There are many different exterior stains that you can use. Below is our worst of list and best of list. They all have claims that their product is the best. There are so many different types of stains and even difference in opinions on how the stain should protect the deck or fence. Some stains work in weather in some states and some work in all weather. Its a complicated issue to chose the correct semi transparent stain. Read carefully and make your decision. If you are in the Indianapolis Metro area and need of deck staining or fence staining please contact Grants Painting.
Three Basic Oils Used In Semi Transparent Exterior Stains(Oil Based AND Water Based)
There are four types of semi transparent stain oils. Even waterborne stains have oils in them(at least any of them worth using). Most stains use a combination of these oils. A product that is only one type of oil is typically not your best option.
- Non-Drying Oil Stain– With non-drying oils you will have a beautiful fence or deck always. And it is easy for a homeowner to apply. However you will also apply this type of stain the most often and it will cost the most(at least in Indiana).
- Drying Oils– Drying oils dry to a hard film known as a polymer. SHOULD NOT be used in areas that receive hail or any other hail type damage like a lawn mower that sometimes kicks up rocks. Stains with high amounts of drying oils such as boiled linseed oil can be destroyed in a good hail storm and very difficult to repair. Behr stains have a high amount of drying oils.
- Semi Drying Oils– Semi drying oils are the best option in most environments because they protect and penetrate while not cracking and not rinsing off in a hard rain.
Best products and Worst products – Please suggest more
- Behr Semi Transparent Stains – Worst – This stain is more of a film forming coating. We would call this not a
- stain but a “TransLUCENT” coating. In the painting industry we call this a “film forming” coating.
- Wolmans Semi Transparent Stain (DuraStain) – Worst – This product is much like the Behr stain and is another film forming product.
- Pittsburg Ultra Semi Transparent Stain – Best – This is a stain, available at Menards, that we used very much in our earlier years. It is an excellent stain but ust not be applied too thick. That is the case with every semi transparent stain.
- Cabot Stains- Not Good In Our Humble Opinion – These stains have one and only one good benefit… Cabot stains are easy to touch up missed spots and its very easy to keep a wet edge. However when a water based stain is formulated for idiot proof application its going to fall short in every other category. Its also very hard to clean up.
- TWP 1500 – Read our review about this great stain Here.
Film Forming Stain Vs. Non Film forming
Film forming stains are not recommended in any environment by Grants Painting. The film can be damaged by impact of a weed wacker, mowers kicking up rocks, and most of all hail! We recommend stains that soak in totally and protect the wood from inside.
How To Get Any Water Based Stain To Soak In More
Water based stains soak in better in cooler temperatures early in the morning. The wood should also be not too dry. Spraying it down a few hours before can help but be careful that water built up between the planks and the 2×4 will cause drips when the stain is applied. Also too much wetness and the wood wont be able to pull in any more liquid so the stain won’t penetrate. Usually a good wet down right before the sun goes down will get this done for an early morning application.