Staining Vs. Painting

Do you need a stain or paint finish for your surface? Choosing between the two depends on different factors. While they can both do a similar job in providing an excellent finish that adds a protective layer, they vary in terms of appearance, cost, application method, durability, maintenance, and the nature of the surface on which each can be used. Read on for a comparison of staining vs. painting.

Stains maintain a natural look

Paint creates a coat on your surface and hides it, while stain penetrates the wood maintaining its original beauty. If you love the natural effect on the wood, then the stain is the better option for you.


A gallon of paint costs much less compared to paint. While painting, you will need to incur additional costs to purchase a primer, while in the case of staining, you do not need one as a stain already contains preservatives. 


Paint offers a wide variety of options to choose from, from neutral colors to popping bright ones, unlike stain, which is only designed to accentuate the original hue of wood.


Both paints and stains are durable depending on the quality you use on your surface. On continuous exposure to direct sunlight, stain gets lighter or darker in some instances. On the other hand, paint is more liable to flaking and peeling and often requires a touch-up.

Paint hides damages

If your surface is old, damaged, and has flaws, you want a finish that hides them completely. In this case, painting will be a great idea as it creates a mask on the wood, making it look new.


Prepping a surface is always the first step, whether you are opting for staining or painting. However, working with paint is somewhat easier as you can apply only a single coat, unlike paint which requires a primer and about two layers to achieve a perfect finish.


Paint dries out, leaving out a smooth surface that makes cleaning dust or dirt easier. At the same time, the stain dries in a matte finish which requires much effort and keenness while cleaning.

Hire a pro to do the job

With so many painting contractors today, Brightstar House Painters is the leading painting contractor in Rockville, MD. Call us today at (240) 449-1736 and receive free, no-commitment estimates from our highly skilled pros. We are dedicated to ensuring we provide only the best services in the region.

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Staining vs painting
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