The care and maintenance of mahogany decks – a staple of South Shore homes

Mahogany decks are very common on South Shore and Boston-area homes. Here are some things you need to know about maintaining them:

Water-resistance is important for Mahogany Decks

water on mahogany deckMahogany deck floorboards need staining every 2 years:

Because water puddles on horizontal surfaces, your mahogany deck floor will look worn out long before the vertical mahogany spindles around your deck. Vertical surfaces tend to shed water and dry faster than horizontal surfaces and you’ll often see a difference in color between the spindles (darker) and the deck flooring boards (faded).

Consider Trex or another Composite material for your deck’s floorboards, to prevent the need to stain your deck.

If you are putting in new deck floorboards and don’t want to worry about constantly staining them every 2 years to keep them protected and beautiful, consider installing composite floorboards like Trex which are maintenance-free.  This means you won’t need to call us to stain your mahogany deck every 2 years and can enjoy a deck that looks like mahogany.  Our carpenters can install Trex floorboards – just tell us when we’re at your home quoting your project.

get a deck restoration estimate

Which stain should I use on my Mahogany Deck?

mahogany deck staining

The stain we like to use for mahogany decks is Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Translucent Oil Stain.

Most customers choose the translucent formula, but you can also choose the semi-transparent stain if you’d like more pigment. If you go to Curry Ace Hardware in Hanover or Quincy, they will have samples from which to choose the correct stain formula and color.

If you’re staining your deck yourself, be sure to test the stain color in a small area first.  Different mahogany will absorb the stain and pigment differently and you want to make sure you’re getting the color you like.





Sunlight fades Mahogany Decks.sunlight on deck

The more sunlight that hits your deck, the more often you’ll have to re-stain it.

If your deck is in direct sun, consider using a semi-transparent stain that has more pigment in it than a transparent stain does.  Or better yet, consider having our carpenters replace the mahogany deck boards with Trex – a maintenance-free composite material that looks like mahogany.

Patio furniture, outdoor carpets, and grills “protect” your deck from the sun, but can cause “dark spots” on your mahogany deck. If you stain over these areas, the new stain will often appear darker than the rest of the deck. We use a special product during the washing phase of your project, to help ‘break up the stain’ in the darkened areas that haven’t been exposed to as much sunlight. This allows the new stain to absorb more evenly.


What to know when installing a new mahogany deck:building a deck

If you are installing a new mahogany deck and if the boards are NOT YET installed on the deck, apply the stain on all SIX sides of the decking boards, including cuts (the place where the saw cut the wood). You can decide whether or not to stain the underside of the boards.  If the boards are not yet installed,  it makes sense to stain the underside because this can be done so easily before they are put in place.  If the boards are already nailed down, it’s trickier to get the stain onto the underside of the board, so you can decide if it’s worth it to you.

If you have not bought the mahogany for your project, re-consider using natural wood mahogany and consider using Trex – a maintenance-free composite floorboard that looks like mahogany, but does not need staining every 2 years as mahogany wood requires.

How long will your new Mahogany deck last?

With proper maintenance, a Mahogany deck will last 40 years – which is comparable to cedar, another common deck material.  Pressure-treated decks will last 50 years as a comparison.  If you’re comparing Mahogany to Trex, which is a composite material that’s virtually maintenance-free, Trex offers a 25-year warranty on their decks.



How Often Should Mahogany Decks be Stained?

deck staining schedule

We recommend staining your mahogany deck at least every two years, to keep it looking nice and to keep the wood protected from our harsh New England winters.

Here are step-by-step instructions from Benjamin Moore that will give you an idea of exactly HOW to stain your deck if you’re interested in doing it yourself.

If you have any questions, even if you’re maintaining your deck yourself and don’t want to hire a professional, just reach out to us at [email protected]. We’re here to help.

You also might like:

Our carpenters can replace your deck with wood or composite

Our deck staining services

Exterior painting the CertaPro way


certapro worker working on deck
Our painter sprays detergent prior to power washing this Pembroke mahogany deck.