Deck Stain Ideas & Inspiration

A deck stained with Cordovan Brown ES-62 Semi-Solid Woodluxe® Exterior Stain. A deck stained with Cordovan Brown ES-62 Semi-Solid Woodluxe® Exterior Stain.

Deck Stain Ideas & Inspiration

A freshly painted or stained deck can transform your backyard, adding color—and curb appeal—to your home.

Refreshing your deck and protecting it at the same time is made easier with Woodluxe® Exterior Stains, which ensure both durability and style when spending time outdoors with friends and family.
Stains offer different opacities–the degree to which you can see the natural grain of wood–as seen here:  Translucent, Semi-Transparent, Semi-Solid and Solid.

Exterior Wood Stain: Opacity 101

When using exterior wood stain to make an impact on your deck’s design, understanding opacity is key.

Opacity refers to how much you can see of the wood’s natural grain, and it’s achieved by using one of the following:

  • Translucent stain allows the full beauty of the wood to show through. It’s available in seven ready-mix colors.

  • Semi-Transparent stain allows most of the grain pattern and texture of the wood to show through. It’s available in 75 colors.

  • Semi-Solid stain allows the texture and some of the grain pattern of the wood to show through. It’s available in 75 colors.

  • Solid stain allows the texture of the wood to show through.
A spacious closed-in porch features a beautiful Woodluxe® stained floor.

Considering Exterior Wood Stain Color: Choices Abound

When thinking about color for your deck, consider the same shade as your home’s trim. This technique makes the deck stand out against the main field of your house for a unified look that still highlights your deck’s architecture.

For a monochromatic look, use a shade that’s similar to your house’s primary color—a good choice if you want your fire pit or dining area to stand out as the deck’s focal point.

There’s a huge spectrum of colors to explore, from driftwood grays to warm russets to woodland greens.
The back of a dark gray exterior sided home with a spacious light gray stained deck and white outdoor furniture.

Wood Matters

Wood remains the most common choice for decks. More expensive hardwoods such as mahogany and ipe offer a gorgeous grain and texture that shine through a lower-opacity exterior wood stain like Translucent or Semi-Transparent. Softer, less expensive woods—including pressure-treated southern yellow pine and cedar—benefit from Semi-Solid and Solid stains’ innate weather barrier.

Wood alternatives known as composite decking are also a popular choice. While often sold as maintenance-free, composite decks still require protection from color fading and the elements—just like their wood counterparts. Woodluxe Exterior Stains provide excellent color retention for this popular decking choice.
Two modern green rattan chairs and a table sit atop a deck with light brown wood flooring and white railings, extending from a home exterior sided with light brown wood, white trim, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Narrow the Scope

Not ready to go big? Painting or staining your outdoor wood furniture is a less intensive project than taking on your entire deck. Almost any bright color will pop off the surrounding neutrals and wood tones in an eye-catching way, revitalizing your space with ease.

Another option is to apply wood stain only to your deck’s handrails and banisters. Pull from your interior color palette to visually unite your indoor and outdoor spaces in a subtle way. Or consider using a combination of stains to designate where one section of your deck ends and another begins.
A person brushing on Woodluxe® Exterior stain samples to a piece of wood.

How to Sample Exterior Wood Stains

It’s easy to test stain colors and opacities on the actual wood you want to coat: In fact, there’s no better way to get true color accuracy.

Our 8oz. exterior wood stain samples are available in all Woodluxe opacities, and solid stain samples are available in all 3,500+ Benjamin Moore colors. Visit your locally owned Benjamin Moore store or the Benjamin Moore Online Store to purchase a Woodluxe 8oz. Exterior Stain sample in any opacity.

Ready to turn inspiration into reality? We’re here for you every step of the way, from prep to finish. Check out our step-by-step guide to get started.
Woodluxe® Oil- and Water-Based Exterior Stains.

Woodluxe® Exterior Stain

The ultimate protection for outdoor beauty.

A burgundy red stained deck with outdoor dining furniture and stained steps leading to a home’s large sliding glass doors.

Woodluxe® Exterior Stain Colors

Choose from a range of colors that reveal as much, or as little, of the wood’s natural grain as you want to see.

Two folding lounge chairs with draped red blankets on a light gray stained deck and a green mountainscape in the background.

Find the Perfect Color and Opacity for Your Deck

Count on the experts at your locally owned Benjamin Moore store for support.