Interior Stain Versus Exterior Stain

Here is a quick compare between interior stain and exterior stain.

Interior Stain

Interior stains are used for finishing furniture and various types of interior woodwork - doors, door and window trim, beams, floors, and so on. This category includes pigment or dye-based wiping stains, gel stains, and specialized products such as Danish Oil and stain-polyurethane mixes. Interior stains (except for stain-polyurethane mixes) require a protective top coat that not only protects against moisture, solvents, and scratches but also adds a sheen to the finished surface. Before an interior stain is applied, the wood is typically sanded to remove any milling marks or scratches which tend to be accentuated when stain is applied.

Exterior Stain

Exterior stain is intended for use on decks, rails, siding, shingles, trim, shutters, patio furniture, and pretty much any wooden item used outdoors. Products in this category, which include natural-translucent stains, semi-transparent to solid color stains, have special additives that allow them to better withstand the elements. These include mildew blockers, fade resistors, scuff resistors (deck surfaces), and even insect repellents. Many exterior stains also have waterproofing capabilities that provide protection from the damaging effects of rain or snow. Exterior stains typically don't require an additional protective top coat but it is always a good idea to read the product label to confirm. Note that the more color an exterior wood stain has, the greater the UV protection and the longer the stain is likely to last.