The propensity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) having two different polymer coatings (poly(vinylpyrrolidone), PVP, or gum arabic, GA) to aggregate, or to deposit to a reference surface (silica), was explored as a basis for differentiating the effect of surface coating on the stability of nanoparticles in aggregation and in deposition. Surface polymeric coatings stabilize nanoparticles against aggregation as shown by either an increased critical coagulation concentration as for PVP-coated AgNPs (AgPVP) or the absence of observable aggregation even at a high ionic strength as for GA-coated AgNPs (AgGA). In experiments of AgNPs deposition in a silica porous medium, dissimilar surfaces favored deposition, such as the case where polymer coatings were present on the AgNPs but were absent on the porous medium. The increased affinity of the AgNPs for the porous medium in this case may be explained by a shifted contact frontier where electrical double layer interaction is weaker. When coating polymers were introduced to the porous medium and allowed to preadsorb to the silica surfaces, the attachment efficiencies for both the AgPVP and AgGA were reduced due to steric and electrosteric stabilization, respectively. The results suggest that polymeric coatings that are usually deemed as stabilizers (as they indeed are in the case of autoaggregation) might not necessarily stabilize nanoparticles against deposition unless the collector surfaces are also coated with polymer.