Staining a new deck


Old 09-15-15, 12:03 PM
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Staining a new deck

We built a 16x20 deck in March of this year and since it gets full sun most of the day, we figured it's time to stain it. Pictures are attached.

I've narrowed it down to Flood CWF-UV and Ready Seal, both semi-transparent cedar tone. Both have great reviews. They are $89 and $149 for 5 gallons and cover 750sqft and 625sqft, respectively. They both claim to be oil-based, but given that the Flood can be cleaned up with soap and water, I'm thinking it's not really oil-based. Thoughts on these two products? I'm leaning toward Ready Seal, but could be persuaded otherwise.

Next question: will oil-based stain dissolve paint? Our balusters are black-painted metal conduit and I can't imagine taping them all off (you can see how they're attached). I was hoping I could just carefully paint around them and if I get some stain on them, no worries.

Given the size of the deck, do you think 5 gallons will be enough or way too much? Are the coverage values given on the cans realistic? The deck itself is 320sqft, but we have a 10x10 gazebo on part of it (we'd only stain the 4 supports and cross braces, not the ceiling), two sets of steps, railings, and deck supports (see pictures).

Both products recommend a single coat. As a general rule, I like to follow the manufacturers' guidelines since they know their product. In your experience, however, is a second (lighter?) coat beneficial for new wood? And brushing is better than rolling, yes?

Thanks for any and all advice and feedback!

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Old 09-15-15, 12:09 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Generally it's best to follow manufacturer's instructions and I would bet in this case they say one coat because subsequent coats will not soak in since the first sealed the surface.

My deck is about 150ft² and I get by with less than a gallon each time I have to stain it so I think a five gallon container will buy you more than one application.

No experience with either of these products, though. Hang tight and our paint guru, Marksr will have more info.
Old 09-15-15, 02:50 PM
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I don't remember if I've ever used ReadySeal but I have used a good bit of CWF, both the old oil base formula and the newer waterborne formula. While both look sharp, the oil base formula [cleaned up with mineral spirits] didn't hold up well to the sun/rain. The newer version holds up better although not as well as some of the stains with more pigment. With CWF if you apply more than one coat, the second coat must be applied before the first coat dries! If you wait too long the same properties that make the coating repel water will also make it repel the next coat. This is true of most waterborne stains.

Paints/stains normally get about 400 sq ft per gallon but that never happens on a deck. 200-300 sq ft per gallon is closer to being right but it also depends on how slick/sealed or porous/rough the wood is with the latter needing more coating per sq ft. The other thing that makes it hard to estimate how much stain for a deck is nothing is a flat continuous surface. The edges of the boards add sq footage.

Any CWF that gets on the painted balusters will likely show but it shouldn't be a big deal to wipe them clean if you do it right away. Any that is missed might come off with mineral spirits and a lot of elbow grease.

Both brushing or rolling is acceptable although brushing often looks better. You can roll it on a then lightly brush over it if you want.

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