Does clear wood finish, paint or stain last the longest? Does clear wood finish, paint or stain last the longest?

Clear wood finish, wood stain and paint are all viable options for sealing and protecting bare wood from exposure to air and moisture. With just a few tools and materials, even the most inexperienced do-it-yourselfer can apply any type with relative ease. However, the finishes are not meant to last forever. Due to natural wear and tear and/or exposure to the elements (as with outdoor furniture), the finish will need to be reapplied.

Longest Lasting Finish

Of the 3 varieties, paints last the longest followed by stains and then clear finishes or varnish. Quality latex paint can last up to a decade, while stain doesn't require refinishing for up to 8 years. Varnish, on the other hand, will begin to wear away after 2 to 3 years.

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