Staining your wood surface is a cost-effective way of adding a protective coat while transforming the aesthetic appeal of the surface. Whether it’s your home’s siding, deck, fence, kitchen cabinets or piece of furniture, a quality stain job is a sure way to restore the glorious looks of your wooden surface and protect it from the elements and wear and tear.

Having said that, the kind of stain you choose can greatly impact how the job turns and how long it lasts. Different types of stains perform differently under varying wood surface conditions and surrounding wear and tear elements. To help you choose the best stain for your type of surface and condition, let’s take a quick look at the different types of stains available out there:

Types of Wood Stains

Stains generally get absorbed into the wood grain and may or may not form a surface film like paint. So there are varying levels of opacity to choose from depending on the level of protection and whether or not you want to show off the natural beauty of the wood. And for that we have the following:

Transparent Wood Stains –these stains don’t alter the color of the wood, and are absorbed into the wood without forming a surface film. They allow the natural beauty of the wood –grains, knots, etc. –to show through, but they have slightly lesser surface protective qualities. You may need to reapply them after six months.

Semi-transparent Stains –these are similar to transparent stains, but they may slightly alter the surface color of the wood, and they have a slightly higher level of surface protection.

• Solid Stains –these are pigmented, and may slightly or completely cover the wood surface depending on their specific formulation. They typically don’t get absorbed deep into the wood, but form a solid film on the surface, more like paint.

Notes: In regards to the above three categories, many homeowners and painting contractors prefer using transparent and semi-transparent stains on new or physically intact wood surfaces. This allows them to show off the natural beauty of the wood while still keeping it protected from the elements.

Older surfaces that may have signs of wear and tear would benefit from solid stain. This is because it offers a more superior level of surface protection and also helps to cover any surface imperfections and signs of wear and tear that the wood might have.

Sealer Stains

Sealer stains come pre-mixed with the sealer right into the formulation. So this typically allows you to apply the sealer stain, and color in one step, which helps minimize the time required to apply. Ready Seal wood stains penetrate deep into the wood, moisturizing it with waterproofing oils –great for exterior staining on deck, fences, and siding.

Varnish Stains

These are essentially non-pigmented paints because they include the same ingredients used in oil paint, except color pigments. It offers quite a durable and high level of protection, but it takes relatively longer to dry once applied.

Non-grain-raising (NGR) Stains

This type of stain typically utilizes a mixture of volatile spirits and aniline dye, and they can be a little bit expensive compared to other options. NGR stains are often at their best performance when used on hardwood, which makes them a suitable option for exterior decks. Generally, close-grained woods and wood that does not absorb oil stains properly can benefit from NGR stains.

Closing Thoughts

The above summary is a broader view of the types of stains out there and some insights on what would work best for your situation. However, to get comprehensive advice on the specific type of stains to use for your project in Amador County, California, you might want to consult a painting expert.

If you need any help with staining your deck, home exterior, kitchen cabinet or piece of furniture in Amador County, California, our experienced team at Hines Painting can help. Simply give us a call on 209-256-4587 for a FREE estimate or if you have any inquiries.

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