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Can I use Fence Stain on my Deck?

Stain comes in multiple varieties and different types are specialized for different needs. In this blog, we will cover the types of stain used for decks, the types of stain used for fences, the paint used for fences, and the products that could be used on both fences and decks.

Stain used for decks

Deck stain can come in either a water-based formula or an oil-based formula. Oil is generally considered to be slightly more durable and has a shinier finish with the downside of it being much worse for the environment and harder on equipment and supplies, such as brushes. 

Deck stain products are specially formulated to endure foot traffic, a factor that is not taken into consideration on fence stain or paint products. When staining a deck, the primary thing to consider is if your product is rated for foot traffic. 

At EcoWash, we recommend using Sherwin-Williams SuperDeck products for your deck staining needs, although Thompson’s Water Seal, Hallman Lindsey, and Cabot products will certainly be just fine for deck staining.

EcoWash deck stain
This deck was stained with a SuperDeck product in Madison, WI

Stain used for fences

Fence stain is usually formulated very similar to stain for wooden siding on houses. It penetrates into the surface and can last an incredibly long time. However, a vertical stain is not intended to have foot traffic, furniture, or standing water on it. 

If you use a stain that is intended for siding or fences on a deck there is a high likelihood that premature stain failure will occur due to foot traffic, furniture, or standing water.

At EcoWash, we recommend using Sherwin-Williams Woodscapes for a vertical stain on siding or fences. Other products from reputable brands such as Hallman Lindsay, Cabot, or Thompson's Water Seal will be acceptable.

Paint used for fences

Paint is a fantastic product for fence preservation as it can keep out water and protect the wood underneath for a very long time as long as it is applied correctly and maintained well. However, paint is a film, rather than a penetrative product, which means that any scraping on the surface can lead to areas flaking off. This scraping is quite common on decks with furniture movement, grill movement, snow shoveling, and pets. Please do not use paint on a deck floor as it will inevitably fail before a stain would due to its completely different purpose.

At EcoWash, we exclusively recommend using Sherwin-Willaims SuperPaint, Duration, or Emerald products to paint your fence. 

To learn more about the differences between paint and stain, please read our article on that here.

Solid stain red deck
This may look like paint, but is actually a solid stain in Oshkosh, WI

Products that can be used on both decks and fences

Sherwin-Willaims SuperDeck is acceptable to be used on both decks and fences due to it having the ability to endure foot traffic and hold well on vertical surfaces over time. When considering if a product can be used on both a deck or fence, the most important detail will be if it can stand up to foot traffic or scraping. If so, it is likely just fine on either surface.

If you are still uncertain about your deck staining project and need help with planning, details, or advice, please get in touch with a knowledgeable EcoWash representative today.


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