Get tips on choosing a stain for your deck. Learn whether to use an oil-based stain or a latex stain for your home's deck.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Saul in New York who has a stain question. What can we do for you?
SAUL: Hi. I’ve been using Benjamin Moore semi-solid stain on a deck
in New York for about ten years now and then they decided, I guess in the state of New York, that you can no longer sell a product that’s oil-based.
SAUL: And now I’m trying to find something that’s going to work well on that deck. I tried their replacement product …
SAUL: … and it – you know, I put it down – I cleaned the deck up, I put it down but it didn’t dry well and it flakes up very easily.
TOM: Hmm, OK.
TOM: Well, solid-color or semi-transparent stain is what you want. You’re saying that you can’t get any oil-based stain? Because I find that hard to believe. I know that the VOC numbers are changing but I’m surprised that you can’t find any oil-based stain.
SAUL: Well, I didn’t try all the manufacturers but when I called Benjamin Moore, they told me that they can no – they still make the product but they don’t sell it in the state of New York.
TOM: OK. Well, if that’s the case, then you’re going to be stuck with a latex and I understand your concern. What I would probably recommend …
LESLIE: I mean there’s definitely different adhesion there.
TOM: Yeah. I would recommend a solid-color stain; not a semi-transparent because you’re going to have more colorant in the product and that’s going to make it last a lot longer. And a little trick of the trade is that you can add, to the solid-color stain, about a pint of polyurethane. Now it’s going to have to be water-based polyurethane but you’ll find that it’ll increase the durability of the product. The key here is going to be really good cleaning and good adhesion. Hey, if you don’t have a good surface to start with, you’re going to end up with a mess in a very short timeframe.
LESLIE: There’s also another manufacturer you should look at. There’s a company called Flood and they’re available at several smaller hardware shops in your area. Their website is Flood.com
and they do – it’s like a – it’s not that it’s a mix of an oil and a latex but they sort of put a primer into their latex-based solid stain so that you’re getting the benefits and the adhesion of having the built-in primer just sort of work the surface of your deck, if you will; and that will also help with the adhesion. There’s a ton of different colors that they offer. They do a semi-transparent and a solid. So before you start mixing up chemistry, it might be worth it just to check out what they’ve got available.
SAUL: That sounds great. I’ll give it a try.
TOM: Alright, Saul. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.