Painting Wood vs. Staining Wood

What’s the difference between staining and paint? Stain is thinner and soaks into the wood, preserving and showcasing wood’s natural, rustic beauty by letting the unique grain patterns and superficial cracks in your wood show through. Paint coats the top of your wood, filling the pores, hiding the cracks and resulting in a more contemporary, refined finish. Like variety? Paint’s got it, with the availability of a world of color options and various sheens.

However, stain can provide more protection to your wood’s surface because it lets wood breathe and moisture escape. Typically, the more pigmented a stain, the more protections it provides, with transparent stain providing virtually none and solid stain offering high protection against moisture and UV damage.

Stain also costs less and, often needing only one coat, is easier to apply. Painting wood is more labor-intensive. In the case of outdoor projects, for instance, wood should first be treated with a wood preservative, primed, coated multiple times and then covered with polyurethane.

Stain will gradually wear away, requiring re-application, whereas paint can peel and require sanding and recoating. Stain is also easier to cover with paint, while paint would require stripping before repainting. Although paint is not as trouble-free as stain to re-apply, it is more enduring, typically lasting ten years to stain’s one to eight. Paint can also be easier to keep clean than stained wood.

Whatever you decide, you can always get high quality, affordable lumber at M & M Enterprises, your local lumber yard.

Leave a Reply