Old Behr Deck Stain Usable?

I have a few 5-gallon cans of Behr Waterproof Deck Stain -- no. 300, clean up with water, natural color -- that have been stored in a garage for several years. Are they still usable? They've never been opened.
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On Friday, August 12, 2016 at 9:21:41 PM UTC-5, gmark wrote:

Do you have freezing temperatures...would be the deciding factor?
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On Friday, August 12, 2016 at 7:39:29 PM UTC-7, bob_villa wrote:

If it was made in the early 1990s dump it. After their product dried mold started growing in the wood and they ended up paying millions to settle a class action law suit. The past 10 years they got their act together but I still don't trust them.
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On 08/13/2016 9:10 AM, Jack G. wrote:

That was only two products, Super Liquid Raw-Hide, which is used primarily on log homes and Natural Seal Plus.
They were oil-based, not water-based, so OP's product is not going to be an issue from that standpoint.
The problem was the affected products used linseed oil as a primary solvent/carrier whereas the manufacturer whose fungicide was the mold retardant used specifically noted it should not be used with linseed oil which is a known source for mold spores to feed upon.
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"gmark" wrote
|I have a few 5-gallon cans of Behr Waterproof Deck Stain -- no. 300, clean up with water, natural color -- that have been stored in a garage for several years. Are they still usable? They've never been opened. |
You can open the Behr cans and see if they can be stirred OK. If so then they should be fine to use. It's only when they gel that they're lost.
For what it's worth, some info about deck stains might be useful. I build and stain decks regularly and find the current market very frustrating. In the switch from oil to water we just don't have good products for most things. Though if you already have an acrylic stain on your deck then you're probably stuck with it, unless you replace the wood or sand the deck.
I wouldn't touch anything Behr, simply because it's Home Depot and quality is not their top priority. To be honest, I've never actually tried anything but a gallon of their wall paint, once.
Generally I'd avoid any paint HD carries. Even reputable brands will likely be special blends for Home Depot. It's not that HD is so bad. It's just that paint quality can vary quite a bit, and most people can't tell. So it's a good product for cutting costs on.
I think HD also carry Glidden, don't they? I once did a job, many years ago, where the customer insisted on Glidden solid oil exterior stain. I tried to talk them out of it, but couldn't. I was going to use Benjamin Moore, at $27/gallon. Glidden was $10. So I saved a lot of money. (It was a 5-unit townhouse.) But the Glidden had no body. Their own spec sheet said it was 30% water. Water! In oil-base stain. They were canning 2/3 stain with an emulsifier and 1/3 water. It went on thick, then dissolved into a bubbly foam and pretty much disappeared.
All of which is to say that there really are differences in paint brands. With all the work involved it makes no sense to save a few dollars on materials. But then if you don't use the Behr you're faced with another problem: There are no perfect options these days for deck stain. Sherwin Williams is the best brand I'm able to find, in general. Benjamin Moore is no longer dependable. Pratt and Lmabert is best, but they were bought out by Sherwin Williams. So if I had to use acrylic deck stain I'd go for SW.
Solid oil stain is all but gone. I'm still using Cabot solid oil stain on our deck, but it's become hard to find. (15 years old. 4/4x6 PT. Still looks very good. I came across some Cabot's solid oil in an old-fashioned hardware store recently and grabbed another gallon. :)
Water-base deck stain is improving but it's really not much better than wall paint. It shows dirt and scuff marks, and wears away quickly. Urethane-reinforced paint is another option -- acrylic or oil -- but that's a nightmare down the road when you need to scrape the peeling paint. It's very hard stuff.
Semi-transparent oil stain: Never looks all that good, especially if you want a color other than dark wood-tone. It's fine for cedar siding in a rustic setting, but not so good for suburban/urban houses with painted siding.
Benj Moore now makes transparent stains that match 3 or 4 colors of Australian Timber Oil. That stuff is pretty good. Oil-base. Nice colors. They say you can only do one coat with it. That's not true. Two coats gives a nice sheen and will cover things like grayed PT wood pretty well. But one coat will work in most cases. The down-side of that is that it's only good if you have bare wood and want wood tone. As noted above, that's not always a good match with the rest of the house.
Actual Australian Timber Oil has undergone a bait and switch. It's no longer oil-base. The can seems to look the same, but the product is water-base. Nothing like the original product! Note, also, that Home Depot now sells it. I figured that was a bad sign when I first came across it. But I still wasted the price of one quart to find out it was no longer anything remotely resembling the original product. Maybe HD bought the ATO brand. I don't know.
I've used a mix in the past where I blend exterior oil- base paint with boiled linseed oil and thinner. I've used BM High Gloss Impervo for that, which is no longer available. But other oil paint should work. The linseed oil provides the durability. The paint supplies color and driers. The thinner makes it soak in deeply. But nothing provides the protection, durability, ease of use and finished look of soild oil deck stain.
Some people may remember that not so long ago virtually all decks and stairs were the same: 1x4 fir treated with boiled linseed oil and thinner, just like fir gutters. A recoat would be done occasionally. So all steps and decks were gray after the first year or so.
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On Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 11:04:38 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

So then the rest of this is rant against HD paint is based on what exactly? What other advice do you give that's based on vapor?

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gmark wrote:

How in the world did you end up with "a few 5-gallon cans" left over??? lol. Next time just buy what you need at the time.
Anyway... Open one and smell it. If it smells like a dead animal, it has partially frozen or is just too old and has gone bad. In that case toss them and buy new. Water-based paint can spoil.
If it smells fine then spend a ton of time stirring it up.
Behr makes good products. I don't use them often but what I have used are always a good thing.
I've been painting for a living for 43 years, so I'm not guessing here.
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We used Behr semi-opaque stain on our house and were quite happy with it. We used it again when we repainted several years later (we sprayed the first time so it didn't penetrate much and wore off quickly).
We also used Behr latex paint for a couple rooms in our house and were happy with it too.
Unfortunately, I tried Behr deck stain and it was horrible. No matter how much I mixed it up, it went on streaky and splotchy. I was using a high quality brush, but it looked terrible and didn't penetrate at all. I definitely would NOT recommend Behr deck stain.
A few years later I completely sanded off the old Behr deck stain and applied Sikkens stain. It was a MUCH better stain, actually soaking into the wood with nice even coverage. It did stink like motor oil for a few days, but we are very happy with the end result. Several years later it still looks nice.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On 08/14/2016 10:13 AM, HerHusband wrote:

...
Behr (before HD) originally was a CA-based independent regional/western manufacturer with a very good reputation where they were. They became nationally-recognized when they did get the distribution deal with HD (and I don't recall just when that was, but been quite a while now).
I noticed that at sometime they were bought out/sold to Masco, one of the big holding companies that includes such stalwarts as Arrow Fastener, Delta Faucet, ... I don't know when that happened, either, nor how much it may have affected Behr in meeting any new profitability standards, etc. Nor do I know that it might not have brought new resources _to_ Behr, letting them actually improve...just "things change"...
<http://masco.com/about/our-companies/
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On Friday, August 12, 2016 at 9:21:41 PM UTC-5, gmark wrote:

I thought Consumers Reports generally liked Behr paints.
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I have had two gallons, of 3 year old Behr DecK Over. First I would go to HD and have them shake/ mix your 5 gallon container (HD had no issue doing so with my old Behr paint). The HD paint agent might then tell you if your paint is usable? Iin my case the agent said I was Good to Go - and I was indeed able to use that old paint.
As another has noted, if the paint has "often" been exposed to freezing temps - it is likely of no future use, per that HD agent.
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