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How Do I Choose the Best Porch Stain?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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The first step in choosing the best porch stain for your home is determining what materials make up your porch. Wood is perhaps the most common choice for porch materials, but concrete and stone are often used as well; these materials can be stained, but a different type of chemical will usually need to be used. Then it is important to determine whether there is existing paint or porch stain already on the structure; this will likely need to be removed before a new stain can be applied, as the new stain may not adhere properly to the old surface.

Once the porch is prepared for staining, you will need to do some research into various stain options. Some porch stain options will simply change the color of the porch materials, while others are designed to seal and protect the materials against water damage, bug infestations, and more. Multi-purpose stain will generally be more expensive than decorative stain, but it will also extend the life of your porch and help prevent costly repairs.

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Various porch stain options will change the color of the porch, so you will need to decide what type of aesthetic you want to create for your porch space. This is largely dependent on the type of wood used to construct the porch, as well as the color of the house and the desired aesthetic the homeowner desires. Darker stains will create a comfortable, warm look, while a lighter stain will showcase the natural grain of the porch's wood.

Some porch stain options will be thicker after drying than other types of stain. This is to help prevent excess or premature wear due to foot traffic on the porch surface. If your porch is used commonly for accommodating guests, it is a wise decision to invest in a stain that will add extra protection in high traffic areas.

Test the stain in an inconspicuous corner of the deck to ensure it is the color or tone you desire. Apply the stain and then let it dry, as the color or tone of some stains may change once the liquid soaks into the wood and dries. The stain can usually be sanded off if it is not the desired color, but it is best to only test a small spot on the deck to prevent excess sanding or damage to the porch materials in general.

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