Wood Stain: How Do I Choose the Right Wood Stain

Wood Stain: How Do I Choose the Right Wood Stain

Find the right wood stain for your project

Wood Stain: How Do I Choose the Right Wood Stain

Wood Stain: How To Choose

Q: How Do You Choose A Wood Stain?

A: Choosing a wood stain seems confusing, but it doesn't have to be. Ever wondered about the difference between semi-solid and semi-transparent wood stain? Don’t worry, we all have. When you’re choosing a wood stain, color and transparency are the two most important considerations. You have almost unlimited options. Check out the wood stain advice below for some help with your next wood staining project.

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Transparency, or opacity, determines how much wood grain you want to see after your deck is stained.

For newer wood, go with clear, transparent or semi-transparent stains — that way some grain still shows through.

Semi-solid stains are a better choice for decks that have seen their share of cookouts. You’ll still see some grain, but you’ll hide more of the wear and tear your deck has endured.

Solid wood stains are for deck surfaces that have a lot of imperfections, or you just want to add a splash of color.

Also note that you’ll get more protection out of stains on the semi-solid to solid side of the transparency spectrum — which are better for older, more vulnerable wood.

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Wood Stain Tip 1
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Wood Stain Tip 1

Choosing The Right Wood Stain Opacity

Wood Stain Tip 1

Transparency, or opacity, determines how much wood grain you want to see after your deck is stained.

For newer wood, go with clear, transparent or semi-transparent stains — that way some grain still shows through.

Semi-solid stains are a better choice for decks that have seen their share of cookouts. You’ll still see some grain, but you’ll hide more of the wear and tear your deck has endured.

Solid wood stains are for deck surfaces that have a lot of imperfections, or you just want to add a splash of color.

Also note that you’ll get more protection out of stains on the semi-solid to solid side of the transparency spectrum — which are better for older, more vulnerable wood.

View All Exterior Wood Stains

And that brings us to color. With Olympic stains, we have over fifty shades of brown. But you don't have to stop there. Olympic solid stains are almost as varied as paint, so you have plenty of other color options to choose from. Semi-transparent stains also offer some variation — including trending colors such as grays and tans, as well as unexpected shades like blue and green.

Consider contrasting dark stains with lively, green shrubbery or a flower bed for added drama. Light stains can make a space look bigger, brighter and more open, especially in natural light. Lastly, don’t be afraid to explore blackened hues to add drama and elegance to even neutral exteriors.

Explore All Exterior Stain Colors

Wood Stain Tip 2
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Choosing The Right Wood Stain Color

Wood Stain Tip 2

And that brings us to color. With Olympic stains, we have over fifty shades of brown. But you don't have to stop there. Olympic solid stains are almost as varied as paint, so you have plenty of other color options to choose from. Semi-transparent stains also offer some variation — including trending colors such as grays and tans, as well as unexpected shades like blue and green.

Consider contrasting dark stains with lively, green shrubbery or a flower bed for added drama. Light stains can make a space look bigger, brighter and more open, especially in natural light. Lastly, don’t be afraid to explore blackened hues to add drama and elegance to even neutral exteriors.

Explore All Exterior Stain Colors