Before you purchase the latest, sexy-sounding stain from a fancy display at your local hardware or home improvement store please make sure that you know if it is compatible with the current stain on your home and deck.

Most Tahoe Donner homes and decks are stained with the same product, be it an oil-based or water-based stain. It is most cost-effective when a painting contractor can apply the same product simultaneously to both your home’s siding and its deck system. Once you change products on either the siding or the deck the cost to re-stain increases because the time and effort to separate and apply the two products increases dramatically.

The vast majority homes and decks in the Truckee/Tahoe area are stained with an oil-based product, such as Gemini TWP, PreservaWood or SuperDeck, as these oil-based products have a proven performance history in our harsh climate. Unless you know with certainty that your home was last stained with a water-based product beware of products that have acrylic, latex or water-based in their description. These water-based products are not compatible with oil-based stains. They require different chemicals to clean and strip than oil-based stains. And because each area has to be sprayed separately there is a lot of time dedicated to masking off the two distinct areas, thus dramatically increasing the cost of labor.

If you’re not sure what type of stain is currently on your house or deck you may want to either contact a local painting contractor or take a sample of wood to a local paint store. A painting professional will help you identify the product, potentially saving you big headaches and thousands of dollars in future savings.