How Long Will Your Deck Stain Last?

A woman stains a deck.
  • 4-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-45

Giving your deck a few coats of deck stain is a great way to preserve it against the different weather conditions that will be presented during the years. Many people want to show off the wood grain of their newly built deck and will choose deck stain over paint to do just that. Paint, while it will protect the wood, is just a covering. Deck stain actually penetrates into the wood itself to form a seal against water, snow, ice, and the freezing and thawing that occurs with the seasons. One thing that many people do not realize is that there is a life limit to deck stain. If you have just finished coating your deck with deck stain, here is some information on what you should expect as far as its deck life.

Needs to Be Reapplied

Much like anything else that sits outside in the weather elements, you will need to reapply deck stain from time to time. After staying out in the different weather conditions throughout the years, the stain will begin to wear out and leave some of the wood exposed. Of course, there are times when it is just the color that begins to fade and weather.

Short Lifespan

A good quality deck stain will have a life of about two to three years. This is going to depend significantly on some different factors and may vary a little. Direct sunlight is one of the worse things that deck stain has to deal with. The properties of the sunlight can dry out the stain and cause it to weather much faster. If you live in an area where there is a lot of rain, you will also notice that it begins to break down between the two and three years.

Freezing and Thawing

There are plenty of decks in the northern regions of the country that need to have a new coat of deck stain at least every two years. This is because of the freezing and thawing cycle that it is put through with each seasonal change. With each different cycle, the stain becomes a little weaker.

Foot Traffic

General use of your deck or patio that has had a fresh coat of deck stain on it will show signs of wear after only a few months. This is because of the small pieces of dirt and sand that are on the bottom of people's shoes. As they walk across the surface of the deck, this dirt acts as a piece of sandpaper and scrapes away a lot of the stain.

Reapply Every Four Years

While your deck stain will only last a few years with its full protection, you can apply another coat to help prolong the life of it. However, after approximately four years you will want to completely remove the old stain and reapply two fresh coats of stain over your deck. This will help revitalize the wood, bring new shine to your deck, and keep the wood from being damaged from weather elements.