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Hello Everyone, I'm in NY and I completed a rebuild of my deck a few months back. It's 5/4 Cedar decking and I'm shopping around for a coating. I'm considering using a semi-transparent oil based stain - Any thoughts on this ?


I would really appreciate advice on which products are best - aesthetics and durability.



Thank you in advance
 

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Usually you'll find better coatings [advice too] at your local paint store [not a paint dept] I've had good results with SWP's DeckScapes. Sikken and SuperDeck have good reputations but I've not used much of either.
 

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TWP100, Sikkens SRD (Not the low voc version). Arborcoat 326 are the best stains I have used. As with all stains, surface preparation is key to making it last.



deckscapes is complete garbage.
Superdeck used to be good before SW bought and changed the formula.
Messmers is cheap but has good penetration since its lower solids.


armstrong clark is supposed to be good and easy to maintain.
readyseal is cheap and easy to recoat. Definitely a once a year recoating with this product.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Everyone - I've heard good things about TWP but I don't see it sold locally in NY and I would want to test it before buying a lot of it.

I have some Mesmers that I used on a Cedar Gate - I will definitely test to see how that looks on some decking. I guess the advice is to avoid the big box Lowes & HD offerings ? I was hoping someone would say they were good just because of the convenience

Appreciate the responses!
 

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I've also heard good things about TWP but I've never used it or seen where it had been used. I've also never seen it for sale anywhere other than online. I've always loved the look of CWF which gives a similar look to TWP but CWF doesn't hold up as good as it ought to. 1-2 yrs on decks with any kind of exposure to the elements.


I've heard several folks online bad mouth DeckScapes but as far as I know every deck I've used it on lasted 3 yrs or more which puts it as good or better than most deck stains.
 

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I've also heard good things about TWP but I've never used it or seen where it had been used. I've also never seen it for sale anywhere other than online. I've always loved the look of CWF which gives a similar look to TWP but CWF doesn't hold up as good as it ought to. 1-2 yrs on decks with any kind of exposure to the elements.


I've heard several folks online bad mouth DeckScapes but as far as I know every deck I've used it on lasted 3 yrs or more which puts it as good or better than most deck stains.

I will say that most people using waterborne stains do not prep the wood properly in the first place which probably leads to a lot of failure.


CWF is a good product but that deckscapes is like water compared to everything else. Very little product makes it into the wood surface.
 

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No matter what you use whether it gets five-star reviews or a one-star review, you will be re-coating it every 2 years. With cedar you may squeeze out an extra year. Nothing lasts on horizontal surfaces. i'm in my 42nd year of doing this and I've yet to find anything that isn't garbage or close to garbage. I used CWF with some success but the last deck I used it on, well, the coating looks horrible after 2 years. Very disappointed. Deckscapes semi-transparent isn't any better than CWF. I know of people who have had success with Australian Timber Oil. I'm going to try it this summer.
 

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I'm not a fan of the word "coating", which you'll understand in a second.


IMO the first thing I recommend people understand is the two basic types of finish (not necessarily "coating") you can put on a deck. They are called film forming finishes and penetrating finishes. A film forming finish puts a coating on your deck. In other words a substance that forms a layer of solids on top of the wood. A penetrating finish leaves very little film and the majority of the substance soaks into the wood.



In fact I also don't like the way they use the term "stain" when referring to deck finishes in the industry, but most of what is sold as "stain" is not stain at all. Look up the definition of the word stain in the dictionary and you'll see it's not what is being put on most decks. It is mostly basically paint, which forms a solid film on top of the wood.


The reason it's important to make this distinction becomes clear when it comes time to maintain your deck. Once a film is formed, as gymschu said it is going to fail to a certain extent in time. And then it becomes a question of how to you maintain it? Once a film starts to fail, it peels and blisters in spots. There is really no good way to fix this problem other than removing the finish right down to bare wood and starting over.

This is not the case with penetrating finishes. Once this starts to wear, nothing really goes wrong. Normally you simply need to clean the deck and reapply the same finish again. This is the case with a simple product like ReadySeal the coconut mentioned. It's a penetrating finish that some people complain about in terms of longevity, but I would never hesitate to recommend it. What would your rather have - a penetrating finish that lasts a couple years (maybe only one for the first recoat) or a film forming finish that might last an extra year before the first recoat, but requires a completely chemical or mechanical stripping and then starting all over?

There are exceptions. Sometimes a film doesn't peel for awhile but just gets some wear spots, in which case you can just sand and refinish. But eventually almost all of them require complete refinishing. An analogy might be waxing your car finish every few months, or completely redoing the paint job every few years. That analogy only works in terms of how much maintenance costs, not how the finish works :)
 

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This is the case with a simple product like ReadySeal the coconut mentioned. It's a penetrating finish that some people complain about in terms of longevity, but I would never hesitate to recommend it./
The only negative I have seen with ready seal is that you end up using 50% more product then you would using traditional linseed oil based stains and that it is difficult to strip even using full strength sodium hydroxide strippers. Other than that it does seem like a good easy to use, easy to maintain product if you keep up with the maintenance cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great info - Appreciate it! I just purchased a sample of the TWP1530 (Natural) Semi-transparent Oil-Based. I have plenty of scrap to test on - I'll post back with some results.
 

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I seldom find the best stains at local supply houses and order it online instead. A pigmented stain will last 2-3 times as a semi-transparent stain. The pigment helps to protect against UV damage and the transparent stains will have the shortest life.

For a penetrating oil Messmers is as good as it gets and that is what I use on my ipe deck. Pennofin Marine Oil is another excellent product. The Behr is not as good as it used to be but it is better than the other stains at the local big box stores.

There are companies that specialize in deck products and they will have the best selection of the better performing stains. I have had good sucess with decksdirect.com/
 

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I seldom find the best stains at local supply houses and order it online instead. A pigmented stain will last 2-3 times as a semi-transparent stain. The pigment helps to protect against UV damage and the transparent stains will have the shortest life.

For a penetrating oil Messmers is as good as it gets and that is what I use on my ipe deck. Pennofin Marine Oil is another excellent product. The Behr is not as good as it used to be but it is better than the other stains at the local big box stores.

There are companies that specialize in deck products and they will have the best selection of the better performing stains. I have had good sucess with decksdirect.com/

messmers is cheap crap compared to TWP, sikkens or BM326. Cheap pigments, cheap UV package, Cheap mildewicide, low quality solvents etc... it penetrates well since its low solids but that's about it. Probably my least favorite stain.
 

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messmers is cheap crap compared to TWP, sikkens or BM326. Cheap pigments, cheap UV package, Cheap mildewicide, low quality solvents etc... it penetrates well since its low solids but that's about it. Probably my least favorite stain.
Is BM326 (Arborcoat) good because it's oil?
Any other recommendation at BM for a solid color that is not oil?

Thanks
 

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Is BM326 (Arborcoat) good because it's oil?
Any other recommendation at BM for a solid color that is not oil?

Thanks

BM326 and sikkens are translucent stains...


IMO the only products that hold up on decks are oils and no manufacturers are making solid oil deck stains anymore. BM329 (semisolid) oil is what I would recommend for a deck.



If you want a totally solid, sand wood 80 grit. Prime with exterior oil then acrylic solid stain.
 

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BM326 and sikkens are translucent stains...


IMO the only products that hold up on decks are oils and no manufacturers are making solid oil deck stains anymore. BM329 (semisolid) oil is what I would recommend for a deck.



If you want a totally solid, sand wood 80 grit. Prime with exterior oil then acrylic solid stain.
Well, i guess I could use semisolid then......Any tip on how to apply oil stain?
Can I use sodium percarbonate (such as oxyclean) to clean the deck? Somebody recommends it on another post.....
 

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only products that hold up on decks are oils
That can be dependent on the environment the deck is exposed to. When I lived in fla I learned right quick that oil stains on decks were short lived in that climate. They couldn't withstand the intense fla sun.


I've never used oxyclean [or similar] to clean a deck but most detergents will work fine. I normally just use laundry bleach which also removes mildew [big issue in the southeast]
 

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Well, i guess I could use semisolid then......Any tip on how to apply oil stain?
Can I use sodium percarbonate (such as oxyclean) to clean the deck? Somebody recommends it on another post.....

Post a picture of the deck and a close up of any problem areas.
sodium percarbonate should only be used to clean deck if its in good condition, follow with oxalic acid brightener to neutralize. Otherwise use sodium hydroxide based cleaner first like BM restore.
 

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Post a picture of the deck and a close up of any problem areas.
sodium percarbonate should only be used to clean deck if its in good condition, follow with oxalic acid brightener to neutralize. Otherwise use sodium hydroxide based cleaner first like BM restore.
Here are some pics....Deck is exposed W/SW
 

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Post a picture of the deck and a close up of any problem areas.
sodium percarbonate should only be used to clean deck if its in good condition, follow with oxalic acid brightener to neutralize. Otherwise use sodium hydroxide based cleaner first like BM restore.
Here are some pics....Deck is exposed W/SW
What product was used previously?
 
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