Whats The Difference?
You have several options in refinishing a deck or fence. Semi Transparent and Semi Opaque are just two options. If you are in the Indianapolis area and would like this done professionally please visit our deck and fence staining page.
Waterborne or (solvent)Oil
You can use oil or waterborne. I say waterborne because that can mean acrylic or waterborne modified alkyd. If your state allows oil, you should use it in high sun. Waterborne stains are best for other severe weather. We always use Acyri-Shield from PPG Acrylic/oil formula.
Semi Transparent Stain
Semi transparent stains are not film forming stains. That means in can never peel or crack if applied correctly. It simply wears and you power wash and re stain. You can go with very light colors to very dark colors.
Semi Opaque Stain
Semi opaque stain will cover all knot holes and variances in in color. However it will not appear to be a “Paint”. It still shows the natural texture of the wood.
Another choice is to use a urethane translucent coating like Sikkens Cetol SRD. This is translucent NOT transparent. The difference is that it is a film forming coating that you can see through and not a stain that soaks totally into the wood. This will give a very nice log cabin finish that requires regular maintenance and will become a major headache if not maintained properly.
Longevity and Maintenance
All deck and fence stains require maintenance. Some last longer and some are easier to perform the maintenance.
- Translucent Stain Coatings require the most careful maintenance because if they are left to crack it is almost impossible to correct.
- Semi Transparent Stain requires the least maintenance. Stained ences will of course last longer than stained decks. Use and weather exposure can have a HUGE effect on the longevity of the stain.
- Semi Opaque Stain will last the longest. They can also be freshened up with a light washing and light coat of new stain.