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Semi-Transparent Stain vs Solid Color Stain

Whether you are looking to stain a large deck or a small project, there is a suitable exterior wood stain for your needs. Choosing the right type of stain can seem overwhelming, there are a number of different brands of wood stain and different staining methods for different projects. The most common types of exterior wood stain are semi-transparent wood stain (known as penetrating stain) and the solid color stain (which is non-penetrating). The requirements of your projects should influence which of these stains you use on your exterior woods.

Semi-Transparent Stain

Semi-Transparent stains are often suitable for decks, chairs and tables that will be outside permanently; as they also contain an anti-fungal element which prevents mold and algae. These stains will penetrate the wood and form a bond with the wood fibers, protecting the wood against the weathering elements. Semitransparent products let some of the wood grain show through, making them a good choice for cedar, redwood, and other costly woods that you want to show off. Wooden furniture, doors, window frames, and external wood features are suitable for semi-transparent stains.

Solid Color Stain

Solid color stains are non-penetrating, meaning they lay upon the surface of the wood, rather than bonding with it. Solid color stains hide wood grain, the same way paint would. Solid stain will also build up a film, especially after several coats, which can peel, chip, and crack. In addition, solid color stains do not usually contain an anti-fungal agent, and may not protect your wood against water as effectively as the penetrative stains. You should not use solid color stains on your decking area, because they will not protect it against weathering and wood rot.

Choosing between Semi-Transparent Stain & Solid Color Stain is a matter of preference, but if you are unsure which option is best for you, determine what strengths you would like your deck to have, and choose accordingly.

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