Q&A / 

Deck Stain Video

I am down on my dock, with lots of wind in the background. It is April 30, 2010. A year ago, the dock was completely cleaned and stripped. It was in horrible condition, looked gray and was a mess. I am getting ready to apply a top quality, nano-technology wood sealer and preservative. But after the year, the wood had turned gray instead of a keeping it’s natural wood coloring. The sealer had turned colors.

After talking to the wood sealer manufacturer, they indicated that another test should be done. But instead of just testing their product, I will be testing several products. The dock will be divided into sections. One section will get a color-tinted product from the same manufacturer. The next section will be the clear product, that I applied a year ago. The third section is another brand name sealer. The last section won’t get any sealer. It will serve as the control. Showing what will happen if nothing is done to the wood dock.

The dock extends out into the lake so it gets direct sun most of the day, from as soon as the sun comes up until late afternoon. Plenty of sun for a really good test.

The dock has been prepared according to the directions on the containers. The wood surface is clean, dry and even sanded with 60-grit sandpaper. The wood dock is made of cedar. The instructions call for two-light coats, separated by no more then 20-minutes. In the windy conditions, the second coat can be applied within several minutes.

The label says it is very important that the product does not dry between coats. The application will be done to the label’s instructions. Separate brushes will be used so there is not cross-contamination between products.

The first sealer is normally watery and easy to apply. It will soak into the wood as it is applied. The first coat is very light with no puddles.

The second sealer has the look of milk, but it will dry clear. As it is applied, the white coloring starts to turn clear. It is applied as the first one, a thin coat with no excess. If there is excess sealer, it can start to peel at those locations.

The third sealer is the competitor’s brand. It is also a clear sealer and it goes on clear.

After a few minutes, according to the instructions, the second coat is applied to the three sections.

Flash forward to the future!! (Video editing is amazing.) Lots of people have been asking the names of the three products being tested. The names won’t be released until the test is completed.

Returning to the test planks. After all the sections have dried, the first one has a brown tint. The second milky looking sealer has dried completely clear. The third one, which was also clear, is not the same clear as the second one. And the final section is just bare wood.

Flash back to the present!! It will be interesting to see how these three products weather throughout the summer. Additional videos will be taped during the summer so you can see how the test is going. So check back later for video updates.

Update: In Tim's July 20, 2010 Newsletter, he provides results for this test. Click here to read those results.

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One Response to Deck Stain Video

  1. Tim, the deck interest me more than the sealer or stain. I've been thinking about building 2 docks - I live on 2 lakes. The magic of being located on a small dam. My major question is did YOU build the dock or is it a commercial product (pre-built). I've priced both the commercially available metal and wood constructs on foam floats - if I were to go that route I'd be paying into the next decade for two docks. I'd rather not do that until I've finished paying for the house. Really hoping you can assist me in finding the ideal solution. First dock would be located in a cove for protection from wind. The other dock would be in front of my boat storage/house located over the water, and definitely on a lake with whitecaps and high winds most of the time. Oh yeah! and does your dock come out in winters or can it stay in all the time despite freeze of the lake and heavy snows. I mention this a my house is in Western Maine a tad colder than Meredith, NH. I don't have an issue removing say the actual decking of the dock figure that would be an ideal solution for winter freeze-ups but, it's the actual structure of the dock that worries me. I do have neighbors who have had their docks in for the last 20-50 years but, other on the same lake remove their floating docks each year. Thanks once again by the way the lakes are Mooselookmeguntic 16,000 acres and Upper Richardson 8100 acres in size. A google search probably would give you an idea of what my conditions are like.

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