Deck stain: is Mike Holmes wrong?

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Old 06-24-18, 04:49 PM
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Deck stain: is Mike Holmes wrong?

I ran across this mike holmes article about Deck stain in it he claims solid stains and paint are better for high traffic areas. What?? I was always taught those are the worst products to use on deck boards because they're a surface film and peel off high traffic areas whereas penetrating semi transparent stains only fade not peel. I'm currently in the process of redoing 3 peeling and rotting deck rails and boards because of a previous owner who applied surface film rather than a penetrating stain. Is he off his rocker or no?
 
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Old 06-25-18, 03:25 AM
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A stain or paint will give more protection and usually for a longer period of time BUT especially with paint there is more prep involved when it comes time to recoat. I prefer to use a translucent or semi-transparent stain when the wood is in decent shape and will switch to a solid deck stain when the wood gets toward the end of it's life.
 
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Old 06-25-18, 03:05 PM
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That makes sense. What kind of solid stain would you use at that point to avoid peeling? By that I mean do you use something that's not a surface film to avoid peeling?
 
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Old 06-25-18, 05:54 PM
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For many years I used paint for my deck boards. Every 4-5 years I would have to scrape/power wash and repaint. Several years ago I decided to stain instead of paint. I replaced all the deck boards with new 5/4 PT and after 6-7 months exposure I applied a semi transparent stain (Behr) and I removed each board and stained them individually - two coats.

I don't know if it was the stain or my application, but it looked OK for a year or so and then just seemed to wear off. It doesn't appear that the stain penetrated the wood at all although I followed the application instructions. This on a low traffic deck.

The stain lasted less than two years. It looks like crap and now I'm trying to decide whether to restain the deck or to just paint it with a good quality paint.
 
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Old 06-25-18, 06:15 PM
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My understanding is that a stain (be it semi or solid) will penetrate the wood fibers and be "permanent". Where as paint will put a "covering" over the wood. The sun will bleach out the stain and need re-finishing. Paint will tend to blister over time and flake off leaving the wood bear needing new paint. If left unattended for a period of time I think stain is the more "protective" of the two. But in either case re-surfacing is needed as both CW and Chouse are finding out. Is one better than the other? I'll take Marksr advice if for no better reason than his experience.

This now begs the question of weather using Rustolium 4X or 10X is of any value? What I tell my customers is if the deck is good enough to warrant a few more years then go ahead and use the 4 or 10 X. But don't expect it to solve a problem for a deck that has seen it's years.
 
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Old 06-25-18, 06:37 PM
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OMG this is why composite decking was invented, I will never have to do any of this!!
 
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Old 06-26-18, 04:18 AM
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Stains will wear away - both from traffic and weather. What makes the stain the preferred coating is the reduced amount of prep needed prior to recoating. Not all stains [or paints] are rated for decks. You need to make sure it's a deck stain and not just a siding stain.

Better quality stains will preform better than their cheaper counterpart, like most things the price is usually an indicator of quality. If I'm concerned about a solid stain's ability to suck in and adhere well I'll add 15-20% of Flood's EmulsaBond to the stain [it should only be added to first coat if applying 2]
 
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Old 06-26-18, 03:02 PM
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@marksr ok ty, I'll definitely be going the stain route then.
@cwbuff I'd be inclined to put some of the blame on the way product. In my experience, Behr has become a product I avoid.
@marq1 i have 3 decks to do. Composite would have been insanely expensive! I might've been inclined to go your route if I was going to be here a long time but I'm considering selling in about 5 years
 
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Old 06-26-18, 03:37 PM
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I should have mentioned that EB is only to be added to latex coatings - it's not for oil base.
 
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Old 06-26-18, 05:52 PM
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Composite would have been insanely expensive!
The fallacy continues, decking is like 40% more (structure is the same) and tell me how much time and money is being spent year after year staining, sanding, replacing boards.

IMO, composite is a money SAVER!
 
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Old 06-26-18, 07:50 PM
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Sorry Marq but I think most people prefer the wood look. And I think the initial cost for composite is much higher than wood. I might be wrong.
 
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Old 06-27-18, 03:15 AM
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Trex is available for $1.79 per board foot, premium PT is $1.25, that comes out to 43% more.

And I guess everybody loves the look of dried, cracked, splintered decking.

Show me a single post on this site where somebody hated their composite deck!
 
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Old 06-27-18, 03:30 AM
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There have been posts where folks weren't fond of their composite decking although if I recall correctly it was with the older composites - fading and some colors being too hot on bare feet.

For those with a limited budget coming up with that extra 43% can mean not doing the deck at all. Composite might be cheaper in the long run but when you don't have the cash - it's easier to pay for wood. I've stained more than a few 20 yr old decks that weren't dried, cracked or splintered although those are the ones that were maintained well.
 
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Old 06-27-18, 10:33 AM
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Let the wood age to the point where it can be stained (typically 3-6 weeks of sun exposure), then stain it heavily with the best quality deck stain you can find. Re-apply every 3-4 years. When the wood ages to the point that stain is no longer viable, either switch it out to a composite material, or do a heavy sand to knock down splintering, patch where necessary, then paint with the best exterior deck paint available.

I personally order all my deck and fencing materials, have them shipped, separate each bundle and eliminate the "bads", then re-stack under cover on a level surface in a back and forth pattern for 3 weeks to let it dry. I then dig a trench or build a form, line it with plastic, and dip each piece of wood in it and get it fully soaked then re-stack it to dry. Then I can install, knowing every inch of material is proper, straight, and fully stained. Also, countersink EVERY attachment point, and spray a bit of stain in each hole before installing a fastener. This is the only correct way to install fencing/decking/outside wood products and be able to expect maximum longevity of the product.

However, despite all of this, I would recommend using current "Trex/Dex" composite materials wherever possible. Wood simply cannot perform as well, no matter your preparation, and always ends up being the better value in the end, with one exception, a very important one, where you would in the future want to change its color.
 
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Old 06-27-18, 02:58 PM
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For those with a limited budget coming up with that extra 43% can mean not doing the deck at all.
But lets be clear the 43%, or what ever, is just the decking cost, not the structure cost since that dosent care if it's composite or wood.

Overall my guesstimate is that using composite for the total deck project is more like 25%,

Again, having built many wood decks then converting to composite (current deck is 11 years old) you would be crazy to not spend the up front money to enjoy the long term benefit!!
 
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Old 06-27-18, 04:17 PM
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Well, composite may be nice...but just using off the shelf pricing, house brand stuff at HD is about 80-90% more expensive...not 40%, for 8 ft lengths. It's more than double for longer stuff, which really seems odd. Seems longer pieces of wood would cost more since plastic can be extruded pretty much any length. Can't price TREX, that's by store quote only. I imagine both would be cheaper at a proper lumber yard. And in most cases the structure does indeed have to be beefier unless you want it to bounce a lot.

I think both options have +'s and -'s. Composite can get very hot and has had it's own issues in the past. Wood requires maintenance (or not) but is a known commodity. The treated wood deck I had back in VA required re-staining about every 2 years...but it really wasn't that big a deal...one weekend of good weather and it was done. I lived there 16 years and had to replace 2 boards as I remember. I knew some folks who had decks on the water and the wood was a nightmare, so they would have been better served with composite even with any heat issues.

I always used a penetrating translucent product, because I just liked the look better. I had neighbors try that 5-10 yr stuff at $$$ per gallon and not a single one was ever happy with the results. Maybe they've improved?
 
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Old 07-03-18, 01:44 PM
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@.marq1 it's not a "fallacy" considering the last sentence of my last reply to you. I'll only have to restain it once before I sell, and also in Canada where we get price gouged on just about everything, your projected costs are significantly lower than what we typically pay here. You know how much a single 12 foot Trex deck board is here? About $40. Posts and rails get even crazier. That's not a 40% difference. Not even close. A brown pressure treated board is less than $10. You're suggesting I invest about $10, 000 to redo my 3 decks for the 5 years that I'll be here. I'll let you think about that for a minute.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 02:28 PM
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Chouse, you never mentioned that you lived in Canada, or that you planned on selling the property shortly. In that case, you would not reap the benefits of the long term of a composite material, and the vast majority of buyers are quite simply clueless as to what materials cost, and realtors are not much (if any) better with that knowledge. Go with a soaked transparent stain, apply via a powered sprayer (a Wagner type) and you should be able to finish the job very quickly.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 02:43 PM
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5 years was mentioned in my 3rd post in this thread but thats easily missed. thanks for the advice. Although I'm probably going to have to brush it on due to the layout
 
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Old 07-03-18, 04:53 PM
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When you spray stain on wood it's still a good idea to back brush/roll so the stain gets worked into the wood rather than just sit on top. Spraying isn't always faster when you factor in the extra prep [to mitigate overspray] and clean up.
 
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