Choosing a Wood Deck Finish: Sealer, Stain, or Paint

Stains & Sealers

All wood decks will require staining or painting to preserve the wood from weather damage. Stains absorb into the wood to prevent it from drying out and cracking. Oil based stains are recommended as Water based stains are not as durable and generally don’t have the same penetration.  Many stains also have a sealer which adds an added level of protection; however, clear sealers alone do not protect the deck from UV damage. There are a variety of colors of solid and semi-transparent stain available, typically the darker the color the better the UV protection.

You will find a lot of mixed advice about when and how often to stain your deck. CFC Fences and Decks recommends that you stain your deck as soon as it is reasonably possible, with refinishing every 1-3 years after that depending on product durability and exposure to the elements.  This maintenance will protect the wood help maintain the aesthetic value of your deck.

Deck Staining

Deck Paint

Wood decks can be painted instead of stained. However most people use semi-transparent or transparent stain because they prefer the natural look of wood. If you choose to paint your deck make sure you select a paint specifically manufactured for exterior wood decks. Most paints won’t hold up well to foot traffic and the weather damage wood decks need to endure. When selecting a color consider how difficult it will be to keep clean.   Keep in mind that white painted decks and railing usually look dirty as they collect dust.  CFC recommends Trex white trim and white Trex railing in these situations.

Iron Railing with a Composite Flare

Iron railing has been a popular style of railing for quite some time on all different kinds of decks and porches.  From Composites to Hardwoods to the common Redwood deck; deck builders, contractors and DIY’s alike have been using them.  This is no exception with CFC Fences and Decks working in Utah, Salt Lake, and Davis, Weber, Tooele, and Summit counties in Utah.

Custom Iron railings can be expensive and sometimes installed weeks after the deck is completed because the amount of time it takes to manufacture.  We still use custom iron, but what has been very popular this past year has been an iron product called Fortress Iron.  The reason for the popularity is that it is purchased as a panel that can then be used with different post applications.  We have been using the Trex, Timbertech, and Evergrain composite post sleeves with the Fortress panel, which ties things together very nicely.  We also offer another composite flare.  Fortress Iron is also made so that with a simple bracket you can add a top rail, whether using a wood or composite. The 2×4 dresses it up and also makes it nice to set a drink on while enjoying the view.

The picture is from a job completed this last year in Orem, Ut.  The materials used were the Trex Transcend posts and 2×4 top caps, with the Fortress Iron in Bronze.

Iron Railing with Composite Posts

Trex Transcend Rope Swing

Rope Swing was one of the new Trex Transcend colors to come out in 2012. This color I would have to admit was not one of my favorites, but our first install of this color changed my mind. It was a soft color that complimented the brick on this home in Orem, Utah. The homeowner chose to accent the Rope Swing color with the rich dark brown color Vintage Lantern. We not only wrapped the outside in the dark but also did a two piece border around the top. James was tired of seeing his broken up concrete patio and wanted to not only cover it but enlarge the space for family get-togethers. As soon as the project was completed James took no time in setting things in order, as you can tell by the picture he had if filled with his tables and chairs ready for the family. Framed at 12” o.c. and with the border CFC Fences and Decks were able to run the decking at a diagonal and eliminate any seams throughout the entire deck, giving it a clean and finished look.

Rope Swing Deck