A freshly stained deck is not only beautiful to look at but it provides protection against the harsh conditions it is exposed to such as sun, rain, snow and the occasional spill.  There are several options available from clear and wood tone finishes that enhance the natural colour of the wood.  Semi-transparent stains will still let grain show through but can change the colour tone of your wood.  Solid stains will generally obscure woodgrain but allow for unlimited colour options and deep vibrant colours.  Even with proper preparation and application your deck will require periodic refinishing, usually ever 2-3 years.