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Acrylic Water Based Deck Stain Issues

Why Acrylic Water Based Deck Stains Do Not Work Very Well

A major factor in maintaining a deck is keeping the wood protected. A good weather resistant deck stain should be applied to the wood every couple of years to protect it from weather damage. A quality deck stain will not only protect your deck from weather, it will enhance its beauty and keep it looking good for years to come.

Finding a quality deck stain can be tedious work. With so many wood stains on the market choosing the right one can seem impossible. The key to a good deck stain is getting it to last. There are many types of stains. Some are film forming and stay on top of the wood surface while others penetrate the wood pours. The penetrating formulas seem to win out when it comes to beauty and protection.

Recently, the market has seen a flood of acrylic water based deck stains claiming to out last other stains. Some of the products claim to last 6 years on decks and up to 8 years on fences and siding. It is definitely a statement that gets your attention. Most semi-transparent stains get 2-3 years of life before needing a recoat.

However, after extensive testing, it has been found that these acrylic water based stains do not quite live up to their guarantee. As a matter of fact a lot of them do not outlast other stains and it is common to see them fail within the first year of being applied. So why do these stains not work like they claim they do?

Test after test it was found the majority of acrylic water based deck stains such as Behr Premium Deck Stain and Sherwin Williams Deckscapes do not penetrate the wood like claimed. These products seemed to dry on top of the surface more like paint. In addition, it dries very quickly. So quickly in fact that it can be very difficult to apply and shows overlap marks if care is not taken.

The overall look of a deck stained with an acrylic water based deck stain is very uneven and blotchy. It takes on a look of a semi-solid meaning much of the wood grain is hidden by the thick pigment of the product. Instead of enhancing the wood’s natural beauty it more or less masks the wood grain.

The acrylic deck stains are also very difficult to maintain. Because the product fails so severely and new coat will not adhere well to an existing coat. The stain has to be completely removed before a new coat can be applied. The areas of stain that do not fail like on the vertical spindles and such are extremely hard to strip off. A very harsh concentrated mix of deck stain stripper has to be used and many times is only somewhat successful at removing the acrylic water based stain.

After testing and feedback from professional contractors, it has been determined that the majority of acrylic water based deck stains do not live up to their guarantees and most of what they claim is simply a marketing gimmick to sell more product to unsuspecting consumers.

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10 responses to “Acrylic Water Based Deck Stain Issues”

  1. Lou C. says:

    Does this apply to Defy Extreme as well? You seem to have it highly rated.

  2. Michelle N. says:

    Two years ago I bought into the hype and covered my 3 new sets of outdoor wood stairs with Behr Premium Solid Color Weather Proofing Wood Stain – a 100% acrylic stain. It looks awful and definitely needs to be redone, but I'm not sure what is the best thing to do to fix it. I truly don't want to have to strip it all off and start over. Do you have any other suggestions? Can I clean and cover with something different?

  3. Bob truitt says:

    trying to figure out best stain for pressure treated wood I just installed

  4. don says:

    Will the acrylic deck stain adhere over a clear deck stain that needs to be refinished? I sanded the clear stain down to get rid of the surface stain, but the acrylic still peeled within a few months.

  5. Cindi says:

    I need the simplest way to redo a existing staine wooden deck. I applied a oil based paint but after 5 days its not complety dry. Please help!

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.