Painting/Staining - Pro Service Finder


Choosing Between Painting vs. Staining a Surface

When looking for a great finish for your cabinets, floors, decks, or fences many homeowners agree that adding a coat of paint or stain to a surface is important, yet they aren’t sure of the difference between the two and may have difficulty choosing which one to use to complete a construction or remodel project. This is because paints and stains provide similar value to the applied surface, causing them to seem interchangeable. In truth, each method has its own distinct properties. Consult one of the qualified painting professionals we have on Pro Service Finder who will work with you to determine whether staining or painting is the appropriate finish for your project.

Similarities between Paints and Stains

Both paints and stains provide the same functionality to a surface, which is to protect from insects and weather elements and to enhance the appearance of the wood by introducing added color. Opaque stains behave more similarly to paints as they obscure the surface, much like paint, but retain the texture of the surface. Opaque stains come in latex and oil-based varieties, similar to paints. Both paints and stains should be applied by qualified professionals to minimize mistakes, waste and for an overall professional finish.

Difference between Stain and Paint

Stains are easier to apply than paints. Paint is thicker and time-consuming to apply as it requires priming for it to properly adhere to the surface. While priming may be done on a surface that is to be stained, it isn’t always necessary especially when trying to get maximum visibility of the underlying surface.

Stains are meant to enhance the natural beauty of the surface it is applied on, so it soaks into the surface, coloring the underlying layer, while paint merely sits on it as a thin film that can be peeled or scraped off when dry.

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Difference between Stain and Paint

Paint gives a wide variety of options to choose from in terms of color and sheen while stain is not only limited in color, but also in sheen choices. It mostly adds tint and depth to the surface but does not dramatically change its color.

Stains usually require only one coat and do not peel or chip however Solid stain may come off when damp, so homeowners should bear that in mind when before installing in high traffic areas that are exposed to dampness. Paints usually require two or three coats for a richer finish and may peel and chip over time but handle well in areas exposed to dampness like bathrooms.

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Difference between Stain and Paint

Most stains are manufactured for wooden, brick, and concrete surfaces and cannot be applied over painted surfaces while paints can be applied on almost anything metal, brick, wooden, plastic, tile even Formica countertops.

Stains require regular maintenance every few years and in the case of decks every year to maintain its appearance, which could prove expensive in the long run. Painted surfaces on the other hand, take five to six years before a fresh coat is needed.

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