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Not Enough Stain
Old 07-18-2008, 03:58 PM   #1
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Not Enough Stain

I stained the deck today with semi-solid Cabot deck stain, and though I tried to stretch it, I ran out with only four short boards to go. Guess I'll have to buy another gallon 116 fl oz container for $32 unless someone has any better ideas. Note that I can't put a second coat on it -- that's not recommended.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:03 PM   #2
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A big doormat? (assuming you started on the perimeter and worked your way back to the entrance... )
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:22 PM   #3
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Hi Al,
That's a bummer. I don't have any suggestions other than looking for a quart size container.

Just curious; how often do you stain your deck? Does Cabot last longer than a couple of seasons? The stuff we've been using doesn't seem to last two seasons. I've been thinking about switching to either Cabot's or Superdeck.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:23 PM   #4
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Got anything else you could stain with the rest of the second can of stain? Just a thought.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:00 PM   #5
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Did you do the bottom of the boards?

Cabot is very good. I tried a bunch of different products on my old mcmansion deck and a lot of them barely made it through the second year, including thompsons water seal (a real loser) and something hideously expensive named duckback superdeck or deckback superduck...

Cabot went on and it still looked somewhat okay after 4 years.

BTW, although I havent paid enough attention to it when its shown up in the issues, consumer reports has a thing going on about stains and exterior housepaint where they've applied it to boards and left them in the everglades or somesuch thing to accelerate the weathering and while some are doing quite well, some are failing miserably.

I should also point out that the current mcmansion has no exterior wood whatsoever. No deck, no wood to paint. And the stucco we put on never needs painting.

Ta da!
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:03 PM   #6
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Cant recommend a solution other than buying more stain. I'm staining my soffit and fascia with Cabots stain (white). It seems a lot better than the Olympic I used before.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:07 PM   #7
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I also had very little luck with transparent and semitransparent stains. Only the solid stains had any lasting ability.

Al...can you find a big flowerpot or build a bench over the area?
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:23 PM   #8
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Watch out for those flower pots!

Flowerpot's spontaneous combustion blamed for fire

CFB,
Thanks for the tip regarding Cabot's. I'll give it a try.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:38 PM   #9
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Hey that was easy...the latest CR ratings were in last months issue that was still sitting around.

The paints and stains were applied to untreated yellow pine boards which tend to swell and crack, and were then placed on the roof of their yonkers NY headquarters at a 45 degree angle to intensify the effects of sun and elements. They're claiming that this produces three years worth of effective wear per year the boards are in place.

The best paints and stains, having endured an equivalent of nine years of exposure are:

Paints

California 2010 flat
Kelly-moore acryshield flat
California 2010 eggshell
valspar ultra premium satin
valspar ultra premium semi gloss
California 2010 satin
Sears Weatherbeater Ultra flat
Olympic Premium flat
Cabot The Finish low luster
Olympic Premium Satin

The good deals in paint seem to be the valspars, the sears and the olympic premium all at nearly half the cost of some of the other contenders.

Stains

Olympic premium 596xx latex
Behr Plus 10 alkyd/water cleanup
Cabot ovt 6500 alkyd
Thompsons Water Seal Deck and House latex

The olympic was by far the best rated at a score of 65, while the behr was a 55 and the cabot scored 48. The scores pretty much fell off the wall at that point.

Prices for the top 3 were $21, $20, and $30. The top rated olympic and behr were still fairly viable after the nine year equivalency exposure, while the cabot and thompsons were about done after 'six'. Everything else was shot after 'three'.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Just curious; how often do you stain your deck? Does Cabot last longer than a couple of seasons? The stuff we've been using doesn't seem to last two seasons. I've been thinking about switching to either Cabot's or Superdeck.
It was last stained in May of 2001, when we had the house stained (also with Cabot stain). I don't think they used deck stain -- probably just used the transparent or semi-transparent regular stuff.

This is what it looked like before I started, so you can see that I should have redone it before now:

DeckBefore.jpg

Here it is after a pressure wash and a Thompson's Deck Wash treatment:

DeckPreStain.jpg

I think Cabot is good, but note this. The can said that coverage was 400-600 sq ft. Guy at the hardware store said it would be close for my 343 sq ft deck, so right from the start I really put it on thinly. I used a brush and really stretched it, but didn't make it.

Called Cabot, and they didn't believe me. But it turns out that that's the best way to put it on ("Just get the wood pores wet").

I'll buy another "gallon" today, and save it for future projects, or for next time I do the deck.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:27 AM   #11
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Al...whats the hole in the deck for?

I usually mask off the house and get one of those cheap $3 1-2 quart pump sprayers in the hardware store bug/fertilizer aisle. Spray it on and then roll it out with a roller on a 6' pole. Wear a nice pair of $1 flip-flops while you're doing this, work backwards to cover your tracks and throw the shoes out with the pump sprayer when you're done.

One I finished the masking, the staining took me about 15 minutes with this method.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:51 AM   #12
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I was going to do it that way, but I think it would have been too thick. Cabot rep said that if it's too thick, it dries into a film, when then flakes off in a year or so.

The hole? I have a joke, but I'm not going to go there.
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:02 PM   #13
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It could have been the pressure wash. That really opens up the wood.

I think it's best to avoid pressure, or do it very carefully with the lowest pressure and widest pattern. My neighbor pressure washed his, and his kids are always getting splinters, it just lift s the wood fibers too much.

I just brushed in and hosed off the Wolman brand Deck Brightener. That stuff worked so much better than the other I bought (might have been Thompsons), that I saved the empty and marked on it "BUY AGAIN". It's a powder, and IIRC, it changes color as it works so you know when to rinse it off, I seem to remember the other stuff just foaming, and I couldn't tell what it was doing. They both worked, but the Wolman just seemed 10x easier to use.

I've let all my decking go for years - decided I wanted to change colors, so I'm letting it all wear off. It's worn off, except for a little on vertical surfaces. Will do it this year. I'll not be posting while I'm staining the deck.


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Old 07-19-2008, 01:26 PM   #14
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Al,
Thanks for the reply. Our deck is about 500 ft², so it sounds like two "gallons" will do the job.

ERD50,
I've tried two different deck cleaners/brighteners in the past (name brands I don't recall) and they were way too much work. I resorted to power washing and sanding. I'll give the Wolman's a try.
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Old 07-19-2008, 05:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I was going to do it that way, but I think it would have been too thick. Cabot rep said that if it's too thick, it dries into a film, when then flakes off in a year or so.
Yeah, you dont want it to coat like a paint, just what the wood will absorb, which is where the roller came in. I kept spraying and backrolling until I had a good saturation level but no puddles. It still looked somewhat okay more than 4 years later, no peeling or flaking.

Quote:
The hole? I have a joke, but I'm not going to go there.
Ah, come on...

I had heard that the deck brighteners/washes did cumulative damage to the wood and to just use a pressure washer set on low with a wide spray after spritzing the wood with a light bleach soluion to clean off the dirt and fungi prior to the staining.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:02 PM   #16
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I gotta interrupt this technical discussion to ask a very basic question:

Is there such a thing as a deck that doesn't require all of this hassle? Why build a deck instead of a concrete-foundation lanai or a gazebo?

Maybe it's a solar thing. In Waikiki you can usually tell the locals from the visitors by who's under a shady tree and who's out sizzling in the sunshine.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:15 PM   #17
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I've heard Trex decking doesn't require much if any care (recycled wood and plastic with a littel color added and made into 2x4s IIRC). Never used it myself, I've always stuck with the concrete foundation/lanai combo.

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Old 07-19-2008, 09:18 PM   #18
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I've used a trex-like product to make a deck. It was pretty much standard plank type, no special fasteners. Cut like wood and went on with either ring nails or a special non-mushrooming screw.

Its about 5 years old, never been stained, still looks exactly the same.

Put up a couple of hundred feet of fence this year with a composition board. Was about 25c more per board than cedar or redwood. So far so good on that, i'm interested to see how long it stays looking the same. 20 year no-stain/no-warp/no-split/no-splinter warranty...
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I gotta interrupt this technical discussion to ask a very basic question:

Is there such a thing as a deck that doesn't require all of this hassle? Why build a deck instead of a concrete-foundation lanai or a gazebo?
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Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
I've heard Trex decking doesn't require much if any care (recycled wood and plastic with a littel color added and made into 2x4s IIRC). Never used it myself, I've always stuck with the concrete foundation/lanai combo.

R
Agreed. I've limited the decking on my current home to just some wood decking over the plain, boring concrete steps. Not a whole lot of sq feet of wood. Still some work to maintain.

The only real negative I've read about with the trex, is that it gets really hot in the sun. I don't know if it really gets hotter than wood, just some comments I've read in forums.

I'll be buying some trex this week. I want to use it for a few outdoor projects, and I don't want the maintenance of wood. But in some other places, it would be right next to the present wood, and side by side, it would stand out as 'different'. Not better or worse, just different - not gonna do that.

-ERD50
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:56 PM   #20
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Cant recommend a solution other than buying more stain. I'm staining my soffit and fascia with Cabots stain (white). It seems a lot better than the Olympic I used before.

Our deck is pressure treated Fir and its 5 yrs old. We used Behr the 1st time it was stained....lasted about two yrs on the deck boards. I was disappointed and switched to Cabot...lasted about two yrs also, but seems less deteriorated than the Behr and/or I just don't care about it looking good anymore.

I recommend using a painting "pad"....works really really well. You can control the flow rate and use a long stick like a roller extension.

I wish I had Trex decking. It was too 'new' when I had the deck built and sure enough the newer material is greatly improved, but all of it seems to be relatively maintenance free. Many contractors have told me they've done many tear-offs replacing the wood deckboards with Trex or other synthetic while keeping the wood framing.

Finally, I keep saying I will never stain again and why not just paint the dang thing anyway.
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