What does “modern” mean when it comes to interior design? Sleek furniture, minimalist décor, and a simple paint palette. Today’s modern colors go well beyond black, white, and gray, though those standbys still prove popular. Let’s take a look at modern paint colors standing out in 2014 from Behr, Sherwin-Williams, and Benjamin Moore.
Blacks, Whites, Grays and Beyond
Behr pairs the not-quite black of Beluga with Aqua Breeze and Cascade White in this living room to create a cool, neutral color scheme. The black also turns the stairs into a statement piece and ties together furnishings and floor covers.
The West Elm Collection from Sherwin-Williams features decidedly modern hues to match the store’s style. Tricorn Black and Incredible White represent their end of the spectrum, with Cityscape, Folkstone, Homburg Gray, and Monorail Silver sitting in between. The black, white, and any of the silvers would make a sleek trio.
Benjamin Moore presents one of its most modern palettes without the black, using New Hope Gray as the main color and Lancaster Whitewash on the trim. The deep lavender, almost gray of Tempest adorns bookshelf inserts.
When creating a color scheme using black, white and gray, be sure to offset darker colors with light. The previously mentioned Behr room uses lighter paint colors on the walls and trim to keep the black leather furniture from weighing the room down. Also continue the coolness of a palette through to all hardware finishes and metal décor, opting for brushed nickel and the like.
Big Bold Colors
Behr recommends using a bold color as an accent wall within a modern room. In this bathroom, it paints one wall in Academy Purple to make a stylish statement. Gobi Desert coves the others, with Thick Chocolate as an inset color around the mirrors. Additional décor in the room picks up on the deep eggplant.
In its Artistically Bright palette, Sherwin-Williams offers intense colors such as the teal of Gulfstream and the fire of Ablaze. Gold Crest and Juneberry also will make a modern statement. Even the Bohemian Black and Extra White would have a strong presence in such a palette.
Benjamin Moore uses a bold color on the ceiling in this masterfully modern living room. With Midnight Navy up high, Pale Avocado covers the walls to keep the room light. Both colors show up in décor and furnishings.
If you have never gone beyond simple neutrals before, use paint swatches to fall for bolder colors over the course of a few days as opposed to realizing that you don’t love them after the fact.
Tips for Creating a Modern Room
When pulling together a room with modern décor, keep minimalism and symmetry in mind. Do not over-decorate, and be sure that items of all sizes are in balance, whether that be through furniture placement in the room or on a bookshelf. To keep furniture moving to a minimum, measure the room and the furniture, and then use the info to create a floor plan. Erasing on a piece of paper takes much less muscle power.
- Keep within the color scheme as much as possible to maintain the simple nature of the room. The benefits of choosing a simple color palette go out the window if you pile on too many hues afterwards.
- Consider a neutral palette if you like to change items such as throw pillows and artwork regularly. This will allow you to change the look and feel of a room without starting from scratch.
- Stick with simple textures and shapes as well in a modern room. You do not want to clutter the design aesthetic with busy fabrics on upholstery or through highly textured accessories.
Specializing in exterior and interior
There are new painters in town, but you might just feel like they’ve been here all along
When Becky Bonnstetter knocks on your door, you just might feel like you’ve known her your entire life. Pair her Midwestern charm with an eye for color and a sharp-as-a-tack knack for business and you’ll agree she is exactly the person you’ll want creating the backdrop for your home décor.
Becky and her husband John own ProTect Painters of St. Petersburg and Palm Harbor. ProTect Painters is a full-service interior and exterior painting company with a philosophy of helping others fully realize the pride and joy of home ownership, and treating customers like family. Perhaps this is why the business is such a perfect fit for the Bonnstetters. They make quite a dynamic team, and in addition to Becky’s ability to put people instantly at ease, John can’t say enough about his wife’s eye for design.
“Becky has had realtors ask her to go into business staging homes for sale,” he said. “She has a real talent for choosing color and home décor. She is very good at it!”
Not every customer knows exactly how to begin the process of polishing a room. Sometimes Becky starts from scratch and says a person can take real cues from what is around them. “First I need to get a feel for what they like,” she said. “It’s a good idea to go to open-houses, cut pictures out of magazines, take note of what you like.” From there Becky will guide those once undecided customers to a color choice that suits them and their lifestyle.
“A lot of people can’t visualize change,” John said. “Becky can help them through that.”
It’s no secret a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any space, but it is more than that. “The color of a room is what makes your home comfortable,” Becky said. “It makes people proud of their home. Everybody wants to feel that way.” Not only does the wall and ceiling color of a room reflect light and create mood, it also reflects one’s personality.
At ProTect Painters, the experts know that aesthetic appeal is only part of the equation. The paint must perform well too. Painting a home, inside and out, is a craft that combines beauty with skill and technique.
For example, John and Becky explained how a customer with a home filled with young children will want the most durable, washable paint she can get. Making that choice doesn’t mean she has to sacrifice a beautiful and pristine finish that lasts. Whatever the technical aspect of the job, the experts at ProTect Painters know how to handle it. There are sealants that can be used to prep walls where smokers have lived to prevent tobacco odors from ruining a brand new paint job.
There are specific paint types for different kinds of surfaces, and countless other tips of the trade known by the experts.
For John and Becky Bonnstetter, bringing their business to St. Petersburg and Palm Harbor is really just another way of being good neighbors. Stop in and say hello. Whether you’re looking for a fresh new way to brighten up your kitchen, or need to increase the curb appeal of a home for sale, one conversation with the Bonnstetters and you’ll feel altogether more confident in your decision to have them help you with your project. After all, haven’t you known them your entire life?
Picking exterior paint colors takes time and serious consideration. After all, unlike interior hues these are visible to anyone who passes by, and they set the tone for your entire property. Exterior painting also is an investment. Choose the right colors and you’ll be happy for five to seven years—as long as the job lasts. Make a mistake and you might be repainting sooner than makes financial sense.
Paint swatches are the key to choosing the best exterior colors for your home. Visit a local paint store to pick contenders for the main color, trim and accents. Then follow these five steps to a final decision.
1. Tape the paint swatches to an exterior wall or walls.
Choose a wall that will get all levels of light throughout the day and night, with the latter involving artificial outside lighting. Choose multiple walls if one won’t give you a good sense, such as a wall in full sun and one in constant shade. Attach the paint swatches to the walls with heavy-duty tape, layering them to also see how the colors will affect each other in different lights.
If you don’t want your neighbors offering an opinion, tape the swatches to exterior walls they cannot see.
2. Look at the colors in the morning, in the afternoon and at night.
Check the paint swatches at these three times one day, taking notes on which color schemes you like and don’t like on their own as well as how they complement or clash with neighboring homes. The following day, play with your backup hues to see if other trim and accent colors create schemes you like better.
Do this until you have gone through all of your backups and have chosen two finalists for color schemes.
3. Apply paint samples to the same exterior wall or walls.
Swatches offer an excellent way to narrow your options, but actual samples from your local paint store show the colors exactly as they will appear. Start this step by removing the swatches and cleaning the surface. Prep a large enough area to fit both finalists with space left between so one does not affect how you view another.
Apply two coats of each exterior paint color in their respective schemes. Allow to dry overnight.
4. Look at the colors in the morning, in the afternoon and at night.
Repeat the evaluation process above, also keeping in mind how the colors will look with seasonal changing of landscaping. At this point, you should have a clear favorite. Ask for the opinions of friends and family members if not, and even neighbors, as they might offer valuable insight.
Pick the exterior color schemes for your house.
5. Hire a professional painter.
Even if you have gone the DIY route when painting interiors, know that exteriors pose an even greater challenge. A professional painter is exactly that: professional. With that expertise comes:
- Knowledge—A pro knows which products and methods provide the most years per application. He or she also can offer advice on colors if you simply cannot make a decision.
- Efficiency—The work gets done over a few days, as opposed to whenever you can find time. While an interior paint job can be put on hold for a few days when life gets in the way, neighbors and homeowners associations are not as forgiving as family members.
- Equipment—Do you own a paint sprayer? A professional does and will use it appropriately to paint your home, not overspray your lawn. They also have the necessary ladders to reach second and third stories.
- Warranty—It takes time to see every inch of a paint job. If there are any issues, a warranty will ensure they get addressed without additional cost. You don’t get such a guarantee with the DIY route.
Specializing in exterior and interior
Choosing interior paint colors is an involved process. Start by picking out swatches and narrowing your options to one or two color schemes with backup trim and accent hues. Then follow these five steps.
1. Tape the paint swatches to the wall or walls in each room to be painted.
Pick a wall that will get all levels of light throughout the day and night, with the latter involving lamps and other artificial lighting. Choose multiple walls if one won’t give you a good sense of how colors will look at different times of the day. Tape the paint swatches to the walls, layering them to also see how the colors will affect each other in different lights.
Do this for every room of the house to be painted.
2. Look at the colors in the morning, in the afternoon and at night.
Check the paint swatches at these three times one day, taking notes on which color schemes you like and don’t like on their own as well as how they complement or clash with adjoining rooms. The following day, play with your backup hues to see if other trim and accent colors create schemes you like better.
Do this until you have gone through all of your backup colors and have chosen two finalists.
3. Apply paint samples to the same wall or walls in each room.
While swatches offer an excellent way to narrow your options, actual samples from your local paint store show the colors exactly. Start this step by removing the swatches and prepping the surface. That means cleaning the wall and applying a base coat of white paint to serve as a background for the samples. Prep a large enough area to fit both finalists with space left between so one does not affect how you view another.
Apply two coats of each paint color in their respective schemes. Allow to dry overnight.
4. Look at the colors in the morning, in the afternoon and at night.
Repeat the evaluation process above. At this point, you should have a clear favorite. Ask for the opinions of friends and family members if not, as they might help sway you to one paint color scheme over another.
Pick the interior color schemes for your house.
5. Hire a professional painter.
You can certainly take the DIY route if you have experience painting, but keep in mind that a professional painter is exactly that: professional. With that expertise comes:
- Knowledge—A pro knows which products and methods deliver the longest-lasting paint job, which could be for up to 10 years depending on the amount of wear and tear it sees. He or she can also offer advice on colors if you simply cannot make a decision.
- Efficiency—The work gets done over the course of a few days, as opposed to whenever you can fit it in your busy life. Would you rather spend your days off enjoying the lovely fall weather or inside working around the house?
- Equipment—Do you own a paint sprayer? A professional does and will use it appropriately in your home.
- Warranty—It takes time to see every inch of a paint job. If there are any issues, a warranty will ensure they get addressed. You don’t get such a guarantee with the DIY route.
One last tip: When choosing your paints, keep in mind that higher-quality paints deliver a longer-lasting result, making up for their higher cost by reducing the frequency with which you must paint. Considering application makes up a large portion of the cost when painting, going with better brands can actually save you money in the long run.
Specializing in exterior and interior
Antonio Castillo has as colorful of a personality as the bright hues that adorn the homes of his homeland of Venezuela. His zest for life and genuine gratitude come through with every word, and carry over into the enthusiasm he feels to be a man in business in the United States.
Castillo manages three painting companies in the greater Orlando area. The ProTect Painters franchises focus on customer service and treating customers like family. For many reasons, this appeals to Castillo. Obviously his attraction to color and design has drawn him and franchise owner Christian Borbely to the painting profession, and the business model for the franchise is concise, well-supported and proven successful. However, it is the company’s philosophy emphasizing family and customer service that reign prominent.
“ProTect Painters is like what we were doing in Venezuela,” he said. “We treat customers the same way, and do estimates the same.”
Castillo owned a successful window company in Venezuela. He provided well for his family and enjoyed a happy life on a beautiful island off of the mainland. His young children spent their free time surfing the waves and enjoying the beach. Sonsire Castillo, Antonio’s wife of ten years, used her own business savvy, creativity and talent to operate a children’s accessory business. When asked how they could leave such a paradise, his tone changed immediately.
“The political situation was not good,” he said. “The government became corrupt, and took everything. Even if you have a big business, they take it all.” Castillo spoke candidly of their loss. “We were afraid for our lives,” he said.
Antonio is thankful every day for the new life he is building in central Florida for his family. He absolutely beams when he talks about his “beautiful wife” he met sixteen years ago in college. He is as energetic as the two children he raves about, and is genuinely excited about his business opportunity.
With ProTect Painters, Castillo can give as much or as little time to the project as the customer prefers. He will walk step-by-step through each stage, from estimating and color choice to a pristine finished product, with someone who wants to be involved for the entire process. Likewise, he is happy to handle every detail for the customer who hasn’t the time.
ProTect Painters is known for its professional quality. Painters know the importance of prep time, time management and technique. Like every other aspect of his career, Castillo has studied it all, including the decorating trends for his region: currently lighter, neutral colors for interiors for example, or earth tone colors for home exteriors. He laughed when he talked about the paint colors that covered the walls in his home back in Venezuela. “Yellow, blue, green, purple,” he said. “Every room was a different color!” Remember that colorful personality?
Whether vivacious or subdued, Antonio Castillo paints the right picture for every customer. Find him at ProTect Painters of Clermont and Winter Garden, Apopka and Ocoee, and Lake Mary and Altamonte Springs.
For franchise opportunities in your area, visit protectpaintersfranchise.com.
Colonial architecture has distinct features, among them a gabled roof, clapboard siding, shuttered windows, and a centered, classically inspired entry. Such historic style deserves era-appropriate color schemes for the exterior and interior. Check out these classic Colonial palettes from Behr, Sherwin-Williams, and Benjamin Moore.
Exterior Classic Colonial Paint Colors
Behr paints the exterior of this home in the almost-army-green of Spanish Galleon. The almost-navy-blue of Sled coats the shutters, with White at the trim. The requisite red door is done in Burnt Tile to complement the darker hues.
On the brick Colonial shown, Behr uses a lighter approach. Silver Sky covers the exterior, with Deep Space on the shutters, and Awning Red at the entry.
The American Heritage Collection by Sherwin-Williams uses Craftsman Brown as the main color on a Colonial, the lighter Roycroft Vellum on trim, and Rookwood Brown on the shutters. It trades the red for Naval blue on the front door.
A similar palette from Sherwin-Williams paints the exterior Colonial Revival Stone with Classical White on the trim, Tricorn Black on the shutters, and Rookwood Red at the entry.
Benjamin Moore has an entire collection for owners of Colonial-era homes. Called Williamsburg, it features 144 colors that were created in collaboration with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The hues are based on pigments found on actual buildings from the 18th century.
It comes in both interior and exterior paints, with standouts including Gunsmith Gray shown on trim that serves as a backdrop for Mopboard Black on a door. Greenhow Blue is another option for an entry.
Interior Classic Colonial Paint Colors
Benjamin Moore shows many more examples of interior use on its website. Entryways are shown with Williamsburg Wythe Blue on stairs and wainscoting, Palace Pearl on walls, and Claret in an adjacent hall. Bedrooms see colors as varied as Washington Blue, Tyler Gray, and Green Umber. The company even shows its paints used on furniture, such as the highboy coated in Cornwallis Red.
In its interior Colonial color offerings, Sherwin-Williams offers Aristocratic Peach, Rachel Pink, Rosedust, Caen Stone, Colonial Yellow, Acanthus, Dutch Tile Blue, and Needlepoint Navy. The collection captures the warmth and charm of the era nicely.
Behr’s standout Colonial Brick hue works in a variety of palettes. For a decidedly feminine approach, use it as the main color in a room with Silverberry, Rose Potpourri, and Bleached Shell. For a more gender-neutral scheme, have it as an accent to Hallowed Hush, Mythic Forest, and Silver Sky.
Tips for Creating a Classic, Colonial Color Scheme
Just as paint colors must complement each other, they also should have a close enough relationship as to not create too much visual separation, especially on exteriors. Choose colors that contrast but do not make their surfaces seem from a different home altogether.
- Use light colors on areas you want to enhance the texture of, and darker colors in areas you wish to downplay.
- Brighter, bolder colors work well as architectural accents on the exterior of a home, adding pops of color but not overwhelming the block.
- On both the interior and exterior, use paint swatches to narrow your options and make a final decision. That way, you can live with a color scheme for a few days, looking at it in all levels of light, before you make the commitment that comes with the application of paint in an entire room or exterior.
If you have difficulty making up your mind, or if there are decision-makers who don’t agree, consider asking the advice of your professional painter earlier in the process. He or she has painted homes in the Colonial architectural style before and may have advice that will sway you one way or the other.
Some homeowners paint their walls a neutral color in a flat finish. On these backdrops, art and decorative items hang to serve as décor. Other homeowners prefer the paint itself to be a decorative element. They opt for textured products and faux-finish techniques.
To join the latter group, learn how to add texture to your next paint job. You can even use what you learn and apply it to horizontal surfaces, too.
Faux Finishes That Create Texture
There are two ways to add texture to your paint job: by using a textured paint or a faux-finish technique. Textured paints come in a variety of grades, from fine to a coarse, and as a premixed paint or a powder you add before application. Using a powder and mixing the paint yourself allows you to find the exact texture you want with text batches and applications. Oil-based and latex paints both accept added texture.
Faux-finishing involves applying a base coat as you normally would, then adding one or more accent colors with an object other than the traditional paintbrush. Sponges, combs and rags are among the tools used to create different textures.
Sponging—Soak a sponge in paint, wring and then randomly dab to create the desired visual and textural effect. Professionals recommend sea sponges for natural patterns and synthetic for a more uniform look. To learn how to imitate the look of marble using this technique, read our How to Paint with a Sponge to Create a Decorative Faux Marble Finish post.
Combing—Simply put: Comb freshly painted walls. Just as different sponges create different effects, so do combs, with fine-tooth to wide-tooth tools among your options.
Ragging—Soak a rag in paint, wring and then randomly roll the balled-up rag just as you would a sponge. Cotton rags work well, as do fabrics with a pattern of their own, such as lace and burlap. To learn how to create the look and feel of well-worn leather, read our Ragging Paint Technique post.
Another popular faux finish is Venetian plastering, which creates an old-world appearance with its imperfections. Because the process involves applying three layers of tinted plaster to create the distressed detail, you may want to assign application of this particular technique to a professional.
No matter which textured paint or faux finish you choose, be sure to practice your application and finishing techniques before getting started. You can purchase a small piece of drywall to test different methods on, or pick an area of the room you know will never see the light of day, such as behind a bed headboard or in the closet.
Finally, one way to add texture or a faux finish does not involve paint at all. Wallpapers come in a seemingly endless amount of options, with textured styles proving more popular in recent years. The texture can be as subtle as slightly raised swirl to velvet-like stripes and other designs. Wallpaper also works well for those who prefer less upkeep than interior paint provides, especially walls with texture that can be chipped or dinged.
Paint for Traction on Steps and Other Surfaces
While adding texture to wall and ceiling paint jobs can add beauty and interest, doing the same to steps and floors can increase safety as well. This technique typically applies to outdoor surfaces, with anti-slip additives going into floor paints and sealers used on patios and decks. The additives do not change the appearance of the paint or other product. Homeowners with in-ground pools also use anti-slip additives to lessen the chance of family members and guests slipping on the wet surfaces.
Red and its lighter shade pink are definitely not neutral. Both are confident colors that immediately transform the look and feel of a room. Red stimulates, working well in dining rooms as it increases the appetite as well as conversation. Pink can add a punch of bright and sweeten a space if lighter. Consider it for rooms other than those of a baby girl.
The leading paint manufacturers offer varying hues of both colors from which to choose. Here are standouts from Behr, Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Glidden.
Behr Red & Pink Paint Colors
Morocco Red – This spicy color creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere in a kitchen, complementing honey-stained cabinetry and natural stone floors. Pair it with Cotton Knit on the ceiling to keep the room light.
Antique Red – On an accent wall, this shade anchors a living room and contrasts nicely with Gobi Desert on adjacent walls and Ultra Pure White on trim. Pick up the red in wall shades and pillows to tie the room together nicely.
Spring Song – This creamy pink creates a decidedly feminine feel in a bathroom, but does not overwhelm with sweetness thanks to accent colors of Celery Sprig and Sea Salt. Use with romantic décor and furnishings for the ultimate escape.
Sherwin-Williams Red & Pink Paint Colors
Ablaze – To create a global melting pot in your living room, coat the walls with this color on one wall or several, if using lighter colors for furniture to offset. The neutral Ramie contrasts nicely with the bold color but does not temper its power too much.
Show Stopper – A more glamorous red, this one sets a more sophisticated tone. Use in the bedroom with more muted bedding, letting the paint color do the talking.
Fussy Pink & Lighthearted Pink – From the company’s paint color collection for Pottery Barn Kids, these two contrasting shades can be used alone or together in a girl’s bedroom. The darker Fussy Pink would transition well into the tween years, as it has a more mature pop than the sweeter hue.
Benjamin Moore Red & Pink Paint Colors
Raspberry Truffle – This decadent, deeply rich red creates a stately ambiance in a bathroom, no matter the size. Complement with Mayonnaise and Hasbrouck Brown to further elevate the room.
Wild Flower – A more coral hue, it warms a kitchen and works with a variety of décor styles, from country to contemporary. Accent colors Powell Buff and Sugar Cookie add to the creaminess of the color palette.
Royal Flush – A young girl who loves pink need not give it up once an adult. This almost magenta shade on an accent wall suits an urban setting and contemporary furniture. Paper Mache on the remaining walls keeps the powerful color from overpowering a bedroom.
Glidden Red & Pink Paint Colors
Pink Salmon & Red Grapefruit – The first color straddles the line between red and pink, allowing it to work in a variety of spaces, from a teen’s bedroom to a modern woman’s living room when paired with the second, a sweet hue within the same family.
Bold Sangria – A wine-colored accent wall creates a dramatic focal point in a dining room, with the adjacent Barely Jade not lessening the impact.
If you are new to red and pink as interior paint colors, take a small step by using one on an accent wall. You also can use a red or pink as an accent itself, adding a bit of the color in at your comfort level. Of course, if you have always wanted a red dining room or a pink bedroom, be bold and go for it.
Are you planning to paint the inside of your home? If so, then meet your new best friend: the paint swatch. These colorful cards help you narrow a multitude of options to just a few hues for actual sampling on walls. Swatches also serve as a portable representation of your final choices to be used as a reference whenever shopping for furniture and home décor.
Pick Up Paint Swatches
While you can print colors from paint company websites to use as examples, doing so often leads to dissatisfaction. Your home equipment may not print the color exactly as the company makes it, leaving you with a slightly different shade.
Head to your local paint or home improvement store instead and browse the swatches, which are available as single color cards and in combination with complementary hues. Pick up those that catch your eye and interest, and don’t worry about taking too many. The paint company offers them for free, plus you can reuse the rejects in a variety of fun art projects—check out this fun collection of ideas on how to do exactly that on Pinterest.
Look at Color Cards Next to Items in the Room
Paint color, furniture and décor together create the color palette of a room. If you plan on keeping the same furniture and décor, look at your swatches next to them to find those that work well with those existing hues. You may want to pick up a background color in upholstery to use as a wall color, or you may choose a color in décor to also use as an accent.
If you plan to redecorate entirely, be sure to choose paint colors you can work with, whether they be neutrals that work as a base or accent colors you can envision incorporating into new pieces.
Hang Paint Swatches
Once you have eliminated colors that will not work with existing or new décor, hang the remaining swatches on the respective walls you plan to paint, in areas on each that get all of the different natural and artificial lights of the day and night; light can significantly change how the color appears to you. Also leave plenty of distance between the color cards so that one does not influence how you perceive another. Live with them for a week or so, taking down colors you dislike at a given time of day.
Paint Sample Colors
Once you have narrowed the options to a final two or three, head back to the store to get samples of the color combinations to actually apply to the walls. The paint version may differ slightly from the card, and taking this extra step allows you to be totally sure about your final choices. Again, look at how the colors appear in different lights and next to any furniture or décor that remains.
Your professional painter can also help at this point, or earlier in the process if you prefer, steering you toward the right colors for each room of your home. He or she can take into consideration how the different colors in different rooms play off each other. Not factoring that in can result in jarring transitions from room to room and colors that are not complementary being seen together from certain points in your home.
A professional can also advise you as to the right sheen for each room. For example, a high gloss works best in the kitchen and bathrooms due to durability, but would not be the best finish for a bedroom. He or she can also recommend the highest quality paints for your particular budget.
Good luck with your painting project!
When it comes time to protect your new wood deck—or an older one, for that matter, due for a fresh finish—the age-old question arises: Should I stain or paint? Each method has its pros and cons, with several factors needing consideration before you make a decision.
The Pros & Cons of Staining a Deck
With stain, you control whether or not—or how much of—the wood’s color, grain and texture are visible by choosing a level of opacity, from clear to solid-colored stain. If the wood in your deck deserves highlighting, such as with redwood, cedar and cypress, stain may be the way to go.
Staining requires stripping and reapplication every one to three years, though, with the opacity of the stain, weather and frequency of use dictating how long the finish lasts; a more opaque stain will last longer. Stain also does not offer the best UV ray resistance, unless you opt for a solid color.
The Pros & Cons of Painting a Deck
A paint job on your wood deck will last longer than staining, up to 10 years if you prep correctly and use a high-quality paint made for wood decks. The additional protection paint provides from UV rays and moisture also can extend the life of the wood itself. And the number of paint colors you have to choose from will be far greater than that of stain, allowing you to more easily match or complement exterior paint colors.
The prep required is extensive, though, and a professional painter provides the best results in terms of lifetime and appearance.
No matter which product you pick, a few best practices will ensure the best results:
- Do not take short cuts when it comes to prep: Thoroughly clean, and strip if necessary, all surfaces to get proper adhesion; apply a preservative either separately or within the product; and prime
- Fill any nail or screw holes to keep moisture from seeping into the wood, which will defeat the purpose of protecting the surface of your wood deck
- Stain or paint all surfaces even if they do not get exposure to UV rays or other elements
Switching From Paint to Stain
If you are refinishing an older deck that has been stained before, you are not limited only to that product going forward. How much work must be done to make the switch depends on a few factors. A paint job in decent shape can be stained over with a high-opacity stain. One that is flaking will require stripping and sanding as part of the prep. Also, if using an oil-based stain, you will need to remove the paint to get the new finish to properly adhere. To learn more about this particular process, read our Stain Over Paint | Can You Stain Over Painted Wood? post.
Choosing the Right Stain for Your Wood Deck
If you do decide stain best suits your deck, be sure to buy the right one. There are water-based stains and oil-based stains. We recommended oil-based stains, in particular, for decks. This type of product offers better penetration and lasts longer. You also can get a mildew-resistant oil-based stain. To learn more about the differences between the two types, check out our Wood Stain | Buying the Right Stain for your Deck or Home post.
Finishing your wood deck will give it the most protection against the elements and create the best appearance for an outdoor living space. Consider it an investment in your home, one that will pay for itself in enjoyment and even resale value if you plan on selling in the near future.