Wake Forest Raleigh NC Interior Exterior Painters

The Painters Blog

Some of our awesome work along with a few thoughts from the painter.

Stain vs. Paint Compared – Their Difference and Pros and Cons

Someone staining a deck with a blue paint brush. Both stain and paint entail their own distinct benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to beautifying your surfaces and adding to their protection against the elements, stain and paint are the two most popular and widely available choices. Both have their similarities in that they are both composed of pigments and as well as perform the same function. However, when assessing which of either you should apply to your surface, it is useful to know the difference between them as well as the distinct benefits and drawbacks each entails.

A stain is a finish that provides a transparent to solid look to the applied surface, allowing you to preserve the more natural look of it. A semi-transparent satin will show the grain of the wood, while a solid color stain will be opaque and you will not see the wood through it, but you will see the profile of the wood.

Stains are used for surfaces such as wood siding, cedar siding, wood fences, decorative wooden molding, and decking. Stains are meant to penetrate, seal, and cure on the wood without using a primer.
While stains are primarily used for wooden surfaces, certain products can extend to other materials as well such as concrete. In terms of viscosity, stains usually tend to be thinner than paint, making it more absorbent.


  • Natural look
  • Usually requires only one coat
  • You will not need to prime the wood surface
  • Can get it in any color


  • Provides no choice in sheen 
  • Quite absorbent so more of it required on some surfaces
  • Stain cannot be used on composite materials unless using a gel stain on a fiberglass door

Paint is the better choice when the surface is a non-porous material such as fiber cement board or a composite surface, or any other previously painted or sealed surface. Paint can go on drywall, trim or any type of siding with the exception of cedar siding.

Because you have to factor in not just the price of paint but also of surface preservatives and primer, paint tends to be more expensive. . However, choosing to paint also grants you far greater choices, in both sheen, color, and even specialization for exterior painting or interior painting.

A painted surface is always opaque, completely hiding the natural look of it but you, in turn, benefit from a more uniform and more refined finish. On average, paint tends to be also more durable, less vulnerable to being stripped away from pressure cleaning, and typically lasting nearly 10 years longer than stain before requiring re-application providing you use a good quality paint, and the proper preparation and application is applied.


  • More variety
  • More durable
  • More uniform finish


  • Artificial look, no natural grain
  • Costs more
  • Can be harder to apply and the process takes longer when painting a bare wood surface (needs priming).

Creative Painting Systems is top-rated commercial and residential painters proudly serving clients from most parts of North Carolina including Wake Forest, Raleigh, Rolesville, Youngsville, and Knightdale. We take client satisfaction seriously and go above and beyond in providing a quality service; the owner is at every job site. For an estimate or any other query, call 919-435-6023.

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Trex Transcend Composite Decking

This old deck was remove and replaced with Trex Transcend Composite decking. Trex is a green product that used 95% recycled boards, is fade, stain and scratch resistant , has a deep wood grain pattern, and is easy to clean. And it looks great. Call us if you would like an estimate to replace your deck.

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We won't stop until you are satisfied.

We use only the highest quality paint products so you can be assured that the job is done correctly, and will last for years to come.
Protection of your property, interior and exterior, is very important to us. All of our work is guaranteed