In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O'Connor discuss the perfect wood-deck finish for the job.
1. Choose a clear waterproofing finish to protect wood without adding color or hiding the wood grain.
2. To tint the decking, use a semi-transparent stain, which adds a little color, but still allows some of the wood grain to show through. Semi-transparent finishes also provide a modicum of protection from ultraviolet light.
3. For ultimate protection from ultraviolet light, apply a solid-body stain. It has a very high pigment content for excellent color saturation and wear-resistance, but it does conceal the wood grain.
4. Keep in mind that clear wood finishes are thinner than semi-transparent or solid-body stains, so they will require more maintenance.