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How to Pick A Deck Stain Color to Match Your House

Staining your deck? We can help. Our tips will ensure your deck color complements your house

Our tips and tricks for choosing a deck color that complements your house

Now that the summer is winding down, it is the perfect time to start getting those larger tasks you’ve been avoiding all summer (because it’s summer and you want to have fun), started, and completed.

While the weather is complicated and unpredictable, it is also an excellent motivator for getting the outdoor projects completed before the season’s get too dicey. One of the larger projects can be staining and weather-proofing your deck. The idea of staining a deck, no matter what size, can feel like a daunting task not only because of the workload behind it, but also because — where do you start?

Picking a deck stain color to match your exterior is a seemingly large task, but if you keep the following ideas in mind, you will be able to help minimize the concept into something smaller.

Use a Color Wheel

The idea of a color wheel is to help you see what can compliment the color of your house. A tan house would go well with a blue counterpoint; a green exterior would do with a stain that has some red tint to it. If you are looking for cohesion instead of complementation, stay in the same color family as your exterior — if your home is a light grey or white, a dark grey deck will give your outdoors the continuous look you are searching for.

Look at Wood Coloring

The grain, shape, and color of the wood can affect the way your stain comes out. If your deck is made from softwood, it will absorb more of the stain. A pressed-pine wood has a greenish-color to it, if you aren’t happy with the natural wood, make sure to find a stain that is solid, or semi-transparent so your deck

The Size of Your Deck Matters

The size of your deck matters. Adding a dark-colored stain to a small deck (even if it matches your house), will make the deck look lower than it is. It is important to remember that when picking out your stain. While you may like the darker colored stain, maybe try getting the color in a semi-transparent or transparent form. Then, when adding the dye to your deck, only add one coat instead of two.

The Shape of Your Deck Matters, Too

Do you have a half-moon deck or a deck that has tiers? Do you have surrounding landscapes, plentiful with color? Talk about matching the exterior to the outdoor areas of your home. If you have a lot of flowers or a garden that you take pride in, why not match the color to that as well. A solid stain such as white, grey, or blue, will help a larger space seem more substantial, but will also take longer to apply and dry. A semi-transparent or transparent might be a better way to go for bigger decks.

Where do you live?

Do you live in a coastal area or an urban area? Do trees or other homes surround you? Grey composite decking is a great way to compliment coastal living or colors. Red tones go well with a forest environment, and the variety of transparent tones to stain, not cover, can go well with everything in between. Keep in mind that the climate in which you live will also affect the type of stain you should get.

Test it Out

If you’re still not sure what kind of color will go with your house and your wood, get a few sample stains and test out small patches in a corner that no one sees. While the stain will stain the area, it is common to restain/paint/color a deck every two to three years so that the sample patches won’t stay permanently.

Getting the outdoor chores and projects don't have to seem as overwhelming as they are. Go into your deck-stain project with a plan, some research, and an idea of where to start. This will help picking a new part of your exterior decor to be fun.

Resources — Better Homes and Gardens, Deckorators, Hunker, Olympic