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Old 10-16-2011, 05:28 AM   #1
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Deck Staining Disaster


I helped a friend stain a deck for one of her clients and the results are not good!!!! We used Cabot Semi Solid Oil over new wood and some old prestained wood. Since we were not sure what the previous stain was we opted to do the oil stain. The customer did not want a painted look to the deck. Our application method, roll and brush, has failed. I have not seen the deck but the client says the new stain is peeling and shiny. My friend called Cabot and was told that the deck needs to be stripped and that our application method was wrong. Cabot also said that it would be better to wait till the Spring to do any fixes. This did not sit well with the client!!!!!!!!!! Any ideas for how to take care of this would be greatly appreciated. I know I need to do interior work, and not pretend that I know anything about deck stains after this!!!!!!!!!

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Old 10-16-2011, 07:40 AM   #2
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Deck Staining Disaster


I bet the Cabot caused the old stain to peel, especially if the old stain was latex. Any shiny spots are stain not dried from the application being too thick or it didn't penetrate. Reguardless of what the can says sometimes you need to add a little thinner to help the stain penetrate and to help it dry.

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Old 10-16-2011, 06:04 PM   #3
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Deck Staining Disaster


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Originally Posted by m1951mm View Post
I helped a friend stain a deck for one of her clients and the results are not good!!!! We used Cabot Semi Solid Oil over new wood and some old prestained wood. Since we were not sure what the previous stain was we opted to do the oil stain. The customer did not want a painted look to the deck. Our application method, roll and brush, has failed. I have not seen the deck but the client says the new stain is peeling and shiny. My friend called Cabot and was told that the deck needs to be stripped and that our application method was wrong. Cabot also said that it would be better to wait till the Spring to do any fixes. This did not sit well with the client!!!!!!!!!! Any ideas for how to take care of this would be greatly appreciated. I know I need to do interior work, and not pretend that I know anything about deck stains after this!!!!!!!!!
Sounds like the deck should have been completely stripped first, cleaned and brightened. The oil base stain is probally not absorbing over the old stain and resulting in shiny spots, over application. Even new wood needs to be cleaned properly prior to staining. I've never had a problem using Cabot stain. I would agree with what Cabott is saying. Don't take this personael, but it seems like when someone does not apply a paint or stain correctly the first thing they want to do is blame the product manufacture. Did you moisture test the deck prior to staining to ensure that the moisture content was not above 15%?
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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Deck Staining Disaster


I'll jump in here too Mickey. Sorry to hear about your situation. It's never a good thing to have a job go south, you're lucky were only the helper. Last time I checked, helpers only do as told. You did, didn't you, only do as you were told? I'll echo the others and say that probably moisture was too high. How many days of dry weather had you prior to finishing? Also, brush and roll? No. You can roll finish on, but it has to be backbrushed. You can't cut and roll and walk. I only apply stain with brush, nothing else. All thoroughly hand brushed into the wood, sides included, all splits, nail fasterners, joints are flooded. If you don't brush the stain into the grain, the pores, then you have only a superficial bond, which is likely to fail, well, not likely, it has, and I'll bet that's what Cabot said. As HPNY says, I've never had a problem with Cabot's either. Good Luck with it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:34 PM   #5
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I'll jump in here too Mickey. Sorry to hear about your situation. It's never a good thing to have a job go south, you're lucky were only the helper. Last time I checked, helpers only do as told. You did, didn't you, only do as you were told? I'll echo the others and say that probably moisture was too high. How many days of dry weather had you prior to finishing? Also, brush and roll? No. You can roll finish on, but it has to be backbrushed. You can't cut and roll and walk. I only apply stain with brush, nothing else. All thoroughly hand brushed into the wood, sides included, all splits, nail fasterners, joints are flooded. If you don't brush the stain into the grain, the pores, then you have only a superficial bond, which is likely to fail, well, not likely, it has, and I'll bet that's what Cabot said. As HPNY says, I've never had a problem with Cabot's either. Good Luck with it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:57 PM   #6
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Deck Staining Disaster


How old was the new wood? With new pressure treated, we usually give it at least 6 months to cure out. We haven't had any issues or callbacks when using Cabot...but we usually go with Wohlman or Flood....good luck!
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:56 PM   #7
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Deck Staining Disaster


I can not help with the current thread about the deck staining failure, but in that same vein, I would like to pose another staining situation. I offered to help my neighbor with her PT fence. She had stained it with a semi transparent stain (not sure if it was oil or water bourne). She did not do such a good job. After she makes some repairs... warped wood,etc. I offered to spray it for her. Should we be looking toward oil or water bourne stain? Solid? It will probably be a similar color (brown-ish). It was stained initially five years ago.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:13 AM   #8
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Deck Staining Disaster


Igneous, with all due respect, and with an eye toward your protection, why would you want to "own" your neighbors fence? Given all the difficulty with stains and effectively coating free standing, fully exposed wood structures, that's not something I would "offer" to do. If it goes south, she's going to want to know what you're going to do to fix it. If you're going to be compensated for it, that's another story, partially, because sometimes failed jobs create bad blood, so if you like your neighbor that's a risk. I try to get as much as possible for all such projects, and I don't budge on price with them. In the event that something fails, I'm eating less loss. I'm fairly knowledgeable about stains/staining, decks, and preparation, but I'm far from an "expert". Is it fully dry enough? Is the previous finish truly degraded enough to allow the new finish to penetrate? Vertical surfaces take much longer to lose their seal than horizontals. Did I effectively remove all the dead wood fibers? Is there mill glaze I'm not seeing? Is this truly the best finish for this wood, the decks weather exposure, the customer's usage, etc.. Etc. At the very least, you should do all the prep as well, so you're comfortable that your work is not in vain, or jeopardy, or under faulty "warranty". And, if you're planning to spray, without back brushing, you're already on your way to her exercising her warranty, especially if you're thinking about latex. The longer a finish takes to dry, the better the penetration will be. I'm not trying to discourage you from working with the neighbor to help her get her fence in good order, but go into it with your head up and eyes open, and put her expectations in the proper place. It's already a troubled fence, would you rather be looking out your window at it sipping coffee and feeling bad for her, or standing in front of the fence feeling bad for yourself, with her sipping coffee at the window. Just watching your back.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:46 AM   #9
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Deck Staining Disaster


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Originally Posted by m1951mm View Post
I helped a friend stain a deck for one of her clients and the results are not good!!!! We used Cabot Semi Solid Oil over new wood and some old prestained wood. Since we were not sure what the previous stain was we opted to do the oil stain. The customer did not want a painted look to the deck. Our application method, roll and brush, has failed. I have not seen the deck but the client says the new stain is peeling and shiny. My friend called Cabot and was told that the deck needs to be stripped and that our application method was wrong. Cabot also said that it would be better to wait till the Spring to do any fixes. This did not sit well with the client!!!!!!!!!! Any ideas for how to take care of this would be greatly appreciated. I know I need to do interior work, and not pretend that I know anything about deck stains after this!!!!!!!!!
New wood, particularly cedar, develops 'mill glaze' during planing which must either be sanded off, or allowed to break down over time through UV exposure prior to finishing, otherwise the stain won't take. It sounds to me like this might be at least partially responsible for your difficulties.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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Deck Staining Disaster


jsheridan: I was expecting "oil" or "water bourne" for a reply; yours shows some interest in my well-being, and I appreciate that. I use this forum to gain an education. I do not consider myself a a "painter" by any stretch of the imagination. More like an "applicator." I tell my customers that upfront. Having read posts here and in the pro painters forum, I am indeed humbled by their experience and knowledge. I know most people have no idea what goes into quality painting. Regarding the fence, my motive was purely self serving. Being retired and "between jobs," it does give me something to do, and I get better using the spray gun. I will heed your advice about getting in too deep. Based on the variables, I may have to cease and desist. I will advise her to at least get a professional opinion. Thanks so much. Igneous
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:04 AM   #11
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Deck Staining Disaster


The amount of knowledge that is shared on this board humbles me. Prior to helping with this deck, I did ask if it was pressure washed and the answer was no, she did not think it was that bad. The new pressure treated wood may have been two to three months old after installation. (I know that wood needs to season more than that, but I was the helper as Joe so kindly referred to me as in this instance). The application was she rolled the stain on and I followed and brushed between the boards and on the surface to work the stain into the wood. Still, we must have put the stain on way to thick. I am sure that there was no moisture test done. (for sure I am learning that I need to stay inside!!!!!! with my brushes) We did have a decent spell of dry days.

I have been doing what I should do, painting inside and she called me a said that she did try to strip the stairs and from what I could gather from her phone message the stripping did not go all that well and the client said to wait till spring. I am sooo sorry for my friend, she will not charge the client for the job at all, and that includeds putting in the new wood after a hot tub was removed. She had to build supports and all for the new wood. BUMMER!

Cabot told her that with all the new regulations on VOC's that less drying agents are added to the new oil stains. That could be part of the issue. I have stained decks in the past without problems, but then again, mostly with water bourne stains.

Research, Research and pick brains is the best course of action. Still things will fail.

Thank You all for great info to digest!!!!!!!!

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