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What Are the Best Deck Stain Colors?

Summer is here and that means it’s time to make sure your deck is summer ready.  Maintaining your deck is important to having a safe and welcoming space where you can enjoy time with your friends and family and soak in the sunshine. Here in Colorado, decks take a beating.  From our snowy winters to the heat of summer, your deck goes through a lot. That’s why it’s so it’s important to stay on top of staining your deck. We’ll tell you which products are best for staining your deck and which colors are the most popular.

What Kind of Stain Should You Use?

First things first, you need to determine what kind of stain is best for your deck based on its current condition. Stain is available in a variety of colors and finishes so it’s important to choose the one that is best for you. Deck stains come in transparent, semi-transparent, semi-solid, and solid. All of these finishes have color, including transparent.  If you are looking to seal your deck, but not add any color, then you will want to purchase a clear sealer rather than a stain. If you are looking to add color, then you’ll want to choose your type of stain and then select a color.

Deck in the sunshine with two chairs

Transparent and Semi-Transparent Stain Colors

If your deck is brand new or has been very well maintained then you can absolutely go with a transparent or semi-transparent stain. These two stains will add a touch of color while still allowing the wood grain to show through.  It’s important to remember that transparent and semi-transparent stains will emphasize worn or darker areas.  In other words, if your deck has signs of significant aging then these types of stains will bring more attention to those areas. The other thing to keep in mind is that the finished color of these stains can be a little difficult to predict.  


Choosing a somewhat sheer stain means you’re actually combining the color of the new stain with the color of the wood, plus the previous stain.  The color options for this type of deck stain are also limited as these are pre-tinted products.  Our best advice is to choose a stain color that is the same color or darker than your current stain color.  If you do choose to go lighter, just note that you may see more variation within the deck.

You can find a list of SuperDeck transparent and semi-transparent stain colors here.  Some of our favorite semi-transparent stains colors are Riverwood SW 3507, Hill Country SW 3532, and Banyan Brown SW 3522.  These all have a really natural finish that enhances the natural color of many different types of wood. It’s important to always purchase samples and test them out in a discreet area to see how the color blends.

most popular semi transparent stain colors

Semi-Solid and Solid Stain Colors

Due to the harsh Colorado climate, solid stains are the most commonly used deck stains. Solid stains look similar to paint, but they are designed to penetrate the surface of the wood rather than just sit on top of the deck. Solid and semi-solid stains are best for older and more worn decks because they offer greater protection and are more opaque than other stains. Another upside to solid stains is that you can have it mixed in any exterior color.  That means you can match it to your home exterior colors or just choose from a much wider variety of color options.  


We love the flexibility that solid stains offer but it can be challenging to choose a color when you have so many options available.  We find that sticking with browns and more typical wood colors can add a nice contrast to your home. It also helps to keep things looking fairly natural on your deck, even without the prominent wood grain.

2021 top solid stan colors 

Some great solid stain color options that we turn to frequently include Burnished Brandy SW 7523, Leather Bound SW 6118, Brevity Brown SW 6068, and Baked Cookie SW 9098. Each of these has a bit of warmth to them, which helps keep that natural wood feel. But, again color options are vast, so find something that works for you. If you’d prefer more of a modern look, consider a unique black like Darkroom SW 7083 or a cool tone such as Caraibe SW 9090 or Warm Stone SW 7032.  These can give your home a modern feel that will be different from your neighbors.

Staining Your Deck

Once you have your stain color picked out be sure to pressure wash your deck to clean it before staining. It’s important to get full saturation so really let the stain soak in and create that protective layer.  Remember to be realistic about the condition of your deck and if you’re not sure, consult with an experienced professional.  Here in Colorado you should expect to stain your deck about every one to two years due to wear and tear.  Regular maintenance, washes, and staining will help protect the life of your deck and you can sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine.