Whether you have a wooden deck or an old furniture item, the first question that comes to the mind is, “should I stain or seal the wood?”
Regardless of the type of wooden surface that you’re working on, the answer to your question will be based on your needs. This is because staining and sealing wood are two entirely different processes, resulting in different outcomes.
Many people use wood stains to make the wooden surface look more beautiful and furnished, while some use sealers to protect the wood from rotting.
Before deciding whether to stain or seal your wooden items, let’s dive into the basics of wood staining and stealing.
What is Wood Staining?
Wood staining involves coloring the original surface of the wood to preserve its grain and enhance its overall look.
According to a recent study, the demand for wood stain is forecasted to increase by 4.3 percent every year, reaching up to around $1.7 billion in 2020. This is because wood staining not only improves the appearance of wood but accompanies several other benefits.
Here are the top 3 benefits of wood staining that you need to know:
#1 Protects from Sun Rays and Moisture
It is no surprise that water penetration or excessive heat from the sun can damage your wooden items. This is because the entry of water into the wood layers can weaken it over time, especially if this happens repeatedly. Other than this, the sun’s heat can make the wood’s color fade, resulting in discoloration.
As a result, it is crucial to stain wood regularly, for preserving its look and surface.
#2 Prevents from Rotting
Wood can easily get rotten, especially if it is used outdoors. And the bad news is that once any of your wooden items start rotting, there is no way to stop it. Therefore, you should stain wood regularly and apply re-coats of stain to prevent rotting.
#3 Preserves the Look
It is undeniable that wooden surfaces look better in their natural look instead of the painted ones. So, if you’re looking to protect the wood in your house without losing its natural appeal, you should definitely stain it. This is because the wood grain remains visible even after the stain.
What is Wood Sealing?
By now, we know what is wood staining, but then what do you mean by wood sealing? As the name suggests, wood sealing is a process of locking your wooden items or surfaces to prevent moisture from seeping in. This makes the wood stronger and more reliable.
Still not sure why do you need a wood sealant? Here’s what you should know:
- An effective wood sealer saves the wood from structural weakening, which otherwise occurs if the water enters the wood’s surface and causes the growth of fungi.
- Once you’ve applied the sealer on the wood properly, it leaves behind a smoother wooden surface for painting or varnishing.
- A one-time application of a professional-grade wood sealer lasts for a long time.
When Should You Use a Stain or Sealer?
Whether you should apply a wood stain or sealer first, more or less depends on the location of your wood. This is because an indoor wooden object would need more beauty than protection. Thus you might need to stain it first. On the other hand, a wooden object lying outdoor would need protection, so you will have to seal it first.
Let’s look at a few examples to understand this better.
An Outdoor Wooden Deck
Wooden decks are a great way of adding beauty to your gardens. However, a wood deck can last up to 15 years but with proper maintenance. Therefore, as soon as your wooden deck is ready, you should immediately seal it with a high-quality wooden sealer to make it durable. A wooden deck is usually in extreme contact with the sunlight and water, so sealing them first is a must.
Old Wooden Furniture
Let’s suppose you have an old wooden chair that looks worn-off and unattractive. So, in this case, the best way forward is to give it a new, furnished look by using a good wood stain instead of a sealer.
A Dog House
If you’re planning on building a dog house, it is critical to use a robust wood sealer before any other thing. This will keep your dog’s shelter firm and protected even during rain or snow. Moreover, your dog wouldn’t be concerned about the look or appearance of the house, so staining it shouldn’t be a priority.
By now, we know when to use a wood stain or sealer. When you’re looking to preserve your wood stuff, all you need is an effective wood sealant. And when you’re looking for more than protection, such as enhancing the look, then a wood stain will be of help. However, whatever you choose, don’t forget to clean the wooden surface and dry it out before applying anything.