The decision to paint the exterior of your home or items in your yard, such as decking, fencing, or walkways, raises more issues than it provides answers on its own.
In addition to deciding which colors will make up your palette, think about the kind of finish you want and whether or not the paint you select will be appropriate for the surfaces that will be painted.
However, if you include the possibility of stains in the equation, you can get the impression that you are making your life even more difficult for yourself.
However, this does not have to be a complicated process once you are familiar with the benefits and drawbacks of both stain and paint.
You will be in a much better position to make a decision that is more in line with your needs and preferences, which will result in you being delighted with the newly decorated space in your home or garden.
Paint is most frequently utilized for projects around the house, including but not limited to walls, the exterior of the doors, house, shutters, and many types of craft projects.
Paint does not seep into the surface as a stain does; therefore, the primary distinction between the two is that paint lies on the surface instead of penetrating it.
In addition, paint typically comes in a wider variety of colors than stain, and it frequently has a higher price per gallon.
Paint comes in several different sheens and several different mattes; this allows you to choose the finish you wish to use for virtually any color.
Paint must be applied to the surfaces that are primed in advance, but stain does not require this step to be completed.
The application of paint takes far more time than applying stain, typically done in multiple layers.
As stated earlier, the adaptability of conventional paint makes it possible for you to find the color palettes you have always imagined genuinely.
You may quickly transform the style of your home into a new style, regardless of the style you now have or the style that you wish to create, by using a variety of paints and colors of paint.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a shabby chic or more contemporary vibe; there’s a paint hue that can help you accomplish either one.
Staining is a more complicated process to apply compared to painting. As you have seen, staining takes several essential processes that must be completed before the actual staining process can begin.
Skipping any of these procedures could damage your project’s outcome. Painting takes additional processes in addition to those, but unlike sanding or using specialized tools, you won’t have to be concerned about doing either.
You won’t need anything fancy—just some paintbrushes, paint, some tarps or plastic sheets, some old rags, and some painting trays. Painting is a simple activity that almost everyone can do.
The process of painting itself, in addition to being a fun way to update a space, has been shown to have positive effects on one’s health.
Studies have proved that engaging in creative hobbies like painting and drawing can really help lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is produced by your body in response to stress.
Because of this, you may feel more comfortable, tranquil, and content with the painting job you’ve been working on.
The unfortunate reality is that painting typically results in higher costs than staining does. When it comes to staining, all you need is the stain by itself and a sander.
Paint is significantly more expensive than stain, which is important to remember because the type of project you are working on will determine how much paint you require.
Painting is an activity that will typically take several days to complete since it requires multiple layers, each of which needs several hours to dry before moving on to the next.
If you have never taken a painting project before, there is a reasonable probability that the first painting project you do will turn out with some streaks in it.
This is because solid painting requires practice to learn the best kinds of strokes to employ and the process of covering them effectively.
Before you actually start painting your walls or furniture, you need to get some practice painting something else first. The paint will eventually flake off.
Mainly, paint overexposed to the light is prone to developing this regrettable but common problem.
A piece of furniture with peeling paint has an unattractive appearance and poses a risk to its structural integrity.
Keep an eye out for any paint that is peeling, and keep your furniture away from direct sunlight as much as possible.
Stain is often available in fewer colors and has fewer design options than paint, but it costs less overall. Although it is most commonly utilized for woodworking, a few applications demand its application with concrete as well.
On the other hand, the stain is much simpler to apply, and most of the time, only one coat is required. The most notable distinction between painting and applying stain is that you don’t need to put stain onto a previously primed surface.
In point of fact, it may be painted straight onto any surface that one chooses. In most cases, a single layer will do the trick.
Instead of remaining on the surface, the stain will be absorbed by the surface. Because it penetrates into the grain of the wood and gives a lovely texture and look, the stain is particularly useful for woodworking projects.
Stain is particularly useful for woodworking projects.
As was pointed out earlier, one of the most significant benefits of staining is that the appearance is preserved and enhanced to an even greater degree than it was previously.
You can purchase solid stains, but transparent ones are also available for those of you who want to draw attention to the specific piece of furniture you currently have in front of you.
Another beautiful quality of stain is that it gradually disappears after some amount of time has passed. This process is gradual and does not involve any unpleasant peeling.
Even after the stain has faded, this method will not harm the paint beneath it. It is not necessary to do anything other than reapplying it whenever you become aware that its effects are beginning to wear off.
It is not a big deal if you have to re-stain the piece of furniture after a year or so because stain can be applied multiple times throughout the piece of furniture’s lifetime.
Remember to sand the item down before proceeding with the next step. In addition to contributing to an attractive appearance, the stain provides functional benefits to the wood that is used in furniture.
When it is applied, it penetrates deeply into the grain of the wood, which helps prevent warping because of the moisture.
Considering that this also inhibits rot, putting a transparent layer of stain can be significantly more advantageous than you may initially assume.
To reiterate, the stain is undoubtedly the most effective choice if you are looking for a method to merely improve the appearance of the pieces of furniture you already own.
You are not concealing anything; instead, you are providing an additional layer of protection; as a result, the original colors appear more brilliant and lustrous than they have in the past.
Staining a piece of furniture may really make it as new as ever.
With all of its advantages, there are, of course, some drawbacks. Stain, however, doesn’t last as long as paint.
Stain, on the other hand, only lasts for a few years at most, necessitating a reapply every year. Even though this is a simple process, it might be aggravating to keep purchasing stains each year.
The stain makes it impossible to put anything away and forget about it simply. Unfortunately, the stain you’re using won’t adhere to some woods.
In general, the stain’s application can be unpredictable; you should not count on it to go exactly as planned. You won’t notice any difference after staining some types of wood.
Once a stain has been applied, you can see if the wood is compatible with it. If the wood is not accepting, you must remove the stain altogether.
Leaving it on the surface will most likely result in a complete makeover. It will take some practice to obtain the look you want from your stain.
Instead of winging it with stain application and hoping for the best, you should practice your application and strokes to get the desired results.
Before you use your stain on the main project, make sure you practice on a little piece of furniture, so you don’t ruin it.
Difference Between Painting Vs Staining
When selecting paint or stain, decorative motifs are a factor to keep in mind. More fluid than paints, water- and oil-based stains reveal the natural textures and patterns of the wood beneath its surface.
Paint is a thick option that conceals the wood’s flaws and imperfections that would otherwise be visible. Natural, rustic, or polished wood finishes can be achieved by staining your furniture and cabinets.
The Old World, the Mediterranean, the Spanish, and the Southwest all benefit from stained furniture. For a new look, use paint instead of stain or a stain-replacement medium.
Contemporary, modern, rustic, and cottage design features all benefit from glossy paint treatments.
Texture & Color Options
If you want to be able to pick from a more fantastic range of colors and textures, go with paint. However, although stain makers have expanded their color selections beyond natural wood tones, some vibrant and bright colors are still not readily available.
Typically, wood stains have a single texture or sheen that may be used on both indoor and exterior wood surfaces. Stains that are water-based or oil-based have a slightly different feel to them.
Various textures and sheens are available in paint, such as semi-gloss, satin, eggshell, and matte. For indoor applications, any paint texture or shine will do.
Both stain and paint are long-lasting, but each has its own set of drawbacks regarding interior design. It is not uncommon for many stains, especially those that come without topcoats or sealants, to alter over time, even in indoor environments.
Stains can get darker or lighter depending on how much natural light they receive and how often they are exposed to it.
Unprotected furnishings will show watermarks and discoloration when exposed to moisture. Even though the paint is long-lasting, if it is bumped or scratched, it will chip or flake and will need to be reapplied.
The price of a gallon of paint is often higher. Compared to paint, stain tends to cover a greater surface area.
Many experts suggest painting kitchen cabinets is about ten to fifteen percent more expensive than staining them.
The cost of primers and clear coats, which are applied after the paint dries, is a large part of that. Protecting the paint against peeling and chipping these additional actions and supplementary materials aid flaking.
Depending on the desired final finish, stains may not need sealant or primers because they penetrate into untreated wood.
So, Painting Or Staining?
When used on surfaces like raw wood or concrete, the stain can produce a warm, rustic, and natural finish that is complementary to the look you’re going for.
You also have the option of utilizing a stain that is either very similar to, or an exact match for, the natural wooden surface, or you can choose to accentuate it by using a tinted stain.
If you prefer a more daring and dramatic look, then going the path of painting might be the option that appeals to you the most.
It is important to keep in mind that if you choose to paint the exterior of your home and are considering selecting a color that is considered to be “strange,” you should first check with the legislation to ensure that you will not violate any local bylaws.
When it comes down to it, determining whether to decorate your home with paint or stain comes down to a matter of personal preference as well as how appropriate the surfaces are for the job.
Talk to the professionals if you have any queries, and they will try to assist you in locating the solution that will work best for your house.
Jenny SteffensHobick is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at House Whirl. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.