Staining new pergola - when and what to use


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Old 09-24-11, 09:14 PM
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Staining new pergola - when and what to use

Hi,
I am planning on installing a 10x12 redwood pergola in my back yard. It's been sitting in my garage - hopefully drying (So California climate) for the lest 6 month or so.
Looking through some deck stain forums, seems they recommend installing the pergola waiting for 3-6 month to let it weather and then cleaning, bleaching and only then staining it. Although I am not the one to question the authority of the people on the forum, but it sounds a little counter-intuitive to me. Why would I want to let the new wood weather out and get dirty just to clean it in 6 month to properly stain it? I also hear that oil based stains are going away if not gone already. So waterbased stain starting to make more sense if (and I am sure it will) needs to be reapplied. DEFY Extreme semi transparent is suppose to be the best (or one of the best) out there, at $200 for a five gal.... Wolman F&P is $99 at HD and says it's got 3 year warranty, so considering my sunny climate and where it will end up sitting, I assume a year at best
Any thoughts?
Thanks!
 

Last edited by Newbie; 09-24-11 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 09-25-11, 05:11 AM
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The reason for the wait and then the cleaning assumes that the wood was put up before it was good and dry [paint/stain won't hold up applied over wood with high moisture content] and the cleaning is because the wood has been exposed to the weather. Since you've air dried your lumber in the garage - you can skip that.

There are a lot of variables in how long a stain will last. Quality of the stain is #1. The type of stain also plays a big part. The thicker the stain and more importantly the thickness of the dried film it leaves to protect the wood goes a long way in determining how long it will last. A clear stain has the shortest life, a toner or translucent stain will last a little longer, semi-transparent longer yet with a solid stain lasting the longest. I like to use a toner when the wood is new, semi-transparent when the wood gets some age and then switch to a solid stain when the wood is really showing the effects of age.

Price of the coating is generally a good indication of it's quality but not all stains work the same in all climates. It would be a good idea to talk with your neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc and find out what works best for them. Normally your local paint store will have a better selection of quality coatings than a paint dept in a bigger store.

There are 3 types of deck stains available; latex, waterborne and oil base. Oil base isn't always the best choice like it used to be and is probably the worst when it comes up to intense sun exposure [like in fla] Latex is often limited to solid stains. Waterborne is kind of like a hybrid between oil and latex. I'm partial to the waterborne stains although many can only be recoated within a certain window or you have to wait until the stain has weathered or been removed.
 
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Old 09-25-11, 07:49 AM
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Thanks a lot marksr!

I im kind of regretting now that I have taken this on. Not only because it's expensive, the pergola itself plus the stain. I've also have to figure out how to install it without the footing on my paver patio, but that's another forum's question. I've stained my fence with a solid stain from HD, i think it was Bahre , but not sure it was 7 years ago. I am very happy with the results because it held up to the sun fairly well, although you can tell it will need a fresh coat fairly soon. What surprised me (not really) that the same 10 year solid stain from HD, that I just bought for another fence felt a lot thinner than the "old" one. Quality of everything around us is doing down fast, so I guess I have to learn to live with it
I have asked some friends and neighbors about what they used in the past, pretty much regardless of what brand, they all say they prefer the oil based products. Since it's either been outlawed now or will be soon, it's the last of the choices on my list.
While looking on-line I stumbled over this product that is highly praised by homeowners and professionals alike:
http://www.worldpaintsupply.com/prod...n-Pail%29.html
Using a formula of price=quality I'd assume it's a very good product. Although they speak a foreign to me language like "high solids alkyd" Is this a waterborne stain?
Thanks again,
 
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Old 09-25-11, 03:16 PM
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While I don't recall ever having used Sikken stains - they have a great reputation! The high solid content means it is a thicker coating and should give more protection than a similar stain that is thinner. The stain featured in your link is an oil base stain. Waterborne stains have a lot of the characteristics of oil but they clean up [for the most part] with soap and water.

I don't have much working knowledge of Behr's coatings but they are generally considered to be of a lower quality. 7 yrs is a decent time frame for the stain to last on a fence although stain life can vary greatly dependent on method of application and the environment the stain is subjected to. Coatings do change - some for the better but some just to make them cheaper

A pergola [like a deck] will likely have a shorter coating life than siding or even a fence. It is generally exposed to more sun and moisture which will shorten the stain's life expectancy.

I was always a strong proponent of using oil base stain but when I moved to central fla in the late 70's I found that the intense sun could destroy oil base stains in 1 yr latex coatings fared a lot better. Here in tenn. oil stains seem to hold up about the same as their latex or waterborne counterpart. Often proper painting/staining applications need to be fine tuned for the particular environment.
 
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Old 09-25-11, 05:06 PM
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Thanks!

I am not sure if I am going to end up doing this, but frustration (and laziness ) may end up just causing me to pick that solid stain from whoever and stain it solid. Since most likely that's where I will eventually end up anyway, why not now
 
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Old 09-26-11, 04:55 AM
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A solid stain would hold up the best for the money spent, you just won't get to see the beauty/colors that are naturally in the wood.
 
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Old 09-26-11, 11:08 AM
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It's kind of up to you - you'll probably like the look of a fairly transparent stain the best but it will last the least amount of time, where the solid body stain lasts the longest but obscures the grain more.
 
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Old 09-26-11, 11:16 AM
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yep :(

That's exactly it, like always, it's the balance between the money/time spent & aesthetic results. If I had unlimited supply of former I'd have someone staining it every 4-6 month and enjoy the looks, but alas is more important
 
 

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