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Member
Jan 2, 2009
456 posts
16 upvotes

Best Deck Stain?

I'm about to stain my newly sanded 13 year old cedar deck and wondered what the best deck stain was to use. What has worked well for you? Does anyone have any suggestions of a stain that will soak into the wood and not sit on top? Oil or water-based?
Thanks a lot!
20 replies
Newbie
Apr 20, 2009
76 posts
Search this forum for deck stain. There are a ton of threads and tons of info! :razz:
Member
Jan 1, 2006
255 posts
5 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Penlakes wrote:
Jun 17th, 2009 8:02 pm
I'm about to stain my newly sanded 13 year old cedar deck and wondered what the best deck stain was to use. What has worked well for you? Does anyone have any suggestions of a stain that will soak into the wood and not sit on top? Oil or water-based?
Thanks a lot!
I like Cabot stains. Sikkens isn't bad, but there's an issue with which type of Sikkens product to use depending on whether your deck is skirted or not, from what I recall.
Member
Jan 12, 2009
315 posts
12 upvotes
I was debating between Cabot Austrialian Timbre Oil and Sikkens SRD (SRD is for skirted decks or decks low to the ground while DEK is for 2nd story decks). I ended up using Cabot last year because a neighbour has used it for many years. However I preferred Sikkens' colour choices since Cabot only had colours available.

I have used another Sikkens product for my wooden garage door which I really like.

I may switch to Sikkens next time I strip the deck as they had colours that were more appealing to me.
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2007
1148 posts
73 upvotes
Brampton
I have found "Superdeck" stains to have worked well for me. They are a little hard to find so check out their website and phone the various dealers to see if they have the colour you want and enough cans in stock.

It is a little expensive at $50/gallon, but it goes a long way and you only need one coat. It is oil-based and you can see it soak into the wood. I find the colour fades over time, but wears very little from foot traffic, unlike friends of mine that have used other brands and have heavy wear patterns from foot traffic. I have gotten 5 years out of mine on the deck and I re-stained again this year.

I got a deal on another brand of stain, but ended up sticking with a product I had good success with. There is so much work to prepping the surface properly, you don't want to cheap out on the stain and if you find something works well for you, I would stick with it.
Member
Jan 12, 2009
315 posts
12 upvotes
venice_it wrote:
Jun 18th, 2009 8:38 am
It is a little expensive at $50/gallon,
I think any premium stain that will last a long time will be at least that much. I found Sikkens and Cabot ATO was in the $60 price range. As mentioned, you put so much work into prep that you want to use the product that will last the longest, even if it is more expensive. Keep in mind a $50 or $60 product that will last 3-5 years will be cheaper than a $30 product that only lasts 1 year.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 22, 2006
1275 posts
5 upvotes
Every two years or so for the past 10 we stained our cedar deck (of all the types of stain I found Sikkens to be the longest lasting), however the past couple of years I just stripped sanded and used Thompson's Water Seal. I must say that I'm pleasantly surprised at the result and will not switch back to tinted stains again.
Member
Jan 12, 2009
315 posts
12 upvotes
patriot wrote:
Jun 18th, 2009 9:39 am
the past couple of years I just stripped sanded and used Thompson's Water Seal. I must say that I'm pleasantly surprised at the result and will not switch back to tinted stains again.
Patriot: Is the exact name of the Thompson's product called "Thompson's Water Seal". I know Thompson's has several products. How long does this product last?

Have you decided not to use tinted stains again because you like the look and colour of the natural cedar or for other reasons?

How long does the Thompon's last?

What products have you used to strip the stain and prep the deck?

Have you found that the products you used have prevented the wood from forming cracks due to drying out?
Deal Addict
Feb 24, 2004
1433 posts
70 upvotes
I found it's not the stain but how you apply and protect it that matters. We stained our deck the first year and didn't follow some of the expert advice and had to restain a year later, so here's what I did the 2nd time around and it's worked since:

1. Use a paint brush to apply the stain (use oil base), it goes deeper into the pores - don't use roller
2. Apply late in the afternoon where there's no direct sunlight. Make sure there's no rain in the forecast in the next 24 hours.
3. Cover your deck with a tarp in the winter -- snow / melting snow will sip into the wood and cause cracks
[OP]
Member
Jan 2, 2009
456 posts
16 upvotes
Yeah, I keep seeing the name Sikkens pop up as a very good stain choice, so I'll consider it. I've never heard of putting a tarp on the deck in the winter. Wouldn't that cause condensation and trap moisture, possibly causing the stain to peel/wear out prematurely?
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User avatar
Jan 22, 2006
1275 posts
5 upvotes
john_ertw wrote:
Jun 18th, 2009 10:24 am
Patriot: Is the exact name of the Thompson's product called "Thompson's Water Seal". I know Thompson's has several products. How long does this product last?
So far 2 years and counting ...
Have you decided not to use tinted stains again because you like the look and colour of the natural cedar or for other reasons?
Yes, I switched for two reasons;

1 - the deck looked like sh*t when the tinted stuff started to wear (brandy oak)
2 - once stripped and sanded I liked the look of just the cedar, hence the switch
How long does the Thompon's last?
It says about 2 years depending on traffic
What products have you used to strip the stain and prep the deck?
Used a product called Deck Wash Pro ? It mixed with water in my power washer ... dry .... sand .... seal

Have you found that the products you used have prevented the wood from forming cracks due to drying out ?
Unfortunately, the deck faces south-west, so in the summer the deck gets super hot. Cracking is a given, but if your deck is not SW facing a good stain/seal with UV protection should suffice (Sikken Cetal or Thompsons would due).
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
6157 posts
239 upvotes
Is staining a pressure treated deck the same as cedar?

Also, if I stain it, do I still need to seal it or is there a 2-in-1 product?
Newbie
May 12, 2007
20 posts
Toronto
There is a stain specifically made for pressure treated wood. It is semi transparent, and the pigmentation is formulated to produce the desired finish colour when applied to pressure treated wood. It is a one coat system. It costs about $60 a gallon, and is made by Superdeck. I will be applying it as soon as the rain is over next week. Here's their website: http://www.superdeck.com/
[OP]
Member
Jan 2, 2009
456 posts
16 upvotes
Thanks everyone. I chose the Cabot ATO Amberwood. Went on lighter than I would have liked but has darkened considerably since. Prep is definately the way to go. Sanding and "washing" cleaned the entire deck and made it like new again. After the rain, I let it dry for 3 days to ensure a dry surface. The stain soaked in like a sponge - very happy. I'll stain again in August to prepare for winter....
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