Deck Stain Experiences, Advice and Questions

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First try:
Behr Wood-Toned Weather Proofer Wood Sealer & Finish. As per the documentation ON THE CAN I prepared the deck (8 years old previously untreated except for the pressure treating) using a deck wash & then applied the Behr.
Failure! The Behr came off in about a year. My feeling is that putting an the instruction on the can saying "can apply to damp/dry" wood and to just "wipe standing water" first is very poor advice indeed. Stain effectiveness to predicated on its ability to soak into the wood - if moisture is already IN the wood, then this can only inhibit the ability of the wood to soak up the stain.
Here's to problem - the stain came off the horizontal surfaces, NOT the vertical surfaces. This is actually bad, because you can't easily strip vertical surfaces, therefore: your bed is made, you have to keep using the same stain.
Second try:
Water & a hard bristle brush removed whatever traces of Behr were on the wood. After 5 days of sunshine, the wood was totally dry, then I followed this a floor sander. Brushed on the BEHR (no choice really). Home Depot guy suggested multiple coats, so I called Behr & asked them if I could put on the next coat ~ 12 hours after the first, and, as you my guess, Behr advised against a second coat. Said the product is made to soak into the wood & not to put a film on top. I think this is a load of crap - it penetrates a bit, but it certainly leaves a film that can strip off.
Question:
I sanded & stained three of the boards "early" about a month ago & have noticed that already water doesn't bead in spots - seems the water is being soaked in. I was thinking multiple coats would be better to keep water from penetrating the wood & compromising it. What everyone else think - more coats, or do as Behr says?
Advice:
Obviously I don't think much of Behr. If I were starting out, I wouldn't use stain at all. I'd advise some kind of penetrating oil - not much advice as to which one, but I've used linseed oil on some planters & they look fantastic. It NEVER flakes & you can just reapply some whenever you want. On the other hand, if you don't even have a deck yet, then apparently those new plastic boards last forever.
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Maybe not. If the wood is dry, how deep will a coat of stain penetrate? Not much. If the wood is wet, capillary action may actaully help it penetrate a bit more.

Very common with most any deck stain. The rain, sun and traffic knocks the hell out of stain very fast on the horizontal. Iv'e tried a few different brands and on the horizontal, they are all crap.

They gave you sound advice. Yes, it will soak in and yes, you can put a thin coat on top, but that thin film will not adhere very well to the previous coat and it will not last any longer. Again, this is true of most any brand.

I've used Cabot, Olympic, Sikkens. More coats is a waste of time. The people at Behr know what they are talking about.

My next deck will not be pressure treated. It will be mahogany or ipe and will be coated with Penofin oil. I have a few pieces of furniture I've built from mahogany and Spanish cedar and they still look fantastic. You can see a couple of them on my web page. Cost is higher, but quite a huge difference in appearance.
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Ed
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I personally have gone with Cabot, after reading a positive review in Consumer Reports. Seems like quality stuff. However they also advise 1 coat. Why, I can't fathom. The stuff is really something more along the lines of a stain/polyurethane blend. I don't say that to imply it IS, just that it behaves that way. Two coats can be better than one, especially if you see some areas where a hard film didn't form on top (it all soaked into the wood and it looks matte that reveals the wood grain, rather than having sheen.)
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I used Cabot and thought it sucked. And how do you remove it to recoat? I think you are better off with semi transparent and just do it every year.

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I learned my lesson tring to stain pressure treated wood .. I just don't .. instead I let it turn gray looks fine and it all rots out from the bottom up here in the north east US anyway... about 5 yrs. it all turns to crap anyway. jeffc wrote:

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I put the 2nd coat on today, screw the expert advice. Basically I've already tried one coat & it failed, I believe because water could still get beneath it, so I'm trying two coats to get a more waterproof surface.
Part of the problem (beside Behr sucking that is) is my deck is 10 years old, so there were some cracks in the boards that remained after sanding them down that were not well sealed by one coat. I think they admited the water that ultimately unseated the stain.
What's best for a new deck may not be best for an older one like mine. Colour's a little dark now, but we'll see.
jeffc wrote:

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And all sorts of dirt, oxidation and who knows what else. If the deck is crap, stain is not going to fix it.
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Looks pretty darn good right now.
I don't believe in todays attitude of "throw it out and buy another" - this is environmentally unfriendly. I'll fix my deck, my appliances (until energy efficienies of new appliances dictate otherwise) and other odd's & ends - even if financially it would be better for me to put in an extra hour at work then buy another.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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The guy who put in my deck did not make sure all the deck boards crown was up, so many cup, hold water and the stain failed. Oil stain on a deck seems the most logical it should penetrate more.
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hmmm, an interesting thought....crown up.....I guess this means the side of the board that was nearest to the center of the tree should face upwards, then, as the board ages it will tend to make a convex ( upside down bowl) shape - have I got that right, backwards or not even close?
m Ransley wrote:

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Paul wrote:

Read these links:
http://homerepair.about.com/od/yardandgarden/ss/deck_board_3.htm
http://homerepair.about.com/od/yardandgarden/ss/deck_board_4.htm
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jeffc wrote:

Yeah, I bought a gallon of Cabot semi-solid to play around with this summer after seeing the Consumer Reports article.
I was hoping I could use this stain instead of paint to refinish portions of my painted porch where keeping a coat of paint intact has been a real problem. But when I stained a sample board, the color didn't look at all like the sample chip in the store; so I won't be doing that.
I also noticed the "one coat only" admonition on the label, and so I called the Cabot tech support. I told the tech person that I had already applied two coats, and was that really a problem. She said yes. I asked why and she said the product is not intended to form a surface film - it does not form a durable film. If you apply a second coat, it cannot penetrate the first coat, so it just lays on top and cures there - but it does not form a durable film.
I know this is not recommended, but for grins I tried applying a high quality latex acrylic porch floor paint over a Cabot-stained board, and I used it for one of the exterior stair treads. It will be interesting to see how it holds up (or not). The thought was that the stain would waterproof the board to keep rainwater and snow and other moisture from getting into the wood via fine cracks and imperfections in the wood, and the latex topcoat is just there for color match.
BTW, when you say that Cabot stain "behaves like a stain/polyurethane blend" what did you mean by that? What characteristic behavior were you observing? (I'm not that familiar with polyurethane).
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Well, what I meant was pretty much the opposite of what the Cabot tech told you. It *did* seem to form a durable film. Now I'm pretty confused. I understand what the tech meant, but after putting that stuff on my porch, it looks very much like a coat of polyurethane had been applied. (Polyurethane is basically a modern version of varnish.) It had a satin sheen. I did notice that the surface had a "greasy" look and feel for about a week. I chalked that up to slow drying/curing time due to very high humidity in the area at the time. Seems hard and solid now. Definitely not just a stain (like you'd get with plain MinWax stain, for example).
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jeffc wrote:

Yeah, my experience was more similar to yours and less in line with what I was told by the Cabot tech person.
I applied 2 coats of Cabot semi-solid stain to a couple of boards and let them dry in my garage for a week. After the first day, on sunny days I would prop them up outdoors against the sunny side of the garage.
After about a week I could rub them hard with my fingers and not get any trace of color on them.
As I said in the previous post, I then applied a couple of coats of porch and floor latex over the Cabot stain, and then used these boards for my porch step treads.
If they fail, they fail. If not, then I've finally found a way to keep moisture out of the boards so they will hold a coat of paint.
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Paul,
We've been using Flood CWF-UV for our decks and our cedar fence for several years. We've been really happy with the results - it seems to wear off reasonably evenly, we just powerwash and retreat the fence every 3 years or so, and the deck every other year.
The wood does need to be totally dry and you should not apply in direct sunlight on a very hot day, though it does require sunlight to cure (and so we just changed our plans to use it on a screened in pool house floor, in favor of Penofin oil) but those seems to be restrictions common with most of the deck treatments we've researched.
One thing we discovered - though the Flood web site recommended using Seasonite on our fence the first year, and then Dekswoods to wash, followed by treatment with CWF-UV, we would NOT do that next time around. We treated the back of 1 of the fence sections with CWF-UV shortly after it was installed, and it is hands-down, the best looking section of the fence. So next time we use CWF-UV out of the shoot.
Also, they recommend 2 coats, but the second MUST be applied after the first coat soaks in, but while it is still wet. This is pretty easy to do - we just do 2 sections of the deck or fence, and go back and do the second coat on the first section, and so on.
Thought I'd mention this since no one else brought up using CWF-UV.
Lauri
Paul wrote:

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NJLauri wrote:

Do you have any idea _why_?
What happens if you apply the second coat after the first has dried?
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wrote:

weaker bond between the 1st and 2nd coat.
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On 5 Sep 2006 15:59:31 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm, "Ether

Chemical crosslinking has to happen during a certain curing period or it doesn't happen.
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A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is it such a bad thing?
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Makes sense.
But I'm wondering why the same advice doesn't apply to this gallon of porch and floor latex paint I've been using. They want me to wait a full 24 hours before applying a second coat. By that time, the stuff is dry and hard enough to walk on.
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wrote:

It's still not really cured, though, as will be obvious if you use a white primer and a colored topcoat... It takes over a week for the paint to get hard enough to move furniture on.
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