I've used a brand-name semi-trans oil stain on my redwood deck every 2
years. I'm in a semi-arid climate with not much rain, lots of sun, and
cold winters. Mildew and UV damage finally showed up, so last year I
rented a big sander, took it down to good bare wood (after resetting/
replacing the deck screws), and stained it again. The next rain, I
noticed that water didn't bead at all. So I did a 2nd coat after it
dried out well. Next rain, only a little beading. I compared a new can
to a very old used one, and saw that the VOC number was down.
Now, a year later, the deck looks like it had been painted with water
color and most of it had simply washed off. I emailed the manufacturer
and got back the excuse that the California EPA had required that VOCs
be reduced and it was out of their control. Well, I'm not in
California, and their new formula is crap. I want my VOCs back.
Since every paint manufacturer, apparently, has jumped on the
environmental bandwagon, I don't see any purpose in looking for the
"best" stain; I assume they're ALL reformulated and therefore are ALL
crap. What I want is a way of restoring the performance of the new
stuff to at least that of the good old stuff.
Has anyone experimented with adding, say, boiled linseed oil with some
turpentine or mineral spirits, etc? (I'll assume a packet of
mildewcide is a given...) I'm looking for a TESTED recipe using
readily available oils/solvents, nothing exotic or expensive.
Does anyone have some experience here?
On Sep 10, 12:42 am, email@example.com wrote:
Think your're out of luck. VOC's are volatile organic compounds and
stain was probably reformulated with less water proofing in order to
keep down the mandated VOC levels. Best to look at other brands which
may work better. I saw something on reformulated Thompsons where the
new formulation clogged the sprayer I tried to use and even with a
brush you could see stuff crystallizing out which was effect of lower
I find it hard to believe that every painter and paint shop in this
country has meekly accepted this inferior 'green' nonsense; their
livelihoods and reputations depend on the quality of their work and
products. It's certain that many of them figured out long ago how to
circumvent these stupid regs and keep their customers happy. They're
the ones I want to hear from.
On 9/10/2008 6:28 PM firstname.lastname@example.org spake thus:
It's hardly "nonsense"; it's well established that VOCs cause all kinds
of bad things, like smog and irritation to people who breathe them. Not
even close to the "controversy" over global warming, but settled science.
That isn't to say that oil- and solvent-based products are often much
better than their water-based replacements. I used some water-based
varnish on an exterior door a while ago and just hated it; didn't flow
on worth shit. But it looks like we're just going to have to learn to
live with them. (Much like the problems caused by the ROHS-mandated
elimination of lead-based solder: lead is much easier to work with than
its replacements, but it's just too toxic.)
Washing one\'s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the
powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
Yeah, yeah. Lots of things are bad for us. I'll take my chances, thank
you. BTW: no smog here, even before the environmental and health
hysteria kicked in. So why am I being limited as if I lived in Los
You hate it, yet you defend it. Curious. Are you saying that if there
were a simple way to restore performance, although not following the
letter and spirit of the law, you would reject it? We agree that the
new stuff is crap. The difference is that you accept the
scaremongering, while I don't.
If you haven't noticed, the almighty State is slowly taking control of
our lives - for our own good, of course. At what point will YOU say,
"enough"? When they have us running laps or doing calisthenics every
day? When they start monitoring our individual weights and diets? When
they ban fire in any form? My limit was reached years ago. "Land of
the free"? I don't think so.
What's this - a plug for Consumer Reports? If you have something to
recommend, why not just SAY IT?
As far as I can tell, EVERYTHING has been "reformulated." I'm not
interested in CR's best of the crap (which I would suspect also
involves a steep price). I want the real thing. I want those dirty,
evil VOCs, which have a record of excellent performance for at least
HUNDREDS of years.
As I recall some of the older books on wood finishing had recipes for
stains and finishes. Bob Flexner is one good author that comes to mind.
I too am disgusted with the quality of finishes available today and
have started to mix my own. I can't claim that they meet the TESTED
recipe requirement yet. It's getting to be difficult to buy the
components from the various chemical supply houses. They behave as if
every one is an idiot or a terrorist. Recently I had to supply a xerox
copy of my degree to purchase chemicals that I don't regard as being as
hazardous as my wife's cleaning supplies.
Thanks, Boden. I've looked online and found specialized recipes for
things like furniture and gun stocks that start from scratch, but
nothing about "doctoring" the new paints and stains. I assume people
are doing it, but they may not follow these newsgroups or they may be
reluctant to admit it. I suppose there might also be some question of
compatibility of the old oils/solvents with the new formulations.
As for the "tested" part, it would still be useful to hear from anyone
who tried something that was NOT successful. We learn from trial and
error, and this would help zero in on what helps or hurts, what's too
much or too little, etc. Even a failure is a good data point.
Good idea, Red, but the key word is "everyone." Most people tend to
ignore guarantees because it's a hassle to follow up. The
manufacturer's customer service folks will want the location and date
of puchase, the numbers on the cans, a receipt, when and where and how
you applied it, etc, and you might get a refund. They're counting on
laziness, basically, plus meek acceptance of "that's just the way it
is," as seen in the response I got from one manufacturer and two of
the responses here.
It might help to bypass customer service and complain to the company
honchos directly. But I suspect that the easiest response for them
would be to reduce the guarantee period to just a year or two. This
doesn't help us. We'd still be paying more for an inferior product
that doesn't last long.
And that's why I want to skip the complaining and fix the problem
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