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Angie's List: Staining Your Deck

When it comes to painting or staining your deck, experts agree: stick with the stain.

Sioux City, IA (ABC 9 News) - When it comes to decks, a little neglect, goes a long way.


If the stain on your deck is fading or worn, you may be debating whether to stain it again or just paint over it. Angie's List asked the experts and most say, stick with the stain.


John Nearon, a deck specialist, says, "As the wood shrinks and expands with changes in moisture and temperature, the paint doesn't always have the ability to move at the exact same rate, and the only thing it can do at that point is release and let go of the wood and that manifests itself in cracking and peeling and chipping of the coating."

You see, unlike paint, a stain won't chip, peel or crack. A quality stain and sealer will penetrate the wood grain, allowing moisture to escape the wood. While staining may seem like a simple weekend DIY project, it is a time–consuming job and usually best, left to the experts.

Angie Hicks, of Angie’s List, says, "Typically a company will quote staining a deck by the square foot or by the hour, so be sure it's clear in the estimate, the size of the deck. Additionally, find out what types of materials they are going to use and remember, if they are going to have to do a lot of prep work, like stripping old paint or stain, that's going to cost extra."

Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a company, Angie's List says make sure there's a plan for covering and protecting plants and other areas from cleaners or stains. Wood decks do need to be re–stained every 3–5 years, because even the best stains will fade eventually – especially true for those high–traffic areas.
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