface of the wood. This protects the timber from foot traffic and weathering.
Although decking stain products normally coat the wood with a protective seal, some brands call their coloured or pigmented decking oils, ‘decking stains’. This can cause confusion as decking oils and stains work differently and require a different approach in terms of maintenance and care. Always check when buying a decking stain to ensure that its the type that you require.
Which are the best decking stains?
Decking stain technology has moved on considerably over the years with modern formulas being tougher and more durable than those of the past. Our recommendation is to stick with the big name brands and avoid cheaper own brand products. These tend to be cheap for a reason and rarely perform as well brands such as Ronseal, Cuprinol and Barrettine.
Decking stains worth consideration include:-
What are the benefits of a decking stain?
- Decking stains can offer a stronger darker colour as the coats build on the surface of the decking boards
- Decking that is cleaned and maintained on a regular basis with a suitable decking cleaner is less prone to moss, mould and algae. This is because the biological spores cannot bond with the wood fibers of the decking boards.
- Most decking stains offer UV resistance to the woods natural colour. As a tip, the darker the deck stain the better the UV resistance offered to the timbers it protects.
In terms of life and duration, this can be dependent on many factors such as the decking location and usage. Care should be taken to protect decking stains from anything that is sharp and heavy. If the seal of the coating is compromised, water may start to work its way under the stain. This will eventually result in the stain starting to lift, crack or peel from the surface of the wood.
Some types of hardwood decking may require a period of weathering, usually a couple of months before applying a decking stain. Decking made from exotic hard woods such as Teak and Iroko, can contain a lot of natural oils. These can be problematic as they may affect the adhesion of the stain to the wood. In many cases, new hardwood decking is better treated with a suitable decking oil.