Wood Stain Reviews: What to Consider When Buying Exterior Wood Stains

Wood-themed porches are considered classy and beautiful. But every wooden item requires protection!

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Looking for wood-themed porch ideas? Then visit here to get some brilliant front-porch ideas. Using stains on outdoor pieces is an excellent way to refurbish them and ensure they are protected from harsh weather conditions. Wood stains can be used on several types of wooden outdoor items, from the deck to fences, to doors. Using top-quality stains will not just guarantee great-looking results but will also help increase your wooden piece lifespan. You also need to consider some important factors when you embark on an exterior wood staining project to ensure you get the perfect result. 

In this article, we will be discussing some of these important factors. Let’s get right into it.

1. Stain Type 

Your choice of stain should be based on your wood type and the protection you desire. Wood stains may either be water-based or oil-based. 

Oil-Based Stains 

These have linseed oil at their base. Minerals spirits are required for cleaning and thinning. They usually penetrate woods deeply; this results in very rich color. They also provide longevity and durability since their conditioning and adhesive properties prevent cracking and peeling. But, they are susceptible to mildew and mold. If you choose to use an oil-based stain, you have to take precautions. This type of stain is flammable when they are still wet. 

Water-Based Stains 

These are considered environmentally friendly. They also dry off quickly as about 3 hours can be enough for them to dry off. They are thinned with water; therefore, they are easy to clean. It is also ironic that water-based wood stains resist water damage better than their oil-based counterpart. This is because they allow better air movement. But they don’t get absorbed as well as oil-based, which means they don’t provide that much protection. So, before you buy the wood stain, we advise you consider your needs properly. For instance, if durability and protection is an important factor for you, you should go with an oil-based stain. But if easy maintenance and water protection are what you want, a water-based product will be right for you. 

Quality should not be overlooked as this is what ultimately determines longevity. If you do not know how to get the best exterior wood stains then you can ask anyone who you think has better knowledge about them. 

2. The Surface to Be Covered

Since you will be using stains and not paint, you will typically spend less. But, you need to consider the surface that will be covered. The coverage offered is usually determined by what brand you choose. However, a gallon should cover about 100 square feet with the first coat. Let your priority be quality and not quantity. A wise choice would be to buy enough stain for additional coating instead of using a little amount of stain that will give a subpar result. 

3. Cost 

Make a budget and decide how much you intend to spend on the project. As we have said earlier, quality is what will determine longevity and durability. However, quality products are often more expensive. You may consider getting a cheap product due to this. However, you may be shooting yourself in the leg with this action. Maintaining your finish if you use a cheap product may ultimately be more expensive in the long run, whereas, a quality product may not involve too much maintenance.

 4. Stain Color 

You have several wood-themed colors to choose from. The opacity of the stain is determined by whether it is solid, semi-solid, semi-transparent, or clear toner. Durability is also linked to the stain’s opacity. You can pick a color that can complement a fixed feature in your home like the roof or walls. You can also go for a color that looks like the color of the wood you want to stain. This will help you to achieve a natural aesthetic look. 

5. Wood Type 

The wood type is an important factor that will determine the absorbance rate. You can visit this link to learn more about the various wood types. If you intend to stain softwoods like conifers and pine, you may not need to apply more than one coat. This is because, softwoods absorb stains very fast; hence, the stain may appear quite dark after just one coat. On the flip side, hardwoods like oak or cheery are not so absorbent. Therefore, you may need to apply several coats before you get a darker shade. To be sure of the type you have, inspect the wood’s grain. The grains of softwoods look uneven and blotchy, while that of hardwoods is consistent and even. 


Exterior wood stain is a great way to keep your outdoor wooden items protected and beautiful. But before you buy a stain, you have to consider the important factors discussed in this article.