I need help deciding to paint or stain my deck.

About a year ago, a tree fell on my deck and half of it had to be rebuilt. The deck builder suggested letting the wood weather for a bit before painting and now it’s time. He specifically recommended painting instead of stain but most people online seems to lean towards using stain.

With half the deck new and half old, is stain a good option? Is there a stain solid enough that would blend the old and new or should I use paint?

I haven't pressure washed the old half of the deck yet but I don't imagine it will be much lighter when I'm done.

Half Old Half New Deck

3 Answers 3


Instead of paint or stain you might want to look into Rust-Oleum Restore or Behr Deckover. They are tintable in many colors, will fill small gaps, water based, thicker than paint, will make your deck look uniform. Just follow the instructions.


Assuming the new wood is the same species as the old wood, and the old wood isn't too rotten, if you really must have the true stain-on-wood look and are prepared to put in a lot of hours, consider renting a floor sander and taking all the boards (old and new) down to raw wood. You'll have to use a belt or disk sander to hit the railings and spindles. Then, you'll have to prep all of the surfaces as if it's new wood. All the boards should then take up the stain at about the same rate.


Solid-color stain is more likely to stick and stay stuck, and it has the opacity to reduce UV damage. It also soaks in better, and therefore doesn't wear of with foot traffic like paint does. I've never seen a painted deck that still looked good two years later for those reasons.

This borders on a product recommendation question, though, since "paint" and "stain" are fuzzy categories. Visit your local paint store and see what's available. If it's not designed specifically for decks, I wouldn't use it.

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