Painting vs. Staining Your Home’s Exterior

When it comes to taking care of your property, painting and maintaining your home’s exterior is a critical aspect of maintaining its look and value. Whether you decide to paint or stain the exterior surfaces around your property, doing so will provide your home with a multitude of benefits. This article will explore the major differences between painting and staining, as well as the most important factors to consider when deciding between painting or staining a surface.

The Differences Between Painting and Staining

While painting and staining your exterior surfaces can both offer a variety of benefits, they serve different purposes and produce different outcomes. The primary difference between paint and stain is the way in which they interact with the surfaces that they are put on. While paint sits on top of surfaces, the stain is absorbed into the surface that it is put on.

Depending on what you desire for your home’s exterior, understanding the key differences between paint and stain is necessary to ensure that the best decision is made for both you and your home. Continue reading to learn more about several factors that you should consider before deciding between using paint or stain.


In terms of consistency, paint is much thicker than stain. As such, paint typically offers a more clean and consistent covering and fewer coats are needed to cover a surface. Also, paint can be applied to a variety of surfaces (e.g. metal, plastic, wood) and it is offered in a variety of colors. One additional benefit of paint is that it can be applied to previously painted surfaces, meaning that it can also be painted over easily. A potential downside to using paint is that it tends to crack and peel easily.


Stain is a lot thinner than paint and it sells at a lower price point. Given that it is thin, applying stain to a surface as well as reapplying stain are fairly easy processes. It is important to note that stain cannot be applied to a surface that has already been painted because it would be impossible for the painted surface to absorb the stain. In terms of application, a stain is primarily used on wood and it provides surfaces with a more natural look. As such, the colors for stain are more limited when compared to paint. One challenge that tends to come along with stains is that it is more prone to fade and lose vibrancy over time.

When considering whether you want to paint or stain an exterior surface, it is important to consider the key differences that exist between them. While the paint is very versatile and can be applied to a variety of surfaces, a stain is easy to apply, reapply, and it is cheaper. Ultimately, there are a variety of pros and cons to using both paint and stain. What matters most is that you choose the best option for you based on what you desire for your home’s exterior surfaces!