Semi-transparent stains need to be refreshed at least every other year to maintain a uniform coating. These products are designed to be maintenance friendly by simply cleaning and adding another coat. Solid stains cover the natural wood completely and look just like paint. This can be a great option for old decks that aren’t in the best shape and give them a fresh new look. They aren’t as maintenance friendly but do last longer before wearing with the weather. The location, weather and traffic your deck gets will be the determining factor on how long your coating will last.