Did you know that deck sealing and staining are two different things?

It’s important to know the difference between the two in order to make the right choices for your deck.

Not sure what the difference is? Read on for a complete guide to deck sealing vs. staining. 

Deck Sealing vs. Staining

Sealing and staining both have their benefits. One offers more protection while the other offers aesthetic benefits.

To ensure proper care for your deck, you should have a good understanding of how each one works.


Sealing is the process of applying a strong finish that prevents water from penetrating the wood. This protects the deck from wear and tear.

Most sealants have a water-based formula that will soak through the wood and protect it from different natural elements. The sealer does not have any appearance to it though.

There is no color to it and there is no way for you to tell that the sealant is on. This benefits by letting you keep the natural color of the wood. The sealant will be secretly protecting your deck for many years to come. 

If you need something to protect your deck, then a sealant is the right choice. 


Staining differs from sealing because it adds a darkened color pigment to the wood.

Most stains are water-based, like sealants. This will offer a layer of protection to the wood, but it will not be as strong as a sealant. Because of this, you may need deck repair more often. 

The upside to staining though is that your deck will have a more aesthetic appeal to it. Although it may need more maintenance, it will attract more positive attention. 

If you want to give your deck a new look, then staining may be the route to go. 

What’s the Best Choice?

The best choice for you depends on your situation. It is important to understand that everyone has different needs. 

If your deck is in good shape already, you may not need it to be stained. If this is the case, opting for deck sealing may be the smarter option to prolong its life. 

If you think your deck needs a facelift, then staining it may be what you are looking for. Staining still offers some protection from natural wear and tear, while giving you the new look you desire. Some stains, like a penetrative oil stain, may offer better protection than others.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on the needs of your deck.

Is Deck Sealing or Staining Right for Me?

Now it’s time to take a long look at your deck and decide whether sealing or staining would benefit you more. Invest in your home today by taking care of your deck!

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