Questions about Brands of Deck Stains

WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8aFebruary 13, 2014

My deck needs to be restained this year. The young man who gave it it's first staining 2 years ago when it was built told me that the next time he stains it he will charge me a lot more money.

Now my daughter and granddaughters want to do it for me. What in your consideration is the best brand to purchase? We have very dry, very hot summers.

Honestly, I don't think the guy who did it previously, used a very good stain. I don't have experience with deck stains, but this one already has white spots all over it; is that normal?

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I live in the desert area of Eastern Washington. We also get very little rainfall and have very hot summers. I have tried many brands of oil based stains for redwood and cedar decks. The best so far have been made by Cabot. Their semi transparent stains have great colors and last longer than any other I have tried. We have gotten 3 years from them. Last year I wanted an oilier looking finish and opted for their Australian timber oil which lasted even longer on the deck bench we have. The colors of that might be too intense for you and it makes a glossy finish, but not a surface varnish, just oily. It was a tiny bit sticky at first but not a problem for walking on it---just collected dust. I would go with either. I hire a high school boy to put my stain on. Just get the right roller and tray and some cheap brushes in about 3-4 inch width. Use old newspapers or a small dropcloth under the cans and tray to prevent spots. It is just logical how to do it. Hope you have good luck and report back how it turns out and after each year let us know how it has held up.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 2:04PM
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As a professional contractor there are several factors when deciding on a stain and the process used. Before applying a new stain, the existing stain needs to be removed. If its the same type of stain with the same color and its completely run its course, (usually within 2-3 years) then you can just clean and re-apply over that existing stain. If your changing colors or type of stain, it needs to be completely removed. The best method for applying stain is the old fashion way, by brushing. I dont recommend rolling or spraying for three reasons. One, the prep time needed with taping off and covering areas etc. which can take several hours. Two, when rolling or spraying you have to back brush anyway so the labor time spent is just as long and three, it simply looks much better. Always try to stick with oil based semi-transparent stains. They are the easiest to remove and re-apply, they look the best and provide the best type of coverage for both UV and water protection. Finally, the best overall professional grade wood preservative or sealant is TWP. Comes in several colors, provides a lower VOC and applies like warm butter.

The cleaning and prep process is more important than applying the stain itself so be sure you properly clean the wood with an oxygenated bleach (DO NOT USE CHLORINATED BLEACH). Its a powder form that can be easily mixed into a 5 gal. bucket of water. Spray on with a garden sprayer, let dwell about 15-20 minutes then rinse off at low pressure with a pressure washer (800-1000psi). Second step is to neutralize the cleaner with a wood brightener. Spray on with a garden spray, wait 5 min. then rinse off. You will be amazed that when you apply the brightener wood will literally lighten in front of your eyes. This brings the wood back to its natural PH and that is a critical step often missed. After you have rinsed (and be sure you rinse thoroughly) let dry for 48-72 hours then apply the stain. ONE COAT ONLY! Today's stains only need one coat applications especially oil based stains. Hope this helps...good luck with your project!

Here is a link that might be useful: Professional Power Washing Contractor

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 6:52PM
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What color stain did you use on the pictured deck? I like it. A lot!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 9:46PM
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Hi Jen,

This is Natural Tone Cedar by Olympic.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 7:46AM
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I just cleaned and brightened my deck with Restore A Deck products. I applied citrus solvent and tung oil as a finish. I'm interested in preserving the wood. If it goes gray - fine, but want to reduce the drying cracking and save the wood. I live in SC so lots of rain. I'm not interested in coloring the wood - causing wear paths over time. My impression is "I can clean regularly and apply more oil maybe every 2 years or so. Can you advise on my current course and better alternatives?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 5:18PM
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Woodrich products, the hardwood wiping stain, best stuff on the market IMO. Don't sell it but recommend to all and with accolades by all

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 3:00PM
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