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dumbfungus 06-19-2006 02:29 PM

Best Stain For Decking?

Can anyone recommend the best (in your opinion) stain to use on wood decking? I purchased an older home a couple of years ago, and have been pouring money into it ever since – now it’s the deck’s turn.

When we had the fence built last year they put “Flood” brand stain on it and it was looking real good so I put the same thing on the deck. Well, the fence is still looking good but the deck already needs to be refinished.

I am now looking to re-stain the deck and I need to know what I should use that’ll last more than a year. Any and all suggestions are welcome. I rather stain it again than have to take a loan out (it’s a good sized deck) to put up that plastic stuff.

Thanks in advance,

lxdollarsxl 06-19-2006 10:22 PM

You could use a stain colour that you want with a sealer already incorporated in it - such as porter clear stain and deck seal. It should last for several years.

AAPaint 06-23-2006 04:54 PM

You need a quality penatrating oil finish. One of my favs is It's a top notch semi-trans stain that will outlast most any deck product.

slickshift 06-23-2006 05:36 PM

It may be my area (which is very tough on decks), but I've never really been able to get over a year with any water-based stains
The Cabot oil-based stains will get three before it's time to re-apply

AAPaint 06-26-2006 07:39 PM

Water based stains are pretty much garbage for decks, honestly. You need something to penatrate deep into the wood to protect it from checking, splitting, warping, and greying. Most water based products can't get deep down in the wood because they form a film on the surface of the wood which is subject to peeling from natural dry/wet cycles of the wood. Add to that foot traffic, etc...they don't do so great. Also, a number of water based products actually make a good food for mold themselves, even some oil products.

With a good sealer like Ready Seal it will get deep down in the wood, it won't turn black and promote mold, and it will properly protect the wood from moisture and UV damage. After a couple years the only maintenance is to lightly wash it and re-apply the same product. Since it gets deep down in the wood, and does not leave a film that can fail, it can be re-stained numerous times without any trouble.

BigJimmy 07-03-2006 10:08 AM

I was president of a 6-unit condominium in Chicago, IL for 6 years. Our entire rear deck stair structure was pressure treated lumber. I did a lot of research and through word of mouth (another condo association did the dirty work as they had the experience of trying a half dozen or so other sealers) a product from Rymar Industries ( was recommended. We tried it and had great results. In fact, after the initial application, the only maintenance that was required the following year was cleaning and power washing. The third year consisted of cleaning and reapplication to the horizontal surfaces only. The color remained good despite a lot of abuse from the sun and the sealer did a great job of retaining its water-repellant qualities.

Last I knew, you could not buy this product from a home store but you may be able to find a local distributor.

Good luck!

dumbfungus 08-19-2006 10:42 AM

Thanks everyone.

It seems you've given me more work to do before I even begin working:)

I have one more question, mainly for "AA Paint" - Am I going to have to somehow remove the Flood Stain that's on there, and is so, how.

Again, I appreicate all of your advice.


FCPWLLC 09-07-2006 03:22 PM

The Flood stain needs to be removed before another sealer/stain is to be applied. A good seal/stain job is all in the prep.

Here is a good link for a DIY project such as yours.

I personally like the Sikkens SRD for staining/sealing. The ready seal is good too.

Good luck with your project.

dumbfungus 09-07-2006 10:55 PM

Thanks FCPWLLC for the reply, and I respect your opinion.

One question, are you saying I should use "Restore-a-Deck" to remove the Flood stain, or something else a bit "stronger"? If I need something stronger, what?



Sellncars 09-07-2006 11:20 PM

I just got finished doing my front porch. I used Benjamin Moore Stain and primer both colored. This stuff is a great stain, went on nice and thick, but easy. They told me to use a Oil Base Primer and a water base stain. I won't use anything but Benjamin Moore anymore, for stain or Paint.

FCPWLLC 09-10-2006 07:35 AM


Originally Posted by dumbfungus (Post 17672)
Thanks FCPWLLC for the reply, and I respect your opinion.

One question, are you saying I should use "Restore-a-Deck" to remove the Flood stain, or something else a bit "stronger"? If I need something stronger, what?



Sodium Hydroxide or Sodium Percarbonate followed by and Oxalic Acid rinse. Hard to tell you what to use without seeing or knowing exactly what is on deck. Is it solid Flood or Semi-trans?
Call Ken @ Restore-a-deck. He is very informative when it come to dealing with do-it-yourself projects. It is just hard for me to explain because I am more than likely doing things different than you will. (Different equipment, Access to stronger chems etc.)

I will say this though.... Lots of experience here dealing with deck finishes that are difficult to remove later. Go with a penetrating oil semi transparent. Much easier to maintain later vs solids. Solids are pretty and look good but are a PITA to maintain properly and some cause underlying problems that you can't even see until your foot goes through a rotten board.

HenryBockman 02-03-2008 04:13 PM

I'd have to agree with AApaint, Ready Seal is the product I'd suggest on any deck. For a home or for an entire complex of townhouse decks. I've been using it for about 6 years now, it's amazing stuff and really easy to use.

AtlanticWBConst. 02-03-2008 04:16 PM

Old Original Post From 2006

Barry M 02-05-2008 08:32 AM

Readyseal is a good product, Restore-a-Deck's woodzotic is good, Cabot's, Sherwin Williams Deckscapes, Olympic Maximum, etc. All good oil based deck stains.

The chief factor in any deck restoration job is the prep work. The number one reason a sealer fails is because the wood wasn't prepped properly. Doesn't matter if the stain costs $100 per gallon, if the wood isn't prepared correctly it won't last.

shasta37 02-16-2008 04:24 PM

You might mention what kind of wood... ?
With my brand new Ipe front deck, contractor suggested and I concurred with Messemer's for Hardwood. High lingering oder until cured (weeks). Time will tell on that one...

On a small rear deck, I used Behr Premium. Might get a 1 yr. maybe 1.5 yr before some color fade. High lingering oder unitl cured (weeks).

With the highest respect to Slickshift, my experience with Cabot on non-KD redwood was horrible. Large amounts of mildew and extractive staining. I have no doubt it mostly my fault, biased by the fact I chose what turned out to be a horrible color.

At any rate, you'll see that any exterior horizontal wood construction that is not primed and painted (i.e. decks) comes with a *huge* maintainence factor. The Sun does to wood what it does to human skin and automotive paint; which I guess is why trees have bark...

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