I guess the question can be, “why would you use a solid stain or paint on your deck”? Well I’ve gotten the same answer from many customers who say they simply don’t want to have to worry about re-staining or painting it for many years. I actually cringe when I hear that answer because all I want to do is blurt out, “but you are destroying this beautiful deck!!!” Of course I simply smile and gently let them know that in all reality this actually does more harm than good. Let me explain.
The film-forming properties of these paints and coatings work against them in these situations. Penetrating semitransparent stains and water repellent finishes, on the other hand, do not generally peel or blister as they age. They fade and erode off the surfaces as they weather, making re-coating a much easier task. Wood is a dynamic substrate. Paints merely sit on the woods surface and do not absorb in effect offering little to no protection. Even though they’re made to be walked on, they are not appropriate for decks! Unless you paint the deck boards on all sides, floor paints will surely peel. This is because moisture will come through the bottom and sides of the boards and actually push the paint off!
Solid stains while excellent for the siding of your home, are not appropriate for decks! The product is quite soft, and will wear off quickly. Also, because it sits more on the surface, solid stains will peel in the same manner as floor paints.
The picture below shows a deck flooring that had a previous solid stain on the surface. As you can see after attempts of cleaning & stripping the surface with a stripping solution and low pressure, remnants of the stain remain. Sanding would be another option that becomes very costly to the homeowner. The second picture shows a much less costly alternative and that is to refinish the deck with a semi-solid stain in a like a color that will blend into the previous stain and look very nice. This will make it much easier to remove when its time to clean and re-seal and give the homeowner more options of changing to a different sealer tint.
To remedy all of this, keep your deck maintained with a semi-transparent oil based sealer. There are quite a few tints to choice from, much easier to maintain and save the homeowner hundreds to even thousands of dollars in the long run.