Which deck stain is right for me?
Picking the right deck stain for your situation can be a tricky proposition. Here are my quick thoughts on stain type:
I love transparent stains on a deck, especially ones that are in good condition. The trade off with transparent stains is that they are not as durable as solid or semi-transparent stains. They will weather and wear faster.
This is a good middle ground for decks that are aging. It still gives you some wood grain appearance, but it also gives you slightly more UV protection. You can also begin to tint or the wood more to your liking.
The middle ground for semi-transparent stains continues to its durability. They last a little longer than transparent stains but not as long as solid stains.
You also should consider that once you go with a semi-transparent stain, you have to stay with at least a semi-transparent stain from then on or go with a solid stain after that. There is no going back to a natural/transparent look without some pain (much wood stripper and/or a sander will be required).
Solid stains are much more durable and provide the clean an even look of a flat paint. This is excellent for older or deteriorating decks.
The trade-offs are that they are incredibly more durable then transparent stains, but when they wear, they start to chip or peel off instead of wear naturally like a transparent stain. This means that when they start to wear, they look bad - fast.
So take your pick, but always feel free to consult with a professional on which deck stain they would recommend to protect and beautify your outdoor living space!