Skip to main content

FCI's Painting Blog

staining wood

Staining Wood Features in Your Southwest Florida Home

Paint is the go-to coating product in southwest Florida for covering most interior and exterior surfaces, but some wooden features of a home are better served by coating with a stain. In particular, the natural wood used for some home features may be so beautiful that hiding it under a coat of paint might seem criminal. A stain, on the other hand, can enhance such wood’s natural beauty and significantly boost the character of a room or area. Critical wooden features in your home that may look better stained rather than painted include:

  • Cabinetry
  • Stairs and banisters
  • Crown Molding
  • Trim work
  • Decks

The professionals at Naples-based FCI Painting have been offering wood staining services to southwest Florida homeowners for more than 25 years. They have the experience and artistic eye to determine which wood in a home should be stained rather than painted and can give you tips about the benefits of using stain. Read on to learn more about staining wood features in homes, and then turn to FCI painting for your wood staining work

How Stains Protect Your Wood

While not as much of a factor for interior wooden features, many people wonder whether stains provide as much protection for wood surfaces as paint. Decks and other exterior wooden surfaces need protection from rain, sunlight, mold, mildew, air pollution, termites, and other damaging elements that can significantly shorten their lifespans. While paint provides a protective cover over the wood, stains are absorbed into the wood, which provides protection both within and on top of the surface. As both offer a decent degree of protection, your choice will often come down to deciding whether you want to showcase the natural beauty of the wood.

Pros and Cons of Choosing Stain Over Paint

Along with highlighting the natural beauty of wood, stain has some other advantages over paint. It is usually less expensive than paint and easier to apply and then touch up when needed. It’s also much less likely than paints to peel, crack, chip, and flake.

That said, stains generally do not hold up as long as paint, meaning that stained wood will need recoating sooner than painted wood. Know also that some woods—particularly tropical hardwoods—do not absorb certain stains well. Such woods can be stained with specialty stains and/or with specialized pre-stain preparation. The final look of wood stains is also less predictable than paint, which means you may have to experiment with different stains to find the one that will deliver the surface look you desire.

Choosing the Right Stain

To choose the right stain for your home’s wood features, consider the beauty of the wood first. Examine the wood under different lighting conditions and assess how the color and wood grain work together to distinguish it. With this in mind, you can determine how light or dark you want the final finish, the extent you wish the wood grain to show, and other factors that can affect the final finish.

Depending on these decisions, you can determine how much wood grain you want to expose through the stain. This will help you decide from among five different opacities: clear, transparent, semi-transparent, semi-solid, and solid. Clear and transparent stains deliver the least color change while letting the wood’s natural beauty shine through the coating. Semi-transparent stains allow for minor to moderate changes to the hue, while semi-solids and solids deliver more variation, including a paint-like, non-transparent finish.

Stains also differ according to their base. Oil-based and water-based stains can both be used for transparent and semi-transparent coverages. Oil-based stains penetrate the deepest, but they are slow to dry and more difficult to clean up, while water-based stains provide wider variations of hue choices. They also work better on some woods, such as maple and pine, that are more resistant to oil-based stains. Water-based stains are easier to clean up, but a sealant should be followed up for exterior use. Varnish-based stains are the most similar to paint and are primarily used for the least transparent jobs.

Learn More with a Professional Naples, FL Painting Company

If you want to learn more about stain options for your home’s interior and exterior wood features, consult with FCI Painting. With more than 25 years of professional painting and staining experience in the Naples, Florida area, contact FCI Painting online or call us at (239) 435-1001.

Check Out Our Residential and Commercial Painting Galleries!

Take a look at our Residential and Commercial Painting Galleries for a preview of the exceptional work FCI Painting Corp provides for all of our clients. Click the links below to learn why we're the preferred Naples painters for the past 30 years!

6 Stars

The entire process from start to finish was professional. They did a great job and left everything clean. Ryan wouldn’t leave until everything was perfect. The entire team was so responsive. I would recommend FCI to anyone. I would give them 6 stars if I could.

Bruce G

Reasonably Priced & Very Detailed

We have a three unit, two story condo building that needed an exterior painting job we awarded to FCI Painting. Their proposal was reasonably priced and very detailed. Richard Foden’s came to estimate the job and took the time to explain the process, answer questions and provide recommendations (that help us in our process). We received four proposals and FCI’s stood out making our decision straight forward. FCI crew was professional and the foreman ‘Eduardo’ exceptional. On a daily basis’s he communicated what to expect, what they would be achieving and the crews next steps. Crew was courteous and cleaned up the grounds every evening. We highly recommend FCI Painting company. Thanks

Leo G

Incredible Service

I honestly cannot recommend this company enough. I was attempting to find painters in Naples while I was still in Canada. Richard and his team were so helpful in the process, going above and beyond what I could have ever imagined. They were thorough, professional, and one of the best prices I found in the area. Incredible service.

Jeremy S

Definitely Use Them Again

Richard and his team were great to work with. They were polite, cleaned up and did an awesome job! I have already recommended them to people and would definitely use them again.

Helen R

Ahead of schedule

Very professional, prompt… even ahead of schedule. I will always use them from now on.

Brittany K

Can’t Recommend FCI Painting enough

I can’t recommend FCI Painting enough! Owner Richard Foden runs one of the finest painting companies I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. When my business moved into our new office, we started researching painters in Naples, FL and FCI came highly recommended. The commercial painters that Richard works with are prompt, thorough and professional. After working with them in a business setting, I’ll be certain to give Richard a call next time I’m in need of house painters as well.

Martin V

Professional & Friendly

Had my condo painted by FCI Painting and they did an outstanding job! They were professional and friendly.

Eileen F

Competitive & Fair

FCI Painting did an outstanding job for us and we are more than pleased with the results. We found the pricing to be competitive and fair. Our painter, Chris, was an expert craftsman, patched several areas of drywall that needed attention and helped us work through a problem we had with one of the colors we chose. We would definitely recommend FCI painting for anyone looking for a quality job at a fair price.

Donna C

Way Above Expectation

Big thanks to FCI, I had them paint my house inside and out and they did a fantastic job, way above my expectations, there employees were punctual and polite, and the work was completed 2 days before the scheduled completion date. Would not hesitate to recommend A++++++++++

Neil S

Highly Suggest Their Work

FCI Painting did a fantastic job on my driveway. They were swift, neat, and very sharp eye on quality. I would highly suggest there work and I would call them again.

Tom D

Pleasure to Deal With

FCI did a great job painting our home! Job was done on time & on budget, no surprises! Rich was a pleasure to deal with & was very prompt when responding to a question or request. Chris, our painter, was on-time each day, always prepared, cleaned up every afternoon, worked at a good pace & super friendly. Would definitely use them again & recommend them highly!

Christine C

Always an Outstanding Job

My family has used FCI in our homes and businesses. They have always done an outstanding job, neat and clean and Richard is wonderful accommodating owner to work with. I would highly recommend this company to anyone.

Valerie G

Great Company, Great Results

Great Company, Great Results! We use FCI whenever we can!


Easy to Deal With

Pleasant and easy to deal with. Did exactly what they said they would, when they said they would do it. Would highly recommend.

Christopher G

Beautiful Work

Beautiful work and very friendly respectful employees. Couldn’t be happier.

Tiffany K