Decks: To Stain or Not to STain?


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
Richmond, Va
Another newbie question:
OUr pool is the tiny little one with the little deck on the slideshow - looks like a footbath compared to the lovely inground pools some of you folks have, but it does the trick. We do have pictures of the build of this small above ground pool. I didn't post them given the magnitude of what can be had, but if anyone is interested in an above ground from the ground up, I'd be happy to share.

On to my question:

We put the little deck up last summer, haven't stained it yet. It is pressure treated wood, a few boards have popped and need a little attention (the stairs). Is there benefit to staining it now or would you just let it go?


Well-known member
Mar 27, 2007
Morris, IL
Definitely stain it now. It seals the wood and helps protect it from water damage. Just be careful what color you choose, too dark is too hot.


Well-known member
Mar 27, 2007
Morris, IL
Yes, I want to build a deck on my pool this year, nothing huge, maybe like 10x15 or so. I have started looking into designs and stuff and there really is not alot to choose from.


Well-known member
Apr 15, 2007
Central Texas
Allow me to offer a contrasting opinion. I have six decks at my home, all made with pressure treated wood, none stained. I recommend never staining. Treat the wood with clear water seal every year. Easiest way is a one or two gallon garden sprayer. You should do this whether you stain, or not. A few reasons not to stain your wood deck:

Stain can show wear in the traffic areas over time. It can make your deck look older, sooner.

You can't change your mind about color, later, if you make a mistake. You already know what it looks like, natural.

Replaced deck boards or banisters never match. It's like trying to touch-up old paint with new paint. Other repairs become more difficult because matching color is a challenge.

Stains are darker (hotter) on the feet than natural wood color.

If you ever sell the house, color of the decks can become an issue because color is a personal preference. "Natural" is more safe.


Well-known member
Mar 27, 2007
Morris, IL
I like that advice, I stained my deck dark because I thought I would like the look of it, now I don't like it. So now I am going to build a separate deck on the pool, not connected $$$. And I don't really want to stain it, just seal it, but I am afraid it will look stupid... I pressure washed my other deck, and some of the stain came out, but about 90% did not. I need to look into some other solution, or else I am going to be stuck staining it dark again.


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
Richmond, Va
Aaahhhh I misspoke on this.......seal or not to seal should be the question....we have a clear sealer by Behr I think that we did not use last year.

Should we should definitely add the sealer is what I am getting from your responses. Thanks, we'll add that one to the list, it's a small deck so shouldn't take too long.

I will look up the pictures and photobucket them asap regarding the build of the pool. I also need to take some new ones of the actual pool with no people in it and the outside treatment around the pool.

Thanks folks for all the help you have given with all my newbie questions in every area of this forum. Wonderful!


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
Waaay NW MN
Our house deck was stained with a semi transparent color (hunter green) which looks really nice. The new pool deck flooring is gray composite but the railings are pressure treated wood, which we will be staining next year (they should be left one year to dry before staining/sealing) We will stain the railings the same semi transparent hunter green and seal. I do not believe we will be changing all the trim and shutters on our house any time soon, therefore I like the matching color. It is a personal choice.

BTW, we also have a "from ground up" series of pictures from last year when we put up our oval pool. I'm not sure if it would be better to link to the Photobucket slide show or post them here.....


Active member
May 10, 2007
Staining is a personal choice. Just remember you can pick transparent, semi-transparent or solid color stains. Stains will last longer than paint will in an outdoor application. Some stains also include a sealant. So check that as well. Their are also water clean-up and mineral clean up stains. for easy to use, Water based works well.

Now for sealing, technically, you do not have to seal preassure treated lumber, that is what the treatment is for. However, I always to, because in my opinion, it looks better by sealing out the dirt and makes it easier to clean. You can get a sealer in a satin (no to dull gloss), semi-gloss or gloss (high Shine) finish. There again, this a personal choice.

In your repairs on the steps and top rail caps, I always use screws (treated for outdoor use) and an outdoor poly based glue. this always seems to hold better and longer than nails or screws alone.

Since you live in Richmond VA, I don't think you would need to let that lumber sit very long at all. I have a friend whose son in law build fences and decks in the Richmond area and he has told me that they wait a couple of weeks between the time they install and seal their decks and fences.

I must admit, it is nice to see some one from the great Commonwealth of Virginia here....and it sure makes the world seem smaller.

Hope this helps ya.

I have several wooden decks and balconies in my house (I think you can see the balcony that goes all the way across my second floor in the back of the house in one of my pool pics). I do seal them on a regular basis with the Behr sealer. I live right near the ocean so salt spray is a problem but my decking is still looking.


TFP Guide
In The Industry
May 14, 2007
New Brunswick Canada
I have built a cedar deck and we are in the process of waiting for the rain to stop to stain/seal/protect it.
I have done alot of research on this and here are some quick pointers I got from some season pro's.

1) Always treat a deck, personal choice will tell you what colors, remember, the darker the color the more heat retention is has. If using a regular Water Preservative, remember to get one that has UV Proctectant in it, UV Rays do great damage to wood.
2) Never, EVER use a pressure sprayer to clean/remove old stain, doing this breaks down the woods fibres and will weaken greatly. There are alot of good removers out there, and best is to sand the old off, remember to use a rougher grit, you dont want your deck to have that polished look, the stain/protector will not adhere.
3 Always seal/treat/stain end cuts and anywhere you come into problems with alot of sitting moisture. If building a new deck, remember that air flow greatly reduces rot due to sitting water.

Just some thoughts.