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© 2019 by Texas Tuff Inc.

Painting VS. Staining Your Outdoor Investments

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

Wooden fences are expensive, but when well maintained adds a great deal of value to a home or business. The best way to protect wood is to keep the elements (rain, sun) from affecting it, which means you can either paint or stain the wood. Thinking about doing one of the two but don't really know the difference? Here are some quick tips to help you navigate what is best for your home or business.

Paint VS. Stain


  • When it comes to protecting wood from the elements you have three choices - paint, semitransparent stain and solid stain.

  • Paint consists of a solvent (in latex paints, water is the solvent), pigments (the color) and a binder that holds the paint pigments in place and is the ingredient that gives paint its finish - i.e. glossy, flat, egg shell.

  • Paints are designed to remain on the surface of the wood and form a film or layer on the surface that prevents moisture from getting through into the underlying wood.

  • Paints provide more UV protection than stains but paints applied to poorly prepared wood can bubble and peel so often won't last as long as a stain.


  • Stains are made from the same ingredients as paint, but they're combined in different proportions and are usually much thinner (more viscous) than paint.

  • Stains are designed to actually soak into the wood and fill the wood pores so water can't get into the wood.

  • Semitransparent stain have less pigment than solid or opaque stains and provide a translucent appearance that allows the grain and texture of the underlying wood to show through, making it an attractive finish for new wood fences. However they don't provide as much UV protection as paint or a solid stain.

  • Solid (opaque) stains contain much more pigment than semi transparent stains so covers the underlying grain of the wood. It's a good choice for older, weathered surfaces or surfaces that have been previously stained with semi transparent stains.

Every DYI comes with its challenges and if you still are not sure about doing something like this yourself, reach out to one of our Texas Tuff experts and get your free quote today. You have already invested this much, let us do the rest.

(214) 502- 3866