Are you unsure of whether you should stain or paint? When it comes to choosing a painting method, you want to go with what’s most practical and also what would look best! We have a few tips that can help you decide which option is better for you, as well as explain the differences between the two. There are pros and cons to each method, and in some cases, it just comes down to your own preference.

The main difference you should understand between painting and staining is that they are not the same process. Staining involves absorption and only works on wood… to stain something, you are applying a penetrative dye or chemical that is not easily removable. Painting only adds a top layer of film and can easily be changed or removed with the right technique. If you are covering drywall, a non-wooden piece of furniture, or synthetic fixture, you will only be able to use paint because stain works by penetration. If the substance can’t penetrate, it will not stain.

When it comes to staining, the coverage you’ll get is minimal. However, if you want a more rustic feel in your home and to bring out the natural elements of the wood, go for a stain. Stained furnishings complement old world, Mediterranean, Spanish and southwest motifs. Staining takes less time than painting because you only really need one coat. Although it comes in fewer colors and options than paint, it’s easier to apply and typically costs less. It’s more forgiving when it comes to missed spots, so you don’t have to be so exact in your application. Stain wears away gradually for periodic re-coating, but protects the wood from sunlight and also hardens the wood’s surface to help repel rainwater and prevent rot. Just keep in mind, it’s easier to go from staining to painting than the other way around. 

If you want to completely change the texture of the surface, opt for paint. This type of finish works well with contemporary, modern, country and cottage design elements. Although more expensive, paint offers longer lasting coverage and protection, lasts twice as long as an exterior stain, and does a better job of filling the cracks, and covering imperfections. If applied well, paint is just as durable as stain and helps protect the wood from sunlight, rain and snow. It is easier to remove and clean, and gives you a wider variety of colors and textures to choose from such as glossy, semi-gloss, satin, eggshell, matte and flat based on the ambiance you want to promote. 

As you can see, there are a few pros and cons to each process, and it really just comes down to preference and what you want to achieve. Do you need help with painting, staining, or power washing? We hope these tips helped you decide on whether you want to use paint or stain! At J & S Painting Plus, Inc., we are fully licensed and insured painting contractors offering the highest standard of quality workmanship for exterior house painting and all your residential painting needs at the most affordable prices. Contact us today via our website for a free quote to get started: