Whether you use paint, stain, or sealer, your deck will last longer and look better. The appearance and durability of the deck are affected by the finish you apply.

Sealers are normally clear or tinted, while stains can be clear, semi-transparent or solid. Sealers last a year or two (depending on heat, moisture, and other weather conditions), while stains have better durability, lasting up to five years. In addition, the choice of a sealer or a stain is an aesthetic one.

A clear sealer will preserve the natural coloration of wood. If you wish to give the wood a tint of color, a tinted sealer or stain should be used. Semi-transparent stain has a better UV protection then any of the sealers. Solid stain has 100% UV protection, just like a paint. Semi-transparent and solid stains range from the palest sand color to the darkest desired.