Deck stain color choice is a crucial decision for many deck owners. Once the stain soaks into the wood it is difficult to reverse your decision. You can find the color choice of most any stain printed on the stain container label. You may also order or pick up some color swatches at your local stain store or go online to view the different color charts.
The difficulty with choosing a stain color from a picture or swatch is that it is only a close representation of what the color might look like. For example, some color tones are lighter in appearance than others due to the opacity of the deck stain. Many deck owners have been shocked by how different the color ended up being once they applied it to their deck, but it was too late.
The trouble with deck stain, especially the more transparent and semi-transparent stains, is that the color can vary widely from deck to deck. The porosity, age, and type of wood will all play a role in the final color result and many times it can be far from what you thought it would be.
The best way to know exactly what the deck stain will look like on your deck is to have the actual stain so you can do a test spot. Unfortunately, it isn't feasible to purchase multiple cans of deck stain so you can sample them all to find the right look. That would be extremely expensive and a waste of resources. But now there is a way.
You can order small deck stain samples (1.5-2oz.) to test on your deck until you find the exact color you want. Colors samples for major deck stain brands like TWP, Defy, Armstrong, Messmers, Penofin, and Wood Tux are available for purchase.
For a small fee, you can order as many deck stain color samples as you would like. Once you decide to purchase the stain from that same site, the money you spent on color samples goes towards the purchase of a 5-gallon pail of stain making the color samples virtually free.
This "try before you buy" is the best way we have found for deck owners to test spot stain colors to see how the actual color turns out on their deck. No more guessing with pictures and color charts.
Please ask any questions you may have below.