I feel as though I spend a large portion of my time desperately trying to remove stains, usually to no avail. So, it’s kind of a treat to be writing about applying stains instead. If anyone knows a thing or two about exterior wood stains and their proper usage, it’s the folks at This Old House. (God, I wish they’d show up at my house for a few days to jump start things around here.) Thomas Baker has written a really informative article, which discusses everything from the different types of wood stains on the market, to maintenance methods necessary to counter the effects of weather conditions such as sunlight/UV rays, water damage, and rot, to how to clean and re-stain your deck. The article references a line of eco-friendly wood stains too. If you have questions about wood stains, it’s worth a read.
Cabot has come up with a handy reference chart that shows how each different type of stain will look when applied. A much recommended first step so you don’t blow your money on semi-transparent, when what you really had in mind was solid. For example, the house pictured here is coated in a solid, color stain. If you want the saturated look of paint, but the durability and longevity of a stain, this is the one to choose.
Sikkens offers an extensive line of wood stains and wood preservatives, designed either for exterior or interior applications, which can greatly lengthen the life of your deck, porch or log home. Sikkens Cetol woodcare coating provides maximum protection with a high quality finish for interior and exterior timber. Sikkens Rubbol – available in a spectrum of high quality, opaque colors – adheres to the structure and retains its color. (I can attest to the longevity of Sikkens Rubbol. I used it five years ago to coat the deck rail in front of my shop and it looks as good today as it did then, with zero… not one iota of… peeling or fading.)
The Sikkens website also provides a locator so you can find a dealer near you, as well as a comprehensive FAQ page which answers questions ranging from which type of stain to use when, to how many coats should be applied, to how to remove old, existing stain. It’s another great resource if you aren’t sure how to best proceed with a staining project.
The cost for a quality wood stain typically starts at around $25 per gallon, regardless of the brand you choose. Cheap? Maybe not, but totally worth the price and so much better than re-applying stain every year (which WILL be necessary if you insist on buying the cheap crap like I used to until I finally saw the error of my ways).