Pros and Cons of Staining Wood

Wood Staining | July 25, 2019

Getting to know the pros and cons of staining wood can help you make an informed decision about whether or not staining is the right choice for you. At Dunbar Painting, we want to help you maintain the beauty of your wood and protect it from the elements. That is why we offer a selection of wood staining services.

The Pros of Staining Wood

Some of the pros of staining wood include:

Allows for the Wood’s Colour, Grain & Texture to Remain Visible

Stains are available in solid, semitransparent, and clear colours with increased options for tinting with products like Sansin SDF, making it easy to choose how much of the natural wood shows through. Unlike painted wood, stained wood will fade over time rather than peeling and, in some cases, you may be able to simply scuff sand the wood before recoating it.

Penetrates the Wood Grain

Quality stains penetrate the wood grain, preventing moisture from soaking into the wood and causing rot. Staining wood and then adding a clear coat on top can also be a great way to protect window frames, wood siding, and doors, while also minimizing maintenance to only having to maintain the clear coat itself.

Highlights the Beauty of the Wood

Choosing the right stain and finish for a wood surface can help enhance the wood’s natural beauty rather than completely masking it. Staining can also be a great way to enhance the look of a wood deck or steps, as it will not peel and fail in the same way paint does.

The Cons of Staining Wood

Some of the cons of staining wood are:

Only Lasts a Few Years

While some stains can last up to five years, postponing re-staining a wood surface for too long can cause the job to become more complex and labour intensive. Even decks that are stripped and re-stained will still require maintenance every couple of years.

Certain Woods Do Not Hold Stains Well

Some woods, such as tropical hardwoods, are too dense to hold onto certain stains well. Most tropical hardwoods can be stained with Sansin DEC (a two-coat deck product) or Sansin SDF (for vertical areas like siding, doors, windows, railings, fences, etc.); however, this type of wood requires a slightly different sanding technique that should be completed by a professional.

For other types of wood, it may be beneficial to apply a clear wood preservative every few years to protect the wood from sun damage, as long as the clear coat is properly maintained. If the clear coat is left to fail, the entire surface will need to be stripped and completely redone.

Wood Stain is Less Predictable than Paint

Staining wood requires a much more experienced applicator because wood stain is less predictable than paint. In order to get the right look and finish, a lot more testing is required to ensure that the job provides the desired effect.

If you would like to learn more about the pros and cons of staining wood, or if you are interested in one of our staining services, please contact Dunbar Painting at 604-788-3382 or by filling out a contact form on our website.