Deck Or Fence Staining Vs Sealing. What's the difference between the two?
This is our first blog post, so I’ll answer/cover a popular question.
We get this question on a daily basis – it usually goes something like : “Do you first stain the deck then seal it?” To make it short & sweet:
We use Oil based deck, and fence preservation products , mainly TWP, Cabot, Messmer’s UV plus, those are about our top three products. All three are oil based. All three products are pigmented meaning they contain suspended metallic particles that are pigmented in order to add color to a deck. The metallic particles block the sun’s harmful UV rays, the pigmented portion adds a nice touch of color.
These types of products are stain, and sealer all in one product. They seal out moisture, rain, and the stain portion blocks the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The stain (pigmented portion) of the product is the stain part, and the oils whether paraffinic, etc are the sealer part. This doesn’t mean that water based products can’t be stain and sealer in one product – they basically all are stain and sealer in one.
The only products that aren’t both a stain and sealer in one are those which have zero pigment in them
like a clear sealer.
To make it easy to remember – The sealer is a clear product and the Stain & sealers are those products that add color to a deck (are pigmented).
We never recommend using a clear sealer on a deck or fence as they will not perform well to sun exposure. If using a clear sealer you’ll notice the color of your deck, or fence shift quickly to a grey patina. If that’s what you’re looking for, then great, otherwise a pigmented stain and sealer will perform much better at preventing sun damage, as well as sealing wood surfaces from water damage.