I have had it with deck stain

lenpga2bAugust 3, 2005

I need soembody to help me come to a consensus.

I have been trolling the forums for weeks to try and find some sort of recomedation on a deck treatment. I have looked at countless numbers of web pages......and guess what they all say something different.

I have a cedar deck that is two years old and has not been stained/sealed/preserved/waterproofed etc. I have done all the prep work to get ready for a stain. The whole shot.....oxalic acid....oxegen bleach.....sanded the whole thing. Two levels....400 square feet each...220 spindles. Took me almost three weekends to complet. It is time to get something on it.....but what.

Lets make it clear right now. I do not want a solid stain. I am leaning between a "toned" sealer and a semitranserent stain. I have read all the cans. Cabots, Olympic, Wholmans, TWP, Penofin, Flood, Behr. Non e tell you the one thing that I am looking for. I do not want to have to strip the stain off the next time it needs a little refresing. I really don't care if I have to "wash" the deck once a year and reapply product. I do not want to have to strip, brighten, sand and seal every year.....or ever again for that matter. I want the deck to look great and I have no intetion of waiting until the deck is full of mold/algae and peeling sealer to redo it again. I want it to look good every year.

So what I need is somebody to recomend me a product that I can apply this year and next year take some "cleaning agent" be it oxalic acid TSP or whatever and wash down the deck an slap another coat on top to make it look new again.

So can somebody tell me what to use? I hoep I just don't hear TWP. Beacasue the other board was all about "ready Seal" and the other one was all about Cabot. Just help me understand the contents of the product and how aften I can apply wtihout stripping.

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Non e tell you the one thing that I am looking for. I do not want to have to strip the stain off the next time it needs a little refresing.

Not sure what gave you this idea...I've never "stripped" a semi-transparent stain (not sure how you could do that, except by sanding 1/8" or 1/4" down). I used Cabot's Australian Timber Oil last year. This year I spent a couple hours cleaning, reapplied Timber Oil (didn't sand) and it looks brand new.

So what I need is somebody to recomend me a product that I can apply this year and next year take some "cleaning agent" be it oxalic acid TSP or whatever and wash down the deck an slap another coat on top to make it look new again.

See my experience re: Cabot's above...clean with sodium percarbonate, pH balance with oxalic acid...then reapply stain...easy as pie.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 8:09PM
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Penetrating oil stains come out completely and relatively easy using a sodium hydroxide stripper (sanding is bad for a deck). Alas, try Deckscapes (Sherwin Williams) oil based, semi transparent deck sealer. For three or four years you can just clean and topcoat. You will probably only have to do verticals once every 2-3 years. The sealer wil get a little darker each season. Keep it free of mold and you will get longer life.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 11:15PM
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check out the Sikkens products.I've had it my IPE decks for a year and it still looks great.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 10:36AM
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I have arrived at the same "moment" that you have. I, however, was using Sherwin Williams Deckscapes. While I think Pressurepros is the sum of all knowledge in these matters....my experience was not so good. On my Chicagoland deck the product disappeared in certain areas over the winter. Probably due to perolonged snow exposure as I do not completely shovel my deck after each snow. The result was that after I reapplied in the spring the deck became increasingly splotchy. There is NO way I could go more than one year without a reapplication and the build up was increasingly a problem in terms of appearance.

I stripped the product off , brightned it and am about to apply TWP this weekend.

I too have been to a number of forums and settled on TWP...I think I could have continued debating the merits of various products indefinately. My (hopefully correct) understanding is that I will be able to recoat eack spring without much more that a good washing....fingers crossed I will proceed. I think your weather may push you into a different direction but the TWP seems to offer good penetrating oilbased protection and the ability to recoat in following years without striping or brightening.

I'm curious to hear how you decide.....might help me if the TWP doesn't pan out.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 10:50AM
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Nevermore44 - 6a

Check out the link below... i am ready to treat my new fence that I spent all last spring/summer/fall.... spring/summer... building...

just notice on the chart .. the TYPE... and the product number if you go to buy anything. So far what I have read.. you don't need to strip as long as it isn't a solid color or paint.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 12:01PM
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If you care to, check out Superdeck Brand Products...superdeck.com. They've got the stain / sealer and give much info on long time care. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 1:35PM
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I built my deck using western red cedar. I use Behr cedar semi-transparent stain after washing (hand-scrubbing, actually) with Oxi-Clean In my zone (San Francisco) I get heavy fog, and some tall lilacs grow along one side. So I do get a little mildew in the shaded areas, but it comes right off with the scrubbing. I do the washing one weekend day (during the sunny season) and the stain the next, and after five years it has never failed to look great.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 10:41PM
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City, you may get better results looking into superior products. Behr and OxyClean are not the best choices for a deck.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 6:27AM
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I used the product below last year and was pleased with the results after going through the winter. I'm only going to have to clean it and apply more this year, whereas the 3 or so years before I'd have to strip it each year and each spring it looked terrible with black streaks on the bench sides and the deck surface greyed out here and there. It has been nice to enjoy the deck this summer without feeling pressured to redo it.
I don't have the experience in this that several people on here do, so do your homework. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Stains

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 12:43PM
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PressurePros, what products would you recommend?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 1:36PM
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Oils, like penofin (I have ipe mind you) are easy to surface.

If you should ever have a problem with TWP, you have to strip to redue. If you have peeling, its a problem. This is what I read and why I stayed away from a sealer type product. I think when they are great, they are great, but problems happen! I need a finish that was forgiving and I don't ever want to strip and sand 1,500sf!

With the penofin, I wash with liguid dawn which really does clean it good. Wait 2 days, then refinish with a roller, and a sponge mop to wipe off excess. Takes 3 hours. If for some reason I totally blow it, I use penofin prep deck to clean, and start again. 4 mos later will have to recoat.

Again, I went with this product for its forgiveness. I had a sikkens deck previously and could not keep up on the maintenence and had peeling. It was a mess! Granted, it was my bad.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 3:36PM
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Well, it's that time of year again.
I need to restain my cedar screen porch.

Was wondering, if someone can validate Cabots Decking Stain-1400 series is a forgiving product. I think the previous poster raised a valid concern.

e.g. Can it be re-applied year-to-year (or as required) without having to strip it first?

I have this question posted to the Cabots tech support, but was curious if anyone else could speak to this? thanks,


    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 2:44PM
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I, too, am at the same place you were 2 years ago with my cedar deck rails. I have sanded them and need to use a product that will require only cleaning and re-application in the future. Did you have any success? I've used Thompson's, Cabot's, and TWP in the past, and still ended up needing to sand the entire thing due to mold, splitting and raising of the grain. What worked for you?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 6:54AM
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I too need to stain my 5 year old cedar deck. I used TWP on a different deck about 8 years ago with mixed success.

Has TWP made any changes to their product since then?

Anyone use One Time Wood?

I'd like to not have to treat the deck every 2-3 years. Onetime says 7 years. But it seems somewhat new.

I also don't want to apply something that I can't get off if it isn't any good.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 10:07PM
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I also have a two year old deck which I stained with Sikkens. I do not like it at all and find it impossible to remove - have powerwashed and it removes some of it. I am hoping that someone knows of a product that can be applied that will strip it and then wash it off. I do not want to have to sand my several large decks. I then want to use something that I can clean and apply every two or three years without the necessity of sanding and powerwashing. Any help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 5:27PM
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sikkens is junk, this stuff>>md80

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:13PM
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I just happened to come across this post today.

I just finished up the most miserable and extremely time consuming part of deck stripping in my life. Mind you my deck is huge.

My deck is pine/pressure/treated and I have had the deck 13 years. It is holding up great!

About 6 years ago I decided to stain it, I cannot tell you if I used a solid or transparent or even oil or water based. All I know if that it was Thompson's and it was more or a darker brown. It was time to remove it as it was badly into fading.

It took me almost 1 month to strip all of the stain off. I have lattice, the works. My deck expands to the roof also by way of posts. I will NEVER EVER go thru that again.

I used Cabots Stripper and a Pressure Washer. My next step will be sanding, then I will be ready to stain.

This crap has been a total nightmare. I never had peeling problems like some of you, just a lot of fading and a little mold here and there.

Right now I am looking into Cabot's Semi Solid OIL Stain. Is this the same as semi-transparent?

My deck needs to have a little color to it, so I need something, just WILL NOT go thru this labor intensive long process again.

My whole summer will be shot by the time I get done. I guess I should be looking on the bright side that my deck is still in such great shape after 13 years.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2007 at 10:06PM
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There are hundreds of products and opinions for each - no matter what, you'll be doing some maintenance every 2 years or so. There is no product that will last much longer. IMHO, pick a product where that maintenance is not difficult. Usually with a penetrating oil, it's a simple wash and re-seal.

I'd go with something like Readyseal or Wood Tux.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 11:00AM
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Readyseal gets my vote!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 11:19AM
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Gosh...I hate to disagree with a couple people, but we sell so much Sikkens where I work...

* Prepped properly, it works great!
* MANY, many, satisfied customers.
* We quiz them about past maintenance, height off ground, what side of house, etc.
* Actually, sanding IS the best prep!! If you haven't sanded the walking area in 10 years...it's time to do it!
* Per Sikkens insructions (the best I've seen), sanding is the desired prep every few years.
* Rent a 12"x18" vibrating-plate sander, buy 2 sheets of 80-grit & a backer-pad, and you're good to go!
* On my 11-yr-old Redwood deck, I was staining 2 hrs later. Vacuumed off dust, & tack-wiped with thinner. No need to wait DAYS after pressure-washing to stain!
* It's been 3 years & I need to stain again. Our deck is West exposure, ZERO shade, & 6' off ground.
* I'll be re-applying the #089 SRD Redwood.

>>> I just wish Redwood was harder...darn dog is hard on the steps!! I should sand some of the steps again...


    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 2:59AM
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I too am getting ready to stain my 500 sq ft Ipe deck. The first time I did I used Penofin and almost got 2 years out of it but it was losing a bit of the color come the 2nd summer. At that point I switched to Cabots stain and got less than 10 months out of it. What will i use this summer... not sure yet. I was looking into Sikken until I realized that it is a seal that leaves a film instead of penetrating the wood. I have read some good things about Defy which is what i will look into next. I may just have to change my mindset and think of it as an annual chore and reapply every year. :(
Location: rainy Oregon

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 11:28PM
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Hey Cowboy,

You were probably looking at the wrong Sikkens. The SRD is a 1-coat NO-SHEEN penetrating oil. It DOES need to have existing finishes removed however...preferably sanded off.

The DEK-Base/DEK system, & the newer DEK-Finish are SHEEN-BUILDING products that largely form a film ON TOP of the wood.
* ALL SIX sides of the wood need to be coated for this system to hold up. The idea being to keep moisture from penetrating from underneath and pushing off the film.
* This stuff works great if you're building deck-benches where it's easy to coat all sides; or, for spindles/handrails.
* This ISN'T recommended for lower decks under 3' off ground level however. Moisture-load from groundwater evap. is just too great.
* It also requires a recoating (on top sides) every other year. Higher-maintenance yes, but some people do love that sheen-look! It's all about staying AHEAD of damage, instead of tons of effort to rescue a damaged deck.

>>> Therefore, SRD is the one to use for 95% of existing decks.
>>> We have SO FEW complaints about Sikkens up here in ND. With winter nights sometimes -30, to an occasional 100+ in summer with high-humidity, it's a wonder ANYTHING stays on a deck up here!!!
>>> We've got customers that drive 200 miles to buy it from us...So, sorry J, just can't agree with your Sikkens-bashing.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 12:26AM
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I am suffering big time with our cedar deck ~ I have built a 3000 square foot wrap around deck that I am spending my w/e washing and sanding. We used Olympic and the whole thing is peeling, much worse where the snow has been. Which makes me think I should keep it snow free! Gulp. Lowes told us that OLympic was the best but what you put on cedar is different from preseure treated timber so make sure you emphasise the wood you have. For example Lowes told us to use Deck Cleaner to clean it up when I told them about the mess but that was a distater and even Olympic said that was totally wrong and leaves a ghastly mess. Eventually got some help from Olympic and they agreed their product was not working the way it should but it is still hand and knees for months and they never gave us credit for their mistake even though they pronmised this! I am doing an experiment with Cabots Olympic and Thompsons ~ all I want in life is a good cedar deck protector that can be simply "brightened" every year and redone to bring out the quality of the beautiful (and expensive) wood I invested in!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 12:53PM
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We're building a new redwood deck. We don't want it to fade to gray, yet don't want it to look painted. What finish do you recommend?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:50PM
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I'd still like to know what the orig post did with his ceda deck. Guess that was too long ago by now, but I'm in that same boat he was. Just finished cleaning and prepping a 1200 sf cedar deck that has never been treated. Would like to find a product that would lok good a few years, then allow a cleaning and re-application of same product.

Don't know if a water-based product would more likely allow me to do that than an oil based. Anyone know what to use on cedar?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 4:47PM
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For what its worth,
I had great success with ReadySeal on my cedar porch, i.e. applied to ceiling, railings, screen frame.

I had it applied couple summers ago and it still looks good. It wears gracefully, no peeling/cracking, therefore, no stripping necessary when time to re-apply. I plan to touch-up a few areas this weekend.

The only draw back is its only available online.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 8:34AM
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Looks like I have to strip the Thompson's Water Seal off the deck if I want to use any other product at all.

If I'm going to have to go through that, then I'm going to use the One-Time 7-year product.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 9:48PM
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I doubt you will be happy with anything you find at home depot or Lowes etc. You need to find a product such as a woodrich product, ready seal, armstrong clark etc. that will last a couple of years. That's about all you are going to get out of it, period. I am currently in the process of cleaning with a cleaner called efc-38, available online at woodrich.com and thesealerstore.com, brightening with a product called citralic (same places, these are the same 2 products as pressurepros step 1 and step 2) and staining with the armstrong clark sierra redwood stain. I understand that in a couple of years I will have to re-do it. That's the nature of wood, sorry. Please don't do the 7 year product, I expect you will be sorry.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 10:37PM
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I've researched deck stain, redoing a deck, pressure washing & sanding for days. Here's my experience for those that need to take on this task without any prior clue like me.

1st I inherited a beat up deck that hadn't been redone in at least 7 years, probably had an oil semi-transparent stain on it but I couldn't really tell.

Here's what I did:
1. Rented a high power pressure washer. Removed 80% of the old stain. I did do some damage by going to close but it was mild.
2. Used a power sander with 60 grit for the remainder of the stain to deaden the color from bleeding. Hand sanded the rails.
3. Swept & then used a deck cleaner for the mildew that was left.
4. Chose a semi-solid Cabots OIL stain. Awesome stuff. I chose a darker Cordovan brown which covers all imperfections. Deck looks fantastic now.
Heres what I learned on the way:
A. Dont let people scare you out of pressure washing. Just do it lightly & test it out to learn the machine.
B. Oil stain SHOULD be easier to apply 2nd time around. I will confirm this when the time comes.
C. Latex warranties are lies. My in-laws deck is peeling after 3 years badly. Big time work now because you HAVE to start from the beginning, you can't recoat it. With oil you may be able to just lightly sand for evenness & recoat.
D. You can always do latex over oil later
E. Two toned decks are the way to go as you will be re-doing the horizontal surfaces more often, might as well have different colors to hide that.
F. You are married to your color so choose wisely to make reapplications much easier.
I'll keep the group posted with my 1st time experience as I go but so far I've been very happy after doing it using the info from this site & others.
If you have new wood I'd go with a clear sealer to see the beauty of wood until the wood ages to the point you need a semi-transparent to cover imperfections. Once that is shot you best bet for an even coat is the Cabots semi-solid oil.
My 2 cents.
Feel free to email me with questions.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 7:10PM
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By the way. I tried BEHR stripper & it didn't work at all. If anyone recommends a really good stripper let me know... especially a stripper for oil.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 7:38PM
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And other thing...
When deck cleaning I bought hand pump sprayer. That wasn't worth it. I ended just brushing the stuff on with a heavy duty long handled brush. That moved the mildew best. I used a garden hose to wash off the cleaner as I had to return the pressure washer already. The hose worked fine. The deck cleaner I used was ZEP & it was okay. I'll try to look for a better cleaner next time.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 2:47PM
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I'm a homeowner and handyman by profession. In the summers I do allot of deck work, from staining to building and repairing. I have used nearly all the products everyone mentioned and I have not had any of the issues everyone has described. My customers have had deck companies build and then stain their decks and then re-stain later on. When they choose me, I pressure wash with 1600 psi using Olympic deck cleaner, make any repairs necessary, clean the gaps out between the boards, and apply whatever the customer wants. I only apply by hand, never spray, roller brush the product onto one board at a time and then using a deck brush on a pole, brush the entire board to smooth the coating. My customers call be back every three years to do the same thing again. I suggest to them in between times, to regularly wash off the deck (which most don't) to maintain it's appearance. My customers and I all live in Michigan so you know the weather the decks receive. I would suggest proper surface prep is most important, second would be the application of the product, and third would be the product. Any product re-applied as necessary will darken the deck, I suggest to my customers without ever staining to start with the lightest shade they like and continue using the same color and product for the life of the deck. My own deck is 23 years old, never needed a repair, gets hosed off about every other week in the summer and shoveled in the winter using the snow thrower. Every third year it gets a new coat of CWF UV Cedar after the above mentioned prep. More problems arise from poor prep and application than anything else. The quality of workmanship is key be it yourself or any contractor. I currently have over 50 customers with decks I have done without one issue. Some live in mobile homes, some have homes valued @ 3.1 million, they all get the same treatment and all have the same results, or I would not have repeat customers be it every three years. I wish you success with your deck

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 3:18PM
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HomeOwners Helper:
When reapplying the same stain after 3 years do you take it all off with the pressure washer at 1600 psi? Do you sand any residual off? Is it okay to stain over any left over stain that wasn't removed by the pressure washer?
I'm personally using semi-solid oil from Cabots.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 1:54PM
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1600 psi in the hands of an untrailed person will take off more than the stain - you can rip out the softwoods and leave canyons in your deckboards. Proper wood restoration requires no more than 500-700 psi (achievable with a garden hose). Proper chemicals will safely remove 90+ percent of all stain and the residual can be removed with buffing (not even sanding).

If you are currently using a Cabot's oil, you should be able to do routine maintenance for several years before needing to strip to reclaim the wood grain that is somewhat evident using a semi-solid.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 3:01PM
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Do you have to remove the old oil stain if putting on the same stain a few years later? If chemicals take 90% off do you have to get the other 10% off for sure?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:26AM
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Im surprised, after reading all these postings, that only one person has mentioned Consumer Reports Online, and then only in a link which canÂt be reached unless you subscribe. I encourage you to subscribe ($26/yr, $19 if you already get CR magazine). CR is the only consumer-oriented, non-biased testing service I know of for decks and deck stains. (Are there any others?) TheyÂre continually testing stains and keep you up to date with how stains are doing after 1, 2 and 3 years.

I use CR online about 3 or 4 times a month to help me in making purchases; itÂs terrific.

Anyway, FYI, the current ranking of deck stains, which includes both opaque and semi-transparent, shows Sikkens Cetol SRD 1708902 (alkyd, $27) as the top-rated semi-transparent stain, with a score of 53%. While that may not seem high, only Flood SWF-Solid, an OPAQUE stain, beats it with a score of 70%! Little-known True Value Woodsman UV 7338872 (alkyd, $20) is 5th in the overall ranking and the 2nd highest semi-transparent stain at 45%.

CRÂs appearance ratings have a scale of Excellent-Very Good-Good-Fair-Poor. Sikkens was rated Excellent after 1 year, Very Good after 2, and Fair after 3. The True Value Woodsman was Excellent after 1 year, Good after 2, and Fair after 3. The high rating of Sikkens reinforces the practical comments of faron79 previously, in July Â07.

Surprising to me is that ALL BUT ONE of the remaining 10 semi-transparent stains rated only Good after 1 year! The exception is another relative unknown: Thompson's Water Seal Deck & House stain (latex, $20), which rated Very Good after 1 year and Good after 2 years. I tried finding it in Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, and Ace, to no avail. Menards does carry their oil-based stain, but it was not tested by CR.

Another interesting point, I suppose not too surprisingly based on all the frustrated comments in this forum, is that NONE of the semi-transparent stains rated better than Fair after 3 years. I guess this just demonstrates how difficult it is to make a good performing stain!

IÂm going to go with the Sikkens Cetol SRD, and IÂm going to follow faron79Âs useful advice. I wonder how heÂs doing since he said last year he was going to re-stain.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 8:22AM
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Consumer Report is a left wing rag,they will recomend anything that fits into the green mafia report card. Thompsons..very good..ghesssssssssss total bulllllshitttt. J.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 5:56PM
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I too was hoping for info from consumer reports, but it was totally useless. The ratings don't account for type of wood and don't distinguish between conditioner/sealer, etc...

I came to this forum hoping for real information. I'll take left/right/red/white/blue...just to get the facts. Actually I am quite interested in green too, if any of the products get the job done.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 1:38AM
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Sorry to rain on your parade, but your are in error when you suggest that Consumer Reports is biased.

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, contrary to your assertions, makes a point that they are wholly owned and paid for by their membership and have never taken advertising. I have been a member/subscriber for 30 years and have found them to be an excellent source of information across the board. They have a staff of competent engineers and scientists, consultant specialists, and panels of users that actually test the products. Their tests show that seldom is any one brand good across the board or across its spectrum of products --so Olympic's acrylic latex opaque stain is very good in almost all categories, its semi-transparent flunks on some scores, its transparent flunks on others, and so on for almost every manufacturer in almost every product line, and so on. I'll take that kind of unbiased product-specific, attribute-specific analysis over any single opinion even by a professional in the field, since none of can claim to have put an array the current crop of products by different manufacturers to side-by-side tests in a variety of conditions --especially when they almost all have already developed an allegiance to a single product line, usually based upon an experience with a version of the product that is no longer available.

I haven't done an objective, quality controlled survey on this, so my opinion on it not worth much, but in my own limited experience in seeking bids, every painter has had an allegiance to one or two brands, and seldom have their choices been the same. But they almost all are convinced they know which are best.

CU's publication, CR is a Left wing rag? Sounds like a biased evaluation in itself. Insofar as I've been able to determine, it simply reports the facts, and if making decisions based upon actual information is a left wing thing, then I'm left wing. Of course, we know W chooses to make decisions on self-generated disinformation, so if that's your model....

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 4:27PM
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Belive it if you want to. J.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 3:48PM
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Check out Zerovoc Technologies' Sealwize Zr44 product. It is inlike any product on the market. I have seen it applied and it seals permanantly. It is made of inorganic materials, no petroleum products, no VOC's, and it "Green".

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 3:36PM
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I have read the extensive posts for this classic problem but have an additonal twist. My Lindal Cedar home has a cedar deck and I want a natural wood look. I have started sanding the 2x6 cedar planking and hate to have it lose any of its great great grain and color, but the framer building my house who has built 80 Lindal's has had sad experience with clear and even with toner oil based stains. His recomendation as the best compromise between an natural wood look and reasonable life is to use Sheman Williams oil base semi-transparent on all surfaces after sanding the top surface.

Is this the best compromise between natural wood look and reasonable lifetime before grey color and/or peeling occurs.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 8:09PM
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With further reading i came across the products from DEFY which claim that given the non oil base they dont mold. Do their claims hold up in the real world - especially when one wants a natural wood look

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 8:18AM
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In all of the extensive posts re stain -I don't see any experience with DEFY stain which claims superior life as compared to oil based stains.(it is supposed to sink into wood like an oil stain but due to its epoxy non organic formulation - is supposed to have superior life. Is it real? Does it really preserve original wood look and color longer than oil based stain?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 12:27PM
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Was the application of Zr44 on Ipe and if so, how did it look? Do you know if I can get a sample to test out?


    Bookmark   December 27, 2008 at 9:18PM
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I'll add my $.02 here. I have a small ipe deck, east side of the house, no shade, only about 18" off the ground, well ventilated on three sides. I'm in the SF Bay area so we have about four wet winter months and six completely dry summer months. When I first built it I stained all the wood (on all six sides before assembly) with Penofin. It looked great the first year but then it started to get mildew spots and turn dark. In two years it looked like crap. I washed it with OxyClean (yes, I know, not the best cleaner but I had it on hand so thought I'd try it) and a stiff scrub brush. It worked great, removing the mildew and the old Penofin (came off in a goopy mess) by just washing with a garden hose after the scrubbing. I let it dry completely for a few days and in the meantime started researching stains (again). After finding countless conflicting opinions I went to Consumer Reports (been a member for over 20 years and have learned to trust their research) and found the Sikkens products. I applied their Cetol SRD 250 (translucent stain made specifically for use in the PRC). I did one thing not in the directions... I applied a very heavy coat and wiped it down with a stain-soaked rag before it dried completely. It's only been five months so it's too soon to tell but so far it looks good. I'll report back in another year.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 1:26PM
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When a BEHR craps on the woods it has to make a sound!!!!!
I am so angry with Behr I just want to slam their crap wherever I can. Two years ago I spent thousands of dollars putting up a cedar deck, all of which was underclipped so as to not show any screws. I decided to sand the deck using a rented floor sander because I thought it a better way to get rid of mill sheen as well as a better way of opening up the wood to accept the Behr premium #500 natural transparent weatherproofing wood finish. The deck looked amasing for the balance of my summer, 5 weeks. I went as far as tarping the deck to protect it from our snowy Canadian winters. Last spring I removed the tarps to find patches where the stain just let go and was sitting on top of the wood. I freaked on the Behr reps when I got them on the phone. They were quite professional dealing with me, given my anger. They told me by having sanded the cedar I likely heated up the wood which bought out the tannins in the wood and should have used their deck wash to nutralise the tannins before staining. I also will abmit I was a little anxious to get the stain on and did so on too hot a day, not giving the stain enough time to soak into the wood. Since I didn't want to change the color given most of the vertical stain was in descent shape I decided to Give Behr the benefit of the doubt. Last Spring again I sanded down the entire floor around my deck. It took weeks going around all of the posts, getting into all of the corners and so on. Following that I diligently scrubbed the deck with their recommended deck wash and waited two day for the wood to dry properly. My next plan was to only stain after six oclock when the sun was behind the house. This took three evenings as I applied the stain with a roller then worked it in with a brush to get a nice even coat. I was certain this was the ideal approach as the next morning the stain was still tacky from having cool dry nights to slow the cure. Once the sun hit it it hardened up nicely. The deck is used a lot through our summer so although I was disappointed to see more than expected wear on the stairs and main traffic areas I thought this spring I could touch up these areas without too much difficulty. Well guess what, after I removed the tarp yesterday I again have all kinds of areas where the stain simply let go of the wood and is just sitting there! I can't believe it! I am again,a third summer in a row, going to have to spend weeks of my summer "that I should be spending enjoying this short season for us" sanding off this garbage stain. TRUST ME I am not going to call to complain to Behrs people. Im certain there professionalism on the phone is a result of constant complaints they most certainly get. I have to say I even resent Home Depot for representing such an irresponsible company! I don't get how a company with the resources that Behr must have can't put out a product that gives us, the consumer, the four years they promise on the can. And finally, who cares about the few hundred dollars worth of stain they offer as their warranty? It's about the time spent doing the work that matters! besides they don't actually give you back your money, they only reimburse you for the Behr stain you buy to redo your deck again and who in their right mind would do that. Certainly not me! My advise to you.... if you see a BEHR.......RUN

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:46AM
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By the way, I forgot to mention that last season I used Behrs modified "improved" #501 silicone enhanced version.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 11:00AM
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Its a bad deal with the box stores mostley its a good idea not to buy anything important from them.

Behr is not the worst but its in the top 5 for sure. I just got paid $2400 to remove two coats of the stuff from a 12' x 16 ' ipe deck. It took md80 x 3 passes to get most of it followed by an oxalic acid wash then I sanded the whole thing with an orbital/80 grit.

I put on 3 coats of twp rustic after the finale set up the thing looked really good but that was a lot of money that did not have to be spent plus the down time on his deck. J.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 1:45PM
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I too have had it with Behr products. I had a new 450 sq. ft. deck put in this summer, 2008. In October when the weather cooled here in Savannah GA, I applied Behr No. 501 weather proof wood finish. The first time it rained the water beaded nicely and I could just blow it off with a leaf blower. A month of to after that the water would soak in and after three months in January the wood in the sun was definitely turning lighter almost as if someone had sanded it off in places and it has gotten consistantly worse.

Picture at http://www.geocities.com/dainisjg/behr.jpg

I contacted Behr, answered a lot of questions and was assured that I had down everything correctly but they couldn't give me any explanation for the product failure.

The contractor that installed the deck had recommended Beht. He was so upset that he came over today and sanded the whole thing down for me on his won dime. He said he will never recommend Behr again.

I think the next time I will try Cabot. From what I have read here that would seem to be good.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 10:22PM
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i am using a south american teak, three years old, was stained with defy about a year ago. I am between sikkens srd and a twp 500 series i think. My brother put the defy on it and did a horrbile job. I was going to do a RAD treatment as well. I would love some opinoins or advice, Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 6:55PM
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I've just had my deck refinished/stained and I'm actually quite upset and disappointed with the quality and end result done by this company. Not only did they damage the wood on my deck by using too much pressure with the pressure-washer (removed the softwoods in the boards, causing the "canyon" look, gaps, cracks and splinters) but their attention to detail was just very poor. The owner blamed it on the previous paint that was on the deck, claiming it was very difficult to remove with the stripper and pressurewasher (I purchased the home a couple years back so really don't know if that was truly the case). Anyway, he had someone over to sand down the deck to get to a smoother surface but I would have to say my deck was already badly damaged. I wish I could find a true professional in my area that could possibly save my deck, or at least try to repair it. Anyway, I opted for Cabot Australian Timber Oil as the stain to use. Hopefully it'll protect my deck for at least a year. I've made the mistake of choosing a very dark tint, though I thought that was necessary to hide all the imperfections in the wood.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 2:56AM
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My home is a cedar chalet in the Appalachian Mountains. I have about 500 sf of pine PT decking. Deck receives full sun year round, is about 10 ft above ground, very light snow. Over the last four years here is my experience. I followed manufacturers directions to the tea and performed excellent prep work.

Initially used BEHR's top product ( with silicon ). Lasted about 6 months on deck before it looked terrible. Went through terrible pains to remove the stuff afterward ( pressure washing, removers and sanding ). I agree with above posters, DO NOT USE BEHR PRODUCTS, you will regret it.

Next I used Cabots SPF48. The product lasted about 10 months before it began to look terrible.

My neighbors have had better luck with Sikkens SRD. I will be trying that next and report with results. Wood decks are high maintenance and costly to keep up.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 10:14AM
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"Wood decks are high maintenance and costly to keep up"

That's why there are composites, just hose off. Besides, they're renewable and not from the Amazon rain forests.
Excuse me now while I go sit on my beautiful four-year old Trex deck.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 5:22PM
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Srerc my man.... go do a cost search for the amount of energy it takes to make composite then add in the transport cost,then figure in what to do with the scrap and how it treats the landfill and what happens if a fire breaks out. Then define renewable compaired with S American lumber and exactley your point " not from the Amazon rain forest "
You are excused to go sit deeply and with great instrumentation impact on trex

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 6:45PM
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What about Olympic or Sherwin Williams? Are these good products? If so, what stain in their product line is good?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 8:44AM
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We used to sell Behr at our INDEPENDANT store!!

I'm glad we dropped it!!

We've got Sikkens, Penofin (mostly Blue-lable, but a couple of Red-label colors too), ACE, & some Cabot.
>>> There's people here who would HANG us if we didn't have Sikkens and/or Penofin...

Separately...I just sanded-up a 15 yr-old suspended-bench and put 2 coats of Sikkens DEK-Finish on it.
* Color #045 Mahogany.
* Jeez it looks sweet!!
* I'll get some pics of it posted soon on a separate thread.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 1:48AM
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My parents had their deck (re)built using pressure-treated about 5-7 yrs ago, they've always had tons of green mold in one corner, sun-baking on the rest of it. I'm not sure when they last stained it (only a couple of years ago) but it needs it again - and their solid-color (dark brown) stain is peeling. My mom says they're going to sand it with a hand sander! That'll take forever. Should they try washing (not power-washing) it with TSP or something, scrubbing the mold off by hand, then see what parts need to be sanded?

My mom says they used a "good brand" stain but I have no idea what. Since it's solid, would you say SW Deckscapes or Woodscapes? I've used Woodscapes on siding before, it held up pretty well, but I don't know if it would on horizontal/traffic areas. TIA

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 5:29PM
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Mamma, ghessssss start a new topic this one is geting a little old.

For deck cleaning/stripping and some fairley good finish drift on over to >> www.woodrich-brand.com The finish is twp base with out the voc so it takes longer to set up. If you can get twp 100 series in your area that will work too its what I use.

Come on Guys!!! give this thread a deep 6 . J.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 8:07PM
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Does anyone have experience with the newer Sikkens product Cetol DEK Finish?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 1:39PM
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Just to add some more info . Five years ago my Redwood decks (two at 90X 15each) were splintering so bad and looked terrible. I sanded both decks with a belt sander (actually went thru three sanders). I then applied Cabots Solid Color stain. The decks looked great, but a couple years ago when I went to buy more Cabots for a few replacement boards, I found that they had changed the formulae and no longer made the same color and the price was sky high. A friend recommended Behr Solid Color stain. I was reluctant but they did have an exact color match in a stock color so I tried a few boards. It held up well. So well in fact that now I only have to apply a new coat every three years and the decks are gorgeous. IMHO you cannot beat the quality for the very reasonable price, especially during a promotional sale. I have also used the Behr on several new Fir garden benches I built and they look terrific as well.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:56PM
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I put Behr on my deck 2 years ago...looked fine for 6 months...then it went down hill fast. I called Behr...they said of your have to strip it off every time your reapply...I told the guy...no one in their right mind wants to strip their deck every year or two...STAY AWAY from Behr...

Behr said they would try and cover my loss...never heard from the Manager again. I told him I didn't expect him to, but I would give him $5000 worth of advertising free....STAY AWAY FROM BEHR products. Do yourself a favor...read how many have tried it and hated it and the time you have to expend to get that crap off your deck....NEVER AGAIN!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 8:51PM
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I want to clarify ... I used the Behr SOLID COLOR STAIN. The semi-transparent stains appear to be what has caused folks problems. I have no affiliation at all with Behr or HD. I also just read in a builders magazine that most paint and stain problems are due to the user not reading and following the label instructions for application . Imagine that!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 12:24PM
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I see your posts on TWP 100 here and on contractortalk, so obviously, you like it and are very familiar with it. I am putting down a 500sf Garapa deck and want to maintain its original color, (wet-look, if possible). I was all set to go with Penofin Hardwood, then saw that Messmer's UV Plus had a higher solids content, then was leaning towards Wood Tux or Woodrich Wiping (not sure of color, though). Now, you state that Wood Tux (Woodrich also?) is similar/same as TWP? So, does that mean it is a "film" finish, instead of a penetrating oil? Others talk about having to strip periodically. Should this matter to me?

What about fighting mold/mildew? This deck is on the south side, but gets a lot of filtered sunlight, so I wouldn't be surprised if this may be an issue.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 5:21PM
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I have no reason to change from twp 100 series. The woodrich outfit makes a very simular product but without the voc that the green mafia hates. Twp has done this as well for the states controled by the left side misinformed.

This film finish,penetrating oil thing can be layed to rest by puting a brush load of twp 116 on a short of ipe/garapa then trying to get it off. Its just a word battle and means nothing in the real world.

Let me put it this way>> I have never had to strip off a twp finished deck The wet look or simi gloss can be done with twp 100 by building coats. Twp bonds to itself as well as the wood. The more coats the longer it takes to set up. As sure as I say this some one will come back saying it dident work for them or something else is soooooooooo much better This is what I have done and will keep doing and it works for me and has been working for over 10 years.

Deep six this topic thread for crying out loud!!!! start a new one. J.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 6:17PM
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Has anyone tried Creto wood first to protect the deck from the elements and then stain for color retention? I saw something referenced on a petrification process above but the general consensus didn't seem to recognize value in it. I started thinking it was all hype, but looks like creto has been around a long time and has some very solid references (at least on its concrete preservation products).


The one thing I did notice is that it won't stop the wood from graying, but did claim to be 300% more effective at holding a stain. So I have a ceder deck on my home now that I can see had previously been pressure washed and has some light cracks and areas of deterioration. I'm wondering if this product would be good at preventing further damage, and then using a stain on top for color retention.

Anyone have any experience with that approach?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 7:06PM
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I live in Dallas, Tx, and have stained and sealed my deck with Behr. It's a red color since I'm keeping with what I got with the house. Anyway, after it rains I'm seeing white dog prints on the deck. It's kind of like a white film and obviously looks bad. It is because Behr is a water based and not oil based or what is it? Tired of working on this thing.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 3:27PM
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Is SHERWYN WILLIAMS product okay to use for deck ?????

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 6:09PM
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This is hilarious! All you people talking about how hard it is to stain a deck. I haven't heard anyone talk about Olympic Maximum Toner/Sealer. I use this about every 2 to 3 years and I have a beautiful natural cedar tone look to my deck. Every 2 years, I pressure wash the deck to get the dirt off, then wait a couple days to apply with a brush the Olympic Deck Stain. I have "never" had a problem with it. Takes me about 4 hours and I have a huge wrap-around deck that is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 11:18PM
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Any thoughts or experience w/ABR X-100?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 11:04PM
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I am in the same boat but my deck is made of cedar and it no longer takes and type of stain/treatment resulting in having to strip it. It was originally stained with Olympic Maximum (which I believe is oil-based) but now the high traffic areas are all worn gray. We are in NJ & use our deck 8-10 months a year so I need a GOOD stain that will last.
I want to do this asap but I also want to use the best product available. I am being told many different things about different products and want to know who has experience with Sikkens, Cabot, Superdeck, DEFY, Messmer's or Penofin. I know the later three are western US based products but will purchase these things over the 'net if they're worth it. Neighbors have suggested the 1st three as they are available locally to me.
Speaking with agents on the phone after reading about the products on the 'net I'm just as confused as ever. Especially after reading one report that claims Consumer Reports state that Flood's SWF or CWF is the best product to use & that's a product I can get @ Home Depot!
Anyone out there that can help???

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 9:56PM
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CR is not bad far as buying a radio but dont belive anything they say on outside construstion. J.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 7:41AM
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I also have "had it" with deck stain. Information in this area of expertise is confusing and often erroneous. Most subjects, I can research and obtain clear answers. There seem to be no clear answers or consensus regarding deck staining. It's very frustrating! I bought a home with a large older deck stained gray (appeared to have many old coats). I first got some deck cleaner and some Thompson's Water Seal Waterproofer Plus Clear Wood Protector. I was just going to reseal the old gray deck as it was started to show signs that it was no longer protected. The directions said to wash the deck first. I washed the deck and some of the stain came off in places in the deck was all blotchy. I researched and therefore decided to strip the deck and start over. I stripped the old gray stain/finish off until it was a pine color. I think it is pressure treated pine lumber. I then researched and decided to sand the wood. I did more research and finally decided on Australian Timber Oil in Natural (samples showed a pine color). (Although choosing a good stain or sealer is very confusing.) I wanted a natural wood look so I could simply gently wash the deck once or twice a year and reseal. I didn't really care if I had to apply sealer often or not. I just never wanted to have to strip colored stain again. I very lightly applied the natural stain and then wiped back over with a cloth. Once applied to the soft lumber, the stain was not Natural in color but was brown - dark brown. I absolutely did not overapply. In fact it dried within a few hours.

After further research, I have learned much.

First of all, Australian Timber Oil is for hard woods only even though the directions state it can be applied to softer woods. The soft woods absorb the stain too quickly. Sanding made the wood absorb the stain even more quickly. Thus, the "Natural" stain went on dark brown.

In addition, older soft woods outdoors are notoriously difficult to stain without getting blotchy. I found a great site explaining how to prevent this by sealing the wood prior to staining. Here is the article: http://www.rd.com/50400/article50400.html

If someone ever has small areas where they overapplied the stain or stain stays tacky and doesn't dry, I found a great tip (although this was not my problem): Simply wipe those areas gently with mineral spirits.

Now, I'm just going to wait for it wear off some and when it's time to seal or condition again, I'll maybe apply some clear oil based product. Not sure yet. I'm just going to live with the blotchy appearance unless there are suggestions that don't involve stripping again.

Also, only gently wash decks with colored stain or some of the stain may come off and give a blotchy appearance.

In my case, sanding didn't seem to do anything to help at all except waste a lot of time and effort.

I kind of wish I had not even cleaned the deck that first time and had just applied the thompson's water seal and been done with it.

As time goes on, I may have more tips I learned the "hard" way.

I just don't understand why this subject seems so difficult to research and why there is no one place that could have explained some of this and consolidated all the tips. Also I wish there were more explanations, such as: Why exactly do so many people slam Thompson's water seal? They say it has wax but then don't explain why wax is bad. They say it doesn't last long, but maybe someone out here doesn't care how long it lasts or how often they have to put it on.

No one explained that Australian Timber Oil would apply MUCH darker to soft woods. They just said it worked great on soft woods.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 3:29PM
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Are all of the previous points applicable to staining fences as well?

I've read to not use water base as water makes the wood swell.

Also I should not use oil base as the mold loves to eat the oil.

Wax will water proof it, but it cannot be removed and a stain will look blotchy afterward and then it will peel off.

They only way to protect the cedar from the UV rays and prevent graying is to basically stain (paint) it with non-transparent ugly color.

If I want to keep the wood's beautiful natural look, I can use clear or semi-transparent, but the fence will turn gray anyway.

Behr, Thomson's, and most others basically suck, some brands are OK, but you must redo every year or two and no one has tried the "One Time Wood" products.

I'm looking for a product that will protect the wood and the Cedar color of our new fence. I'd like to apply it with a brush and/or roller as we have many nice plants along the fence.

I do not want this fence's upkeep to become a full time job.

Any suggestions?

Shari from the sunny state of Oregon

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 11:24PM
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I like this thread. The fact that it has been around so long (over 5 years?) it would be great to hear from the originator and those posters who went with something.... After all, we are dealing with a long term condition, weathering, reaction, wear (or whatever) of several years and want our wood investment to endure for hopefully more than ten years. Todays date: Aug. 18, 2010.

I'm a landscape architect in the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascades. It is wet for 8 months and desert dry for 3months. I recycled a cedar fence built 25 years ago last summer. This summer I am restoring a cedar deck and railing that was a restoration itself ten years ago. The posts and pressure treated joists were good, and still are.

For 30 years I avoided specifying finishes for wood for the very reason you have read (if you read them all) throughout this thread. I did not want to get into brand name, finish types, and "failure" hassles with upset clients. That is, until I joined the customer crowd. Ten years ago I did very heavy research into finishes for my own new deck-with-railings. (There is a distinction between horizontal walking surfaces (deck) and vertical, non-wear surfaces.) After ten years and a pending third refinish of the walking surfacetogether with 50 years of observationsI have the following thoughts:

1. Wood requires regular maintenance; annual maintenance to keep a deck in optimum condition. Just like carpet, only much faster, heavily trafficked areas quickly wear into raw wood. Therefore, do not use a colored stain. A few stains are chemically reactive with wood, but 99% are powdered pigments that are attached to the surface. In two months a dog and shoes will strip any stain to bare wood. Use a clear finish, and reapply annually.

2. Note, the functional purpose of a semi-transparent stain is to reduce ultra-violet destruction of wood surfaces. It has limited life and only delays weathering of underlying wood. If the surface is weathered (grey, silver) prior to refinishing the fibers are weakened and any finish will peel away at the surface. My fence was first covered with a fairly heavy coat of semi/solid oil stain. After 15 years of life it was repainted. Prep was two professional power washings with non-aggressive pressure. I tapped the boards and sheets, like snow, of stain fell away from the boards. With a palm sander I stripped all finish from the wood200 lf, and not that hard a job, vibration knocked most stain off and sanding took it to clean wood. The original stain was applied over weathered wood; the back of the flakes were covered with a skim of wood fiber. Latex exterior paint (solid) was used. That was ten years ago. Last year that same latex adhered, and I was using a 2200 psi washer focusing the nozzle at 3 to 5 inches from the boards to strip all weathering; going to raw wood. The old stain spots covered with latex were all that tore free.

3. Quickly summarizing #2, above, Dont use thin protective surface stains on non-decking wood, i.e., railings, fences. (Say goodbye to that new, fresh, natural finish look. New will be gone in two years, and natural grey to black with green algae will be the natural-look. Patches of discolored stain will remain) I will specify solid acrylic (latex) paint.

4. Finish new decks, rails, fences within a few days after installation. When thoroughly dry. Weathering kills adhesion durability of finishes. Therefore, strip weathered wood to an undamaged surface; by whatever meanspower wash, sanding plus algae killer/restorer. I choose 2200 psi. There is no bleach, or very little, and my railings are rough finish. The decking is only slightly rough, but it started out mill machined rough anyway.

5. Cedar, and redwood decking is probably from farmed second growth. If there are white stretches or layers in the new board, this is sapwood, so count on replacing the wood in approximately ten years. On the other hand, heartwood (what you want) can have or be near areas destroyed by rot fungus. About all I can suggest is look for solid red wood with the tightest annual growth rings. WRCLA is an industry rep and wont be more helpful than very vague.

6. Im looking for a decent clear deck finish/protector. I have a gallon of whitish stain I dont want to use. Somewhere is some cedar colored clear stain. The original redecking was stained two or three coats, matching the house siding. None really lasted more than a few months in repelling water, and the surfaces were worn to wood in a year. I have no fantasies of a finish lasting more than a year.

I think Ill try to strip all the color stain possible, and grab a clear finish at the lower end of the price range. In the final summary, refinishing is work, it will be annual, and wood will never look brand new after a year.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 3:30PM
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This thread contains much hard won knowledge. I too have troubled over the many issues of maintaining clear-finished wood exposed to the elements. In the end I realized there are no certain paths to a solution because, other than regular stripping and refinishing to preserve the fresh-cut wood tones, there are no other effective solutions. Why did I ever think otherwise? The stores and paint companies will let you believe it's easier than that because that's the way to sell paint. The best solution is to never place wood where it's exposed to the elements, unless there is absolutely no other choice. Problem solved. Besides, wood is too fragile, expensive and precious to be used anywhere without a roof to protect it. Instead, consider masonry, concrete, and metal decks, stairs and landings. Many attractive examples exist. These materials are more expensive going in but will pay for themselves in longevity and reduced maintenance compared to wood. Choose materials and designs calculated to get better with weathering and let nature do the finishing work.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 6:44PM
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Has any one used One Time Wood Protecter on a deck. I do have an enclosed area with a roof over it, otherwise the deck is open. Will the product soak into the wood in the covered area or will it remain slick? Does the product last as long as it says. Are you pleased with the results or what problems have you had?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 12:01AM
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I have a cedar deck that looks beautiful after we stain it EVRY year. Within 5-6 months it begins to crack and looks about 20 years old. The deck is only 4 yrs old. the stain we use is OIL based. Is there anyway around NOT having to strip the deck EVERY SINGLE YEAR?!?!?! I mean really cedar is expensive and if i knew it would crack constantly i would of NEVER purchased it! maybe i should of spent the extra 3 thousand more and bought a TREX deck....
DOes anyone know the best NON-CRACKING stain to purchase that I can get away with ONLY resealing every OTHER year????? PLEASE HELP!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 8:41AM
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Everything I have to say I have already said regarding outdoor finish. No Brag just Fact.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 9:43AM
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I have tried every deck stain under the sun - Olympic, Penofin, Thompson, etc, etc... I find that Olympic works great on my COVERED front porch, but on my exposed deck (on west side of house), it is already gone after just one year (no water protection, and mildew everywhere.) I live in Oregon and if we're lucky we get 3 months of mostly dry weather. So - mildew is a huge problem. I've also tried several different mildew cleaners/removers - none worked. There is some junk on the market called 30 Second Cleaner which is supposed to remove mildew, mold, etc. in 30 seconds. Guess they haven't been to Oregon. It had no effect on my mildew when mixed the way they said to. When left on for more than 30 seconds it completely dissolved my stain and left white spots everywhere. So - I'm also trying to find a semi-transparent stain that will work on my cedar deck and won't need to be sanded and removed every stinking year. These posts have been helpful, although it sounds like every stain has drawbacks. Looks like re-doing it every year is the only way to have it look good.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 5:18PM
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We treated our cedar sided house and deck every 3 years and tried various stains , even shingle oil one year but the last time we treated we went w/ Behr stain, it was beautiful when we applied it and four years later still looks just as good as the day we applied it.
of course we high pressured washed the entire house, fence, railing and decking before applying. I would highly recommend Behrs to anyone.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 12:10PM
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Marilyn I too am sick of it. you get 1000 answers to the same question. It means no one really knows and all the stuff stinks. I have a cedar deck and spent so much time staining and maintaining it i feel like taking it down. I finally tried Penofin since you can just go over it each year and not have to strip. went on nice looked nice. i live on Long Island which is damp. In a month mildew hit it and now its essentially black. i will have to try to get it off if i want to go over it again but then i say why go over it if its gonna darken again. so i am out of ideas and if anyone can help please do. I am thinking of going to a darker penofin stain although they all say transparent. will i get more color if i go darker eventhough it says transparent? thanks

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 12:57PM
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i see that this is an old thread, but still active, and as many of you noted, that must mean there IS no answer. i'm a paint guy- not a painter but the guy behind the counter that mixes the stuff, and i've been one for 20 years.

asking 'what stain should i use?' is kind of like asking 'what car should i buy?' or 'what soda do i like?'

what works in florida won't work in kentucky, arizona.. etc. that's part of the problem. also, your preference- Solid Color (looks like paint) semi-transparent (shows some grain) or clear (aka clear, lol)

generally, standing snow is the WORST thing for a deck finish. there are many great products listed above that 'didn't last a year...' if you are in a climate where snow will sit on your deck for days at a time (not weeks or months, just days) you will probably be refinishing every year. for this, i'd use an oil semi transparent.

in areas that are constantly damp, i'd recommend a clear wood finish (FLOOD makes one cleverly named Clear Wood Finish) but understand it will require vigilance on your part- once you see the water repellancy is gone, you need to reapply. this could possibly a couple times per year.

in a desert climate, i'd probably (not 100% on this one) go with a solid color acrylic STAIN (not paint) as the pigments will protect the wood from the UV, and moisture is less likely to make the finish peel.

solids will generally peel in wet/snowy environments. non-solids don't offer enough UV protection in arid areas.

think of a molecule of acrylic solid color as a basketball, and a molecule of oil semi transparent or clear as a BB... naturally the BB-sized, oil particle will penetrate into the wood, where the acrylic particles will lay on top. moisture in the wood will push off that solid layer.

pressure washing in general is a last resort. it forces water into the wood and raises the grain. essentially, super rapid weathering.

a cleaner with oxalic acid will remove grey, a cleaner with mildewcides may ALSO be need for mold n mildew. there may be products out there with both, but generally it's 2 different things. both conditions MUST be cured before a finish will perform properly.

don't apply a finish in the heat of the day, or in direct sunlight. i know that's hard to do, but if the air and wood are too hot, the product doesn't dry, it cooks. it can't penetrate the way it's designed to.

i realize i haven't answered any specific question, but i hope i threw something of use out there. in my experience, decks are CONSTANT maintenance. there is NO silver bullet product (even tho every single manufacturer says theirs is) you just won't find something you can apply once and forget it for 5 years.

but, try leaving your car outside day and night, year round for years without washing or waxing it. it won't look so good after year 5, i bet. and your car doesn't absorb water, or expand and contract with heat, cold and humidity, like your deck does. and wood is food for a lot more organisms than steel or fiberglass is.

in the paint stores i've worked in where i was able to choose the products i carried (obviously, at big chains you carry what they tells ya to) i didn't carry exterior wood finishes OR floor finishes. because they ALWAYS FAIL. and that's exactly what i'd tell my customers when they asked for those products.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 11:21PM
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You advice is spot on. I am about to re-do my deck in Chicago. My garage door is protected with Sikkens and is the best looking finish I have ever seen but I would never use it for my deck.

The snow and shade attack the western cedar here and I have found annual applications are necessary. I power wash the deck and use a semi-solid medium dark Cabot. It works. It's not great. I have found nothing "better." I found all the sanding and prep work I did was lost in two years. So, I limit my prep where necessary to very light sanding and the power washing.

My advice for what it's worth is to apply the product twice as you stain. I roll and then use a brush. A little while later, BEFORE IT DRIES, I apply a second light coat. That seems to even out the color over last year's staining which has faded or come off in splotches depending on sun, snow, etc.

THERE IS NO SINGLE BEST STAIN. Define your wood, its condition, sun, shade, dampness, and be prepared for it to last no more than two seasons. Good luck

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 10:40AM
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At the risk of being vilified by the experts here.....My father came to visit from the UK three years ago and was amused that I was trying to use a stain ( Sikkens ) on my south facing deck. He is a boat builder and persuaded me to let him finish my deck using his recipe for treating the wooden boat decks (Ash,teak,English oak ) he builds.
It was power wash, clean and sand with 36 grit then 80 grit paper on a plate sander ( hammer the nails in first ). Dry for 3 days. He mixed

3 gallons of boiled linseed oil
1 gallon of marine grade Spar Varnish
1/2 gallon of pure gum terpentine
1 gallon MinWax oil stain ( I chose dark mahogany )
8 oz algicide ( stuff used in marine diesel tanks )
Rolled with a 1/2 inch nap roller and then back brushed to work it into the wood. After 3 hours any excess spots were removed.
Well its 3 years now and it has worn well, no chipping, flaking or visible bare spots. Going to run a plate sander with 80 grit paper and recoat this spring. This mix is probably an environmental disaster but it worked.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 1:16PM
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Before I dealt with the decking in our condo complex, I talked to a number of professional painters. The consensus I got was you have painting maintenance about every one to two years and they didn't find a product that could consistently get around it.

Some of the home owners wanted to do their own method, brands, and types of product and when all is said and done, two years and it is time to retreat their decks whether, washing, sanding, cleaning, brands, types, and or whatever else you want to throw in the mix. The stains vary in what they do to break down, but just accept two years with a touch up as the very least in some cases. I live in Colorado and get the cold, heat, snow, and sun with all types of directional light exposures. I am now of the belief the least effort with decent products, while not getting carried away with expense, is my preferred choice to date.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 4:07PM
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2 years ago I was able to acquire a small deck (4'x7') to use next to my pool which is made of pressure treated pine that was greying. I had no idea of how old it was but the wood was in decent condition other. I had sanded the decking and applied Cuprinol UV Sunblock Deck & Wood Seal (redwood tone) that I had on hand. I apploied this to the vertical surfaces as well. It is now time to restain & reseal however I have no more of the Cuprinol left. As is known, this product is unfortunately no longer available (at least under it's former name) - it may be sold as SW Deckscapes, but judging from online forums, it seems as though the Deckscapes is not as good as when it was called Cuprinol. And/or it is not rated as well as other products out there.
I am going to power wash the horizontal surfaces (not the vertical ones at this time since they are fine and do not yet need to be re-stained). I wish to apply an oil-based semi-transparent redwood stain & sealer (or stain & water protector), which is waterproof.
Without having to sand the decking, what would be recommended between the following (in a Redwood Tone/Color):

Olympic (either New Wood Look or Maximum Toner/Sealer)
Cabots (1400?)
One-Time Wood
Sikkens Cetol SRD 250

or something else (other than Behrs, TWP, Superdeck, or Readyseal)?

I DO NOT wwant to have to re-sand every 2-3 years if I can help it - I simply only wish to power wash & reapply the waterproofing stain w/o having to sand the decking.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 2:45PM
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I am here on the water in Puget Sound and belong to the no-stain, no paint group. I'm retired and have better things to do. I have not seen any evidence that a painted or stained cedar deck lasts any longer than an untreated one. I have seen no evidence about the cost benefits of treating cedar.

You would think that someone would do a test comparing the life-lengths of treated and untreated cedar decks. I haven't seen any.

I have seen statements here that a treated deck will last 15 years. I have only 15 years to live and don't want to spend that time scrubbing my deck and treating it with cancerous chemicals.

I have talked to many contractors who say leave cedar alone!

The weathering creates a gray cover that prevents the interior of the wood from further UV damage.

I think it is important to keep an untreated deck clean and remove the debris from between the boards.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:11PM
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I had a deck replaced in Dec.2010 in Ct.using pressure treated pine wood. I am trying to determine answers to following: Is it necessary to stain this wood? How long should the wood be left untreated to allow the pressure treating chemicals to stabilize so as to not affect the stain? Appreciate any helpful advice

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:03PM
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Well, at this point I'm not sick of my deck. I have cedar wood stained decks where I used Sherwin Williams Deckscapes semi transparent premium oil base. I knew what I was getting into when we stained our decks six years ago. I was using bleach mixed with water to remove any mildew from our harsh winters on the decks. I do this every year and only re-stain every other year. I do not use a power wash. I use the old method of hand scrubbing or brush scrubbing. My question is in the cleaning stage. What is best to use on a a stained wood deck without removing or damaging the stain?
Should I continue with the mixed bleach and water or try something else. I'm just trying to find easier and healthier ways to do this job. Thanks. I did purchase Oxyclean but I am hesitant on using it to clean the deck.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:04PM
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I have a pressure-treated deck in the NE US with a southern exposure. I formerly used Cuprinol semi-transparent oil stain and I would get 2-3 years in between applications with almost no prep work. Now that it's unavailable I tried Behr's "premium" alkyd semi-transparent stain last year and it didn't last 4 months on the horizontal surfaces before flaking off. I don't know which brand is good but definitely don't use Behr. I have no choice now but to strip it all off.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 4:32PM
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Anyone heard anything about Restore by Synta,

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 8:43PM
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I live in South Central Georgia on a Lake. I built a new dock out of presure treated 2x6's as decking this past winter. It is now starting to fade in the hot summer sun. After reading the post on this forum, I was wondering what new products may be out to help protect my expensive new deck. I have over 500 SF on flat surface that needs something.

In the past I have used Thompson's and did not like it because it did not last.

I have also used Behr Stain on another place I owned.

What would some one use on Pressure treated pine in the hot sunof South Georgia

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:22PM
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We have a deck that was built 8 years ago. The second part was added about 4 years ago. This leaves two slight colors. It was poweredwashed 3 years ago and stained with Sherman Williams 'Natural' color. We have powerwashed our deck and their a few redish area from the old stain. We want to restain with a sherman williams deckscape semitransparent stain,the color is "harbor mist." Will this cover or should we use a semi-solid stain.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 3:53PM
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Has anyone used Cedar Seal from WashSafeIndustries? It's a "green" project and claims to address many of the problems listed in this thread. (Can't believe I read the whole thread and I am still really confused. Just spent 10bills on a beautiful new cedar deck and pergola and now I'm scared poop-less.)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:19PM
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TWP and Cedar

I live and build in the Midwest.
That statement should be sufficient to anyone that has had dealings with our weather.
If its not 97degrees with an index of 110, its raining at 33 degrees at 5pm setting up for a freezing night. All that moisture is soaking into unsealed wood and concrete all over the region. Some fundamental physics are about to show their stuff.

After building hundreds of costly cedar decks, fences and patios there really is only one issue. HOW do I protect the investment?
And my answer is SIMPLE, remove the moisture and seal with TWP.
TWP was designed and tested for cedar and applied properly will help to protect the investment.
But make no mistake, the acid rain and direct sun light will take their toll and TWP will have to be reapplied. When? that depends on the amount of those process mentioned.
Here is an example: On your cedar deck you will notice that the vertical wood will weather slower then the horizontal wood.

I had the advantage of speaking with the owner of Amteco a few years ago and discovered some interesting things about their products and their applications.

I will post another item on when your cedar is ready to seal.
The boy at Home Depot will tell you to wait 6 months because that�s what he was told.

If you like that nasty, grey, weathered barn look, heed his advice.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:54AM
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Wow, what a spectacular thread, one of the best and longest I've seen in THS. So much great information culled from everyone's experience. Thanks for sharing.

One can theorize that where you live in the country and your local weather patterns (as well as type of wood) will determine what is the best product. Like several others in here, I live in the PNW, where it's extremely wet for most of the year, then bone dry for the summer. In addition, I have decks in the back of the house in full shade facing a forest greenbelt, then a deck in the front of the house facing directly west, getting blasted with winter storms and hot summer sun.

Both decks are just past the magic 15 year mark, what many have said is the maximum life span for decks in our state. After much cursing and experimenting, I've come up with the following that seems to work best and has kept our decks going all these years. Later this summer when it finally gets hot, I'll probably have to replace for the first time a few boards that have cracked or are worn from water damage (under a leaky rain gutter.)

I've used Flood's CWF in clear, and it's held up really well. A few years ago they upgraded to a new formulation that was supposed to last longer between reapplications. I was able to switch to that without having to strip off the previous stain.

The decks were built in 1995, and what I do is powerwash ever year, both horizontal and vertical surfaces. In the begining I made the regrettable mistake of using the stronger Olympic deck cleaners and brighteners, which only weakened the wood. Now I only use Oxyclean, which I mix up in 1/2 cup to 1 gallon of water. I spray it on, let it sit for 30 minutes, scrub a little on the handrails where needed, then powerwash off.

I let it dry for 2-3 days, then apply the CWF, using a bristle brush to load it on very heavily. I let it soak in, then back brush. It looks like crap for an hour, then magically disappears into the wood and all the sheen goes matte.

I find even with the longer (3-5 years) product, I still have to reapply to the horizontal surfaces every other year in our weather. The vertical surfaces I can stretch out to about every 4-5 years, and even then it's just a very light touch up coat.

What gets us is the moisture and rain. The hot sun in the summer doesn't hurt the wood at all or fade the stain. All the sections of deck that are protected by the roof overhang are in pristine condition. All the areas exposed to the rain take a beating by comparison.

What I like about CWF is that you can reapply over old applications without having to strip. It goes on like thick melted wax, then soaks into the wood.

We have a large cedar fence at another property. It was installed last year and we used Penafin on it. After one bad and very wet winter, the finish is not holding up that well and will have to be reapplied this summer. It's gotten a bit splotchy and uneven, whereas the CWF seems to look better on the deck.

On all of our outdoor teak furniture, I've used Daly's teak oil finish. The large table which we have to keep outside all winter really takes a beating, so I clean it with Oxyclean, lightly powerwash to rinse off the mold/mildew, let dry for a day, then sand to smooth out the flat surfaces. I then apply up to 6 coats of teak oil, buffing off the excess after 15 minutes. They do have a teak wood cleaner, but it's basically oxalic acid.

My big qualm with bleach, oxalic acid, sodium hydroxide, TSP, and all of the other products is that our yard is incrdibly packed with native perennials and even if I wanted to cover the garden or water it down, it's just too much work. Oxyclean breaks down into sodium chloride and is actually good for the soil. I never wet down the plants, and never have to rinse everything down to dilute the residue.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 4:22PM
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It is really sad that these companies can continue to make such an inferior product for so many years and we continue to pay increasingly higher prices. I might understand if their R&D was really producing a better product.

I have had two cedar decks in the past 15 years and I am sick of the maintenance and am now considering either replacing with some lower maintenance material or stripping and staining with a solid stain. My first deck we used Superdeck twice. Both times it lasted only a year. We then went with Cabots solid stain and it lasted 5 years before we moved to our current house. Not having to do the annual staining maintenance for five years left me with blurred vision and a desire to have a transparent stain on our new deck. After reading all there was to read we tried TWP. At year two it looked bad. Now at year three it is worse and I�m faced with what to use this time. For those that think TWP is great and I must have prepped and applied wrong, please check that. I used both parts of Restore-A-Deck per the instructions and applied the TWP properly to a cool deck. In the links below you can see what TWP looks like at year three. Year two wasn�t much better.


Why isn't there much discussion of solid stains on this forum? Is it because people that use it don't have many problems and therefore we don�t hear from them? If you have used a solid stain, what did you use and how long did it last? Is there a solid stain out there that won't peel if you reapply without stripping?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 12:15PM
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Bargoman may know where it is at. I just had a cedar deck built by contractor that builds beautiful cedar cottages. He suggesed using penofin on it. It never peels or has to be stripped and is safer for kids in bare feet. I guess other stains are toxic? The only downfall to this is you have to put it on and then rub off the excess which makes it kind of messy. If it isn't rubbed off it "gathers" for lack of better word and then dries looking like sap on your deck.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 6:32AM
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Great thread!

I inherited a very gray cedar deck in British Columbia, on the North side of the house, basically in a forest.

I've had good results getting rid of mildew with a bleach/water mixture and some light scrubbing with a broom.

After that, I used oxalic acid and the gray color really went away.

I pressure washed lightly after both chemicals.

Now, I'm going to use Olympic clear oil on it.

I plan to pressure wash again next spring and put on another coat of clear oil.

Wood decks need maintenance every year if you want them to look good. End of story.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:15AM
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I have 3 seperate redwood decks on the back side of my house. One deck is the origional deck and the wood is about 15 years old and the other two are about 8 years old. I have refinished the decks 3 times myself in 8 years and each time Striping,sanding and cleaning each time. This time I decided to do a little more research on the deck stain options instead of taking the local wood dealers recommendations. I settled on using the READY SEAL - Medium Red color sealer\stain on my decks. It has come out way better than expected. I was a little worried at first when I applied that it was going to be too dark but it ended up looking amazing. My neighbors are asking what I used and they can't believe the difference. When I first built the newer 2 decks I origionally used Superduck stain from the place where I bouight the redwood from. Went on good and looked good for about a year then started waering very fast. Second time I used Penofin and had issues with wood turning black on most of the tang rails. Did wear better than other previously applied. Next was my nightmare and it was Behr from HD. Bad Choice!!!! The rails were fine but the deck boards started peeling and flaking after about a month. Looked terrible. I was skectable about the advertising that READY SEAL had but I could NOT find any negative postings anywhere on the web about this stain, so I decided to give it a try. This was definately the easiest and best stain that I have used this far. Unfortunately they don't have distributors in California but the shipping though I thought was a little pricy was well within my budget. With shipping it ends up being about 33.00 a gallon. The results were amazing.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:34PM
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I have been reading this thread for a few hours and the more I read the less I know what I am going to do for my replacement PT deck boards. Most of the threads are just use product A/B/C or process X/Y/X with little rational behind the recommendation. I am not looking for the "best" product or process, as there are usually many variables involved as well as andvantages/disadvantages. Besides, if you simply claim product A/B/C is best all I can do is group that comment in with the thousand other contradictory comments I've read. How about a link to a controlled long term study of different product types like stain/paint/oil/latex/UV/sealer/etc? With explainations of what each type actually does to the wood and how well it performs, maybe a chart with each type with a rating for each desired characteristic such as longevity, cost, UV protection, water protection, fading, peeling, reapplication period, etc, to some it all up? I hate to complain becasue I know everybody means well. But I am just not getting enough fundamental, organized and comparitive information considering the great deal of time I have spent reading. I mean honestly, I know less about the approach I will take now than before I started reading this thread.

PS - I am an engineer and a bit anal about getting good data on any subject before committing to a course of action. This has advantages and disadvantages.................nevermind.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 12:13AM
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I read the first 20 posts and realized the same thing, and, like yourself (tworst), would really like to find data/info that is better researched/organized/coordinated. Based on the massive amounts of contradictory data out there on deck prepping and staining "do's and don'ts", no wonder many of us end up confused, taking stabs in the dark in hopes of finding a good outcome on this time-consuming project. Looks like there is a market for a "better" product and/or less intense procedure. Maybe an expensive switch to concrete or composite is in the works.

Think I'm off to the hardware store once again, unfortunately still blindfolded...

Good luck to everyone!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 12:35PM
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I live at an elevation of 5600ft. high desert, temps in summer to 95, and down to 15 in winter, lots of snow. I have a redwood deck that we have been using McCloskey redwood stain on. We do have a claw foot tub Koi pond right next to the deck and it does mildew from year to year. We have kept it clean with a bit of bleach water for the mildew and then power washing with deck cleaner. Now in our isolated area the store that carried the product has been closed. I have read the threads and found none that are in our geographic location. Any ideas, we just finished sanding the deck and need to buy something, and I think 2 years sounds great, as we have been keeping ours up 2x's a year. Neighbors slammed on the breaks with that product.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:41PM
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After hours of research, I finally found my way to the Forest Products Laboratory of the USDA Forest Service, with clear, unbiased, scientifically-based information about deck maintenance, sealers and stains. No product names are used. The documents that I found helpful are "Details for a Lasting Deck", "Finishes for Wood Decks", "Cleaners and Restorers for Wood Decks", and "Finishing Wood Decks". While they are not recent publications, the science doesn't change.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 9:17AM
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I read this entire post and came away with the feeling that the best solution is to do nothing and just replace the entire deck every 2 years. This is what information overload will do to you! Since there seems to be many experts here, I thought I would try my luck in getting some expertise on a somewhat related item.

In my case, I just need to stain and protect some new KD clear cedar wood that will surround an outside bathtub (not hot tub.) This amounts to only about 16 sq ft. For now, I have settled on Superdeck transparent stain (canyon brown)....partially because they sell 3 oz samples for only $2. Yes, I know that may seem absurd considering that the small amount of clear cedar I got cost me about $200. I expect the cedar to be covered most of the time, so it should not weather too badly.

My relatively simple question: Is it better to sand the wood lightly (220 grit) before application of stain? I would like to stain it as dark as possible and I have heard that using 2 coats is NOT a good idea, so I want as much staining mileage out of the stain as possible. Can I apply it, wait for it to dry, re-sand, and apply another coat?

In terms of refinishing in a year or two, can I just re-sand and reapply the stain again?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 12:29PM
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I live in the Northeast and built a 7' high T&G Pine and Pressure Treated fence back in 2003 and coated it with Sikkens Oil Based Rubbol Solid Stain with it's 6 year warranty.
Well this week we are giving it it's first new coat. The back side away from the afternoon sun is still smooth and has some sheen, as is the sections under the trees that yearly saw two Spic and Span cleanings to rid the black stains.
The sun sections faded flat and got real dry finally, and 3 pine caps rotted due to rain and snow getting into screw holes or knots failed.
Everthing now is VOC formula so the new Sikkens has a 2 year warranty I believe. I chose FLOOD SWF Solid this time and had it mixed to match the former two colors I used.
The prep was power washing using a surface cleaning attachment, then a backup scrub on some areas with Spic and Span powder. I filled all board cracks and knot shrinks with wood filler.
The stain was a pleasure to use, covered great and stuck to the old oil stain no problem. Will re-post if anything turns ugly...but I don't expect it to. I chose FLOOD for it's 5/15 warranty, it's self priming ability and it's Emulsabond formula, and if I only get half (7 1/2 yrs.) I'll be thrilled.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 12:09AM
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Not to add to an already long post, but I felt compelled to reply after seeing messages above recommending Sikkens (by dealers mostly). I live in Ontario (Canada) and have used Sikkens SRD on my east-facing cedar deck for about 7 years ago. Why? Because that is what my very reputable dealer recommended. I have spent 7 years of refinishing my deck almost yearly (cleaner, stripper, sanding) thinking it was me and have now realized it is the Sikkens. There are several problems I have encountered with the Sikkens. It darkens considerably in the course of one year. It also blackens in places due to mold. You can clean the deck to address the mold, but that doesn't address the darkening of the finish. The cleaner also has a habit of removing some of the Sikkens because it will start to fail in about 25% of the deck area. I have even had areas of graying under the finish after only one winter. After 7 years I am giving up on the Sikkens and moving on.

Does anyone know if this site is legitimate?


Their review on Sikkens is spot on and exactly what I have experienced. They have me looking at TWP. I don't mind cleaning yearly and even putting a fresh coat on the horizontal surfaces yearly, as long as I don't need to strip and sand it first. The TWP is said to lighten and thus would be more amenable to adding a new coat (unlike the Sikkens which darkens).


    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 9:51AM
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I agree with deckstainhelp.com's review of Sikkens. As a contractor we will not use it. We do use a lot of Armstrong Clark and TWP and both are very good stains. Neither darken in color.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Well consumer reports CR came out with thompsons as the best and recommended for clear deck sealer. (July 2012)
But of course - any of us doing decks know - it should be the lowest, if on the list at all. They like it because it's waterbased and wax. As previous posts correctly point out - that's ideology and hope - not science.
With all research I've done including here there is no single answer which product to use. But the household ones are uniformly poor. My current favorite is Penofin, but my mind and eyes will remain open.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 4:03PM
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Wow! Lots of great info...but I don't think I found what I was looking for. Hopefully someone can help me out. I tried doing a google search but really couldn't find anything.

My question deals with re-applying and what is required. I read in this thread people say they have done various things before reapplying their stain (Wash with soap, wash with chemical cleaners, strip, strip and sand, etc.). However, how do I know which one of these I need to do? Does it depend on if my stain is water based or oil based? Or does it just depend on how bad the stain is pealing/fading? And generally speaking is water based better or oil based?

I recently built a 2 tone deck. I applied the water based (acrylic) Behr semi-transparent stain (yes I know, lol, but I didn't read enough reviews) to the border and some pattern boards and then used the Thompson's clear waterproofing to the rest. I assume I'm going to have to fix it next year. So I'm wonder if I'm going to have to strip it, sand it, etc. or will I just be able to wash it and reapply?


    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:00AM
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Strip it without a doubt although by using Behr/Thompsoms there may not be much left to strip, lol. But yes it would need to be stripped regardless.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Thanks millworkman, but that doesn't quite answer my question :( What is the reason you say strip it for sure? Is this because it's water based? Why wouldn't I be able to just clean it and then reapply?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 1:42PM
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because if the old finish is not completely removed the new finish will not adhere properly

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 3:07PM
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Thanks again millworkman...but I have another followup question :) I've seen in this thread that many people say they have only had to clean the deck before reapplying. What enables them to do this? Is it just because they used better quality product, or is it something else?
Thanks again, I appreciate the help!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 3:27PM
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washing does not remove the finish that is currently applied. You can use a deck wash or cleaner if you apply the exact same product over the existing finish. If you want a finish to last and look even and correct your strip the deck.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Well, it is deck-finishing season in New England, and I have studied this blog until my eyes bleed, but I have a question which hasn't been asked yet. How do I keep my PT pine weathered deck gray, without using a gray solid or semi-solid stain?

On Cape Cod houses, including mine, the prevailing color is weathered gray cedar shingles.The likely weather hazard is standing snow, which we will not be here to remove. The deck is now weathered enough that it matches the natural weathered cedar wall shingles. Unlike most contributors to this blog, I don't want to turn my deck back to its original tan or brown color, although I do want to get rid of the black mildew.

This is our first season in this house, so we don't know the deck's history. I can see that solid gray stain has been sanded off at some point in the past. Water does not bead, so it clearly is ready for some treatment. There is an unopened jug of Olympic WaterGuard Waterproofing Clear Sealant for Wood in the basement, but no evidence that it was used.

From this blog, I have concluded that deck wash, brighteners and oxalic acid will remove the dead gray wood and renew the original tan/brown highly grained appearance of PT pine, which I do not want. The comment that the dead gray wood fiber is nature's way of protecting the good wood beneath makes sense to me. I've also read here that there is a fair chance that semi-solid or solid stain will peel, and I don't want to risk that. In conclusion, I want to clean and finish the deck to protect it, but not change the existing natural gray color. Any ideas how to do this?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 3:24PM
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And people ask me why I leave my cedar deck natural, no stain, no anything? It's cheaper to replace a few deck boards every 5 to 10 years. Within 1 season they blend in like they were original.

I read here where someone actually tarps the deck every winter. My oh my.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:00PM
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Regarding Consumer Reports. Go down to your local library. It doesn't cost a thing..

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 10:10PM
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Does anyone know for sure what these white spots on my new pressure-treated pine fence are? Mold? Mildew? Chemicals from the pressure treating leaking out? Do they need to be cleaned or pressure washed off before I have the fence stained? Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2014 at 11:47PM
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Does anyone know for sure what these white spots on my new pressure-treated pine fence are? Mold? Mildew? Chemicals from the pressure treating leaking out? Do they need to be cleaned or pressure washed off before I have the fence stained? Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2014 at 11:50PM
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Hi KalyaWildflower!

The spots are just part of the chemical treatment process. You should apply a cleaner such as ProClean used in combination with pressure cleaning. This will give you a great base as a prep prior to applying the wood protection product of your choice. If you desire a fast and easy product to use where you can still see the grain of the wood, have a look at CUTEK Extreme. The CedarTone would be ideal.


All the best with your fence project!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2014 at 12:20AM
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@Peter Bray too late. It's painted now. 3 out of 5 painters told me its normal and nothing to worry about, so they just painted right over it. I hope that's okay. I think it would have taken scrubbing, not just pressure washing to get that chemical off. The Sherwin Williams rep told me to scrub it with a wet rag and see if it came off. If it did, it would have been mold, but it didn't, so I didn't worry about it.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2014 at 1:06AM
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Peter Bray is a spammer, pay him no mind.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2014 at 10:22AM
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