How to Select Finishes for Your Deck or Porch

07 February 2020

Selecting the right finish can make the wood look better than it was before. Same applies to your deck or porch. Not only will it protect your deck or porch from unnecessary stains and dirt, it will also appear as if it is a natural extension of your outdoor living space. Below are the steps on how to select finishes for your deck or porch. Below are tips on how to select finishes for your deck or porch.

Careful Colour Selection

When you’re out shopping for deck finishes, or while you’re still in the early planning stages, think first about the colour you want—for example, brown, red, or green. Then consider what shade of that colour your deck should be—dark brown, tan, pale red, or dark green. Then give some thought to what sheen, either flat or glossy – will look best. Decks generally look best with a flat sheen, but a contemporary design scheme might call for something different from the norm.

Durability Assessment

The next step is to look for information that tells you how durable the finish is and how easy it will be to apply. Generally, sealers are the easiest to apply, followed by stains, with paint taking the most time and effort. Consider the species of the wood too. A clear finish is a good choice for redwood and cedar. It allows their natural colours to show through. Pressure-treated lumber usually requires staining or painting. All finishes will alter the appearance of all woods. Different brands and changes in the wood grain, even within the same board, produce different results.

Colour Testing

Before applying any finish—staining or painting especially—you’ll want to know how the final colour will look. The only way to really be sure is to see the colour when the finish is dry. Test the final colour by applying a small amount in an out-of-the-way spot on your deck. Let the finish dry to make sure it produces the colour you want. Paint usually dries darker than when wet. Stains usually dry lighter.

Pigmented Sealers

Clear or lightly pigmented sealers protect the wood from water damage and don’t change its colour much. Look for additives that will ward off mildew, insects, and fungi. Ultraviolet (UV) blockers are a must—they reduce damage caused by the sun’s rays. Pigmented sealers do all of the above, but the pigment is designed to change the colour of the wood slightly.

Semitransparent Stains

Stains are primarily formulated to transform the appearance of the wood—some slightly, some dramatically. Certain formulas are designed to offer some protection to the wood, but this is a job best done with a sealer in conjunction with a stain. What kind of stain you use will depend on how much of the original wood tones you want to retain. Semi-transparent stains allow more wood grain to show through but wear away more quickly; they are particularly suitable for highlighting wood grains.

Choosing the best material for your decking or porch depends on your preference. If you want more help about your decking projects, give us a call at Prestige Construction and Design Sydney. We specialise in deck building that will match your needs.