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Question DetailsAsked on 9/24/2015

I'm staining a deck I resurfaced 1 yr ago. The posts & lattice are 20 yrs old, whose solid color stain should I use

The deck is directly below a canopy of 150+ year old oak trees, so while it gets some direct sunlight, most of the time it's in shade with little to no exposure to the sun. The deck is prone to discoloration due to staining from the leaves that fall during storms & the change of seasons, and also from the lack of direct sunlight. The lattice and posts are discolored due to the lack of direct sunlight and the development of mold during periods of extensive rain, high moisture and humidity. The deck is made of pressure treated pine and cedar, and I'm looking for a solid color stain that will stand up to the weather and not peel or flake. Is there a stain manufacturer whose solid color stain product will stand up to the elements and the lack of direct sunlight on much of the surface of the wood for more than a year?

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2 Answers


Go to "Ask the Builder" pay $10 get his extensive report on stains or go to the library and research Consumer Reports for their opinion. Good Luck

ps if you have that many trees read my blogs on gutters and gutter covers

Jim Casper

Source: www.heartlandmastershield,com

Answered 5 years ago by jccasper


Unfortunately, in that environment I think preservation of the deck material would be your first priority, to prevent mold and rot. Unless you have small children playing on it who could pick up some of the chemicals (not that they are THAT bad), I would recommend deep penetration retreatment with Nalco/Cupreanol copper treatment, which is made for retreatment of ground-contact and treated wood, and for touchup of cut ends. Comes in a fairly bright green and a darkish brown, and also from a couple of manufacturers the orange touchup color for Wolmanized wood. It can be changed to a darker color with liquid oil based coloring agents (NOT powders) for oil paints, though there are no color charts - it is a hit and miss thing, and of course be sure to mix all treated cans together to get a consistent color.

Theoretically, after letting it soak in and dry for at least a week or more of dry weather, you could overcoat with an oil based peentrating stain like an oil based Olympic deck stain, but the color result is not totally predictable.

My recommendation - stay away from the solid color heavy build stains - they act like paint and lock in the moisture that inevitably penetrates through cracks and pinholes in the finish when it rains, but cannot evaporate back out through the same very smalll openings, causing the deck boards to rot.

The only products I think will stay without peeling and rotting will be penetrating oil based products - the copper napthenate, a penetrating oil based deck stain that is NOT heavy build (heavy in solids), or an oil product like log oil, though in your condition and with the variable weathering and staining at this point log oil or linseed oil or similar product would almost certainly give a VERY splotchy looking result.

Whatever you do, because of the existing inconsistent appearance, try a test patch somewhere before fully committing to it - maybe stairs for instance, or a face surface that is least visible. And be aware, the treated wood will "take" the finish very differently from the cedar - the treated wood should come out pretty muich like the color on the can, generally several shades lighter once dried; but the weathered cedar typically will come out DARKER than the color shown on the can - almost deep chocolate or blackish brown with the brown, a darkish slightly greenish caste green with the green, and can be anything from a muddy orange to mahogany to almost a walnut with the orange touchup compounds.

Here is a prior response I gave to a similar question with more details on the copper napthenate treatment -

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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