HomeOutdoor Living BlogBest Approach to Staining Deck Rails? It’s Easy — You Don’t

Best Approach to Staining Deck Rails? It’s Easy — You Don’t

February 23, 2022
Skip staining deck rails with TimberTech Railing

If you own a wood deck — or if you initially built with wood before upgrading to composite decking — you probably have wood railings surrounding your deck perimeter. If so, you’re most likely familiar with the tedious maintenance required by wood: staining, sanding, and regular rail replacement in addition to fighting splintering, warping, and color fade — the list goes on.

It makes sense, then, that after a few years of tiresome upkeep, you might be thinking of ways to cut down on railing maintenance and the costs associated with it. So, what’s the best way to stain deck rails? The answer is simple: You don’t.

Consider instead a low-maintenance, high-style alternative like composite or aluminum railing.

Personalize Your Perimeter

Skip staining deck rails and explore new deck railing ideas to give your outdoor space a custom, modern look.

The Drawbacks of Staining Deck Rails

Staining deck rails is required for traditional wood rails

Applying stain to your wood deck rails is no easy task and comes with several drawbacks. Not only is it a labor-intensive process, but you’ll also spend a significant amount of money long-term staining deck rails. Plus, the harsh chemicals found in some deck stain can seep into your yard during the application process and cause harm to your plants, pets, and outdoor wildlife. 

Cost & Labor

The upfront cost to build a deck with railings shouldn’t be the only cost you consider. Long-term maintenance costs can eat up a significant portion of your budget — including budget you didn’t know you needed to allot over the lifespan of your deck.

Depending on how much railing you have and its design, you’ll need to buy more than a few gallons of wood stain every year. You’ll also need application tools such as a paint brush, roller, or a sprayer — the costs of which can add up quickly.

And once you have everything you need? Then the real work begins.

There are a number of steps you must take before, during, and after staining deck rails to ensure the job is done right:

Wood Fade

Over time, wood will inevitably fade and deteriorate — even with regular maintenance. Why? Because wood is an organic material, so it’s highly vulnerable to moisture and weathering. UV rays, rain, wind, and snow all wreak havoc on your wood deck rails — whether you use pressure-treated lumber or premium hardwoods like Ipe — causing them to eventually fade, crack, and warp.

Harmful Chemicals

Along with the harsh chemicals used to clean your deck, many wood deck stains release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment. These chemicals can be harmful to you, your family, and any plants or wildlife you have around your deck. If you want a healthy home, repeatedly staining deck rails is not a sustainable option.

Avoid The Hassles of Stain

It’s not an easy process to stain wood — whether decking or railing. Forego the cost and labor with TimberTech.

Why You Should Choose TimberTech® Railing Over Wood

Avoid staining deck rails by choosing TimberTech Railing over wood

Picking TimberTech® composite or aluminum railing means you’ll have a perpetually beautiful outdoor space that’s engineered to last longer than wood. Since TimberTech railings are low in maintenance and high in value, you’ll be able to enjoy your deck without worrying about staining deck rails ever again.

Benefits of TimberTech Aluminum & Composite Railing

No warping or rotting.

Incredible durability and weather resistance; which means it’s resistant to the elements, staining, and scratching.

Both types of railing offer multiple top rail profiles and numerous customization options to suit your unique style.

✓ All TimberTech railings are backed by a Limited Rail Warranty and the Classic Composite Series matte colors feature a 25-Year Fade and Stain Warranty.

Find the Right Rail for You

Whether you prefer a classic or contemporary design, we have the right railing to suit your aesthetic.

How to Choose: Composite or Aluminum Railing?

When its time to replace your wood railing, you’ll find you have several options. Two primary materials are composite railing or aluminum railing.

TimberTech composite railing helps you avoid staining deck rails

Composite Railing

Composite railing systems are those with a composite bottom rail and often (but not always) a composite top rail. They may feature a mix of materials chosen for their other railing system components

TimberTech aluminum railing helps you avoid staining deck rails

Aluminum Railing

Aluminum railing systems are those with an aluminum bottom rail and often (but not always) aluminum top rail. They may feature a mix of materials chosen for their other railing system components.

Both types of railing are low-maintenance and offer enduring beauty, but their differences come in how they’re designed, how they’re used, and how they’re installed.

What Makes a Railing?

Learn the different parts of a railing system so you can mix and match components for a custom look.

Reasons to Choose Composite Railing

Similar to TimberTech composite deck boards, composite railing has the look and feel of real wood with none of the drawbacks. Fret no more about mold or rot when you choose from our composite top rails:

TimberTech Premier Rail in White product image

Premier Rail

Add a touch of sophistication to your deck design with the elegantly curved profile of the Premier Rail.

TimberTech Drink Rail in Matte White from the Classic Composite Series product image

Drink Rail

Rest your favorite beverage easily on our composite Drink Rail while enjoying the sleek profile it adds to your deck.

TimberTech RadianceRail in Matte White product image


RadianceRail® adds classic beauty to your deck with a contemporary twist thanks to its simple, gently contoured design.  

Browse More Composite Rail Designs

Explore more designs and colors when you explore our full list of composite railing products.

Reasons to Choose Aluminum Railing

If you want a modern outdoor space, aluminum rail is an excellent way to get the crisp sightlines you’re looking for in a deck railing. Choose from contemporary or classic top rail designs to find the right style for your deck:

Timbertech Impression Rail Express Classic Top Rail in Dark Bronze product image

Impression Rail Express® Classic Top Rail

Enhance the look and feel of your deck with the classic wrought-iron-inspired design of the Impression Rail Express® Classic Top Rail.

TimberTech Impression Rail Express Drink Rail in Matte White product image

Impression Rail Express® Drink Rail

Similar to the composite Drink Rail, the Impression Rail Express® Drink Rail gives you sleek, linear lines with an even narrower profile for crisp, clear sightlines.

TimberTech Impression Rail Express Modern Top Rail in Black Product Image

Impression Rail Express® Modern Top Rail

Give your deck the contemporary look you want with the minimalist-inspired design of the Impression Rail Express® Modern Top Rail.

Browse More Aluminum Railing Designs

Find more colors and designs when you explore our full list of aluminum railing products.

No deck is complete without a little ambience. Once you choose your railing profile, consider lighting built into your railing design for added visibility and atmosphere to your deck perimeter.

Explore Deck Rail Lighting

Explore some of our favorite deck lighting ideas to see how rail lighting can add a touch of sophistication to your outdoor space.

Forget Staining Deck Rails: Upgrade to TimberTech Railing

Avoid the stress, cost, and hassle of staining deck rails when you upgrade to a composite or aluminum rail from TimberTech. Download our TimberTech Railing Guide to explore all your options to find the right design and color for your outdoor space. Then, connect with a contractor to make your outdoor ideal, real.

Find the Right Railing for You

The beauty of a railing’s many parts? Ample opportunity to customize to your personal style. Browse our Railing Guide for insight and inspiration.

Scroll to Top