Understanding Wood for Your Deck with Arbor Coat

Remodeling your deck can be a fun project if you enjoy getting creative and putting in hard work. Notice I said “hard work” for a reason. If you want your deck to turn out beautiful and professional it’s going to cost you some time . Whether it’s educating yourself about the remodeling process or the physical effort you put into the project, prepare to be invested. With the help of Benjamin Moore, our trusted paint expert partners, Howards Brother’s is here to help you build your dream deck. It all comes down to understanding wood with 3 main topics: opacity, color choice, and type of wood.


When we hear opacity, usually wood is NOT the first thing that comes to mind. Opacity is the degree to which you can see the natural grain of wood and there are four different levels of opacity you can choose from:

  • Clear stain has no color added and shows the natural beauty of the wood.
  • Translucent stain doesn’t obscure grain and texture of wood and includes just the slightest tone.
  • Semi Transparent stain allows most of the grain and texture to show through, with slightly more prominent color.
  • Semi Solid stain, with its deeper shades, covers most imperfections while allowing some of the grain and texture of the wood to show through.
  • Solid stain offers the greatest color depth of all, covering the majority of imperfections while allowing the texture of the wood to peek through lightly.

There is no “right” opacity setting, it all comes down to your preference. While many people prefer a semi transparent look, you have to understand that it is more likely to be damaged faster than as would a solid stain. Think of it as sunscreen almost. Lower SPFs require more frequent application than do higher SPFs. Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat has some of the best translucent and semi transparent shades to keep you deck looking better for much longer.

Color Choice

It’s no secret that wood color choice matters if you want your deck to make an impression. Now is your chance to get those creative juices flowing in your mind! If you are looking to highlight your deck’s architecture, consider the same shade as your home’s trim. For a more monochromatic look, you can use a similar shade as your house’s primary color. (This is a good choice if you want features like your fire pit or dining area as your deck’s focal point.) Some more popular color options include: gray, red, blue, taupe, and green. The right color combination is ready for you to discover. If you need a little help, go back to the color wheel and see how your combinations line up.

Wood Choice

Lastly we have the most important topic, wood choice. There are three common choices when it comes to wood decks. They are redwood, cedar, and wood alternatives such as “composite decking”— which can be made of various types of wood species. More expensive hardwoods such as mahogany or redwood offer gorgeous grain and texture that shine through when using a more transparent stain like Transluscent or Semi Transparent. Softer, and less expensive woods such as pressure treated southern yellow pine or cedar, benefit from Semi Solid and Solid stains’ innate weather barrier. Whichever wood you decide, there is a Benjamin Moore Arborcoat to match it.


Benjamin Moore is a great brand that we proudly carry and represent. Come by and see us at any of our 5 locations. We are happy to answer any questions about Arborcoat or any other Benjamin Moor products.

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