Installation & Maintenance

Make Wood Deck Stain a Thing of the Past

April 27, 2021

Looking for wood deck stain to freshen up your traditional wood deck? It’s not exactly easy to find the right color — plus, you have to worry about striping, potentially harmful chemicals, laborious application, and cost.

Wish you could skip staining?

The bad news: For a traditional wood deck, staining is a significant part of a necessary, rigorous maintenance schedule.

The good news: If you’re looking to ditch the stain and keep the gain — that is, you want enduringly beautiful decking that doesn’t require the high-maintenance upkeep of wood — you may be ready to upgrade to a composite deck.

The Drawbacks of Wood Deck Stain

Wood decking can fade, crack, & discolor

Applying stain is no easy task and has several drawbacks.

Cost & Labor

The cost to build a deck is never the only cost you should consider. Maintenance costs can take a significant toll on your budget. Depending on the size of your deck, you’ll need to buy several gallons of wood deck stain every year. And don’t forget application tools such as a paint brush, roller, or paint sprayer — all of which can add up quickly.

Then the real work begins. But before you even get to apply the stain, you must first complete a series of steps to prepare the deck.


Steps Before Wood Deck Stain Application

  • Inspection of the deck for signs of damage. 
  • Cleaning the deck (often includes power washing and using harsh chemical cleaners to kill mildew and mold).  
  • Sanding any cracks or edges. 
  • Repairing or replacing any damaged deck boards or joists. 

Now, you’re ready to stain the deck — which involves hand painting, rolling, or spraying the stain onto the boards.

After Wood Deck Stain Application

  • Wait for up to 48 hours until it dries.
  • Seal the deck to protect all your hard work.
  • Do it all again next year (lucky you).


Regardless of how strictly you keep up your maintenance schedule, wood will inevitably fade and deteriorate in time.

Wood deck stain is needed for cracked, faded wood decking

What Causes Wood to Fade?

Wood is an organic material and is highly vulnerable to moisture and weathering.

UV rays, rain, wind, and snow can all wreak havoc on any wood deck’s surface — whether pressure-treated lumber or premium hardwoods — causing fading, staining, cracking, and warping.


Wood deck stain, as well as the harsh chemical cleaners you use to clean your deck, are known to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment. VOCs are potentially harmful to you, your family, and any plants or wildlife around your deck. In brief, wood deck stain is not an environmentally friendly option.

An Alternative to Wood Deck Stain: TimberTech® Composite Decking

TimberTech composite decking needs no wood deck stain

Thinking it might be nice to enjoy your deck instead of work on it? We couldn’t agree more.

TimberTech® composite decking is designed to give you the rich saturation of color you’re looking for with wood deck stain — but without the demanding maintenance requirements.

TimberTech composite decking is a far superior choice to traditional wood for several reasons.

Cost & Labor

Thanks to the minimal maintenance needs of a TimberTech deck, you’ll save in the long run by skipping on annual wood deck prep and staining costs. Plus, our decking is designed to last for decades, saving you repair/replacement costs, too.

Thanks to its low maintenance, a TimberTech deck’s maintenance schedule looks something like this:

Nix wood deck stain & intense labor with TimberTech composite decking

TimberTech Deck Maintenance Needs

Periodically clean your deck with TimberTech DeckCleaner™ and rinse.

That’s it.

It’s practically a walk in the park — especially when compared to a traditional wood deck’s maintenance schedule.


Want a rich color that won’t fade? TimberTech decking boasts the nature-inspired beauty of wood with superior fade resistance. Just see for yourself:

TimberTech AZEK Exposure Test

TimberTech AZEK®*

Exposure Test

Ipe Wood Exposure Test

Ipe Wood

Exposure Test

Cedar Wood Exposure Tes

Cedar Wood

Exposure Test

The test results shown above come from a highly reputable and accredited third-party lab test conducted per ASTM D2244 and ASTMG154 standard on material purchased from consumer channels. Study tested for the following:

  • Color measurement process reports dE based on the CIELab color space using D65 illuminant at a 10-degree angle.
  • Samples tested in weatherometer chamber; subjected to cycles of 8 hours of UV radiation followed by 4 hours of darkness to ASTM specs.

*Test shows specifically our capped polymer TimberTech AZEK decking line, but all of our composite decking portfolio offers better protection from fading, staining, or performance issues than traditional wood.

Ditch wood deck stain for enduring beauty with TimberTech

Beauty That Lasts

So, what keeps TimberTech decking from fading?

Our boards are designed with advanced materials science that locks in color — and keeps UV rays and moisture out.

TimberTech decking keeps its rich color with very little help from you: Just keep it clean and enjoy.


Maintaining a TimberTech deck doesn’t require any harmful chemicals. In fact, our TimberTech DeckCleaner™ is biodegradable, so you can ensure the health of your family, yourself, and the environment around you.

Better for You, Better for the Planet

Discover how TimberTech decking, as a sustainable building material, can help you achieve LEED certification for your home.

Break Up With Wood Deck Stain & Live Better With TimberTech

Break up with wood deck stain & live better with TimberTech

Wood deck stain isn’t good for you or the planet. It costs you money, time, and demands back-breaking labor every year.

With TimberTech decking, you can spend more time enjoying your deck instead of working on it. Time for you to make the switch to TimberTech and say goodbye to wood deck stain (and laborious maintenance) for good.

Discover the rich hues of our decking by ordering up to four free samples to see which color elevates the design of your outdoor living space.

See & Feel the TimberTech Advantage

Our capped polymer and capped composite decking lines combine recycled material with all the beauty of traditional wood.

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