The first images below show the decks before staining. Our new deck maintenance routine required three gallons of semi-transparent stain, two people (my wife and I) and one day to complete. Wide painting pads attached to broom handles made the work go fast and easy. The durable pads allowed us to work the stain into the wood for excellent penetration (you can't do that with rollers). You can see the light cedar colour of the stain in the three photos taken later when clubhouse construction was underway. We did the same thing all over again in the spring of 2014. I thought one full day of easy labour every spring was a very small price to pay for ensuring that our wonderful new decks would last for decades.
The final image below shows the deck of our cottage with a fresh coat of semi-transparent stain in 2014. The wider edge board on the right was purchased new in 2011. Almost all of the other boards were part of the original cottage deck and were more than 20 years old! As you can see, it's hard to tell the difference between them. Nothing extends the life of wood decks like semi-transparent stain!
These photographs from my personal collection were taken in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Please contact me if you'd like to learn more about them. Click or tap to enlarge, or view all photos enlarged (1000px).