One Time Wood Stain Review

One Time Wood Stain

One Time Wood Stain

One Time® Wood Stain is a 100% solid stain that can be used on all types of unfinished exterior wood.  One Time® Wood Deck Stain is a proprietary acrylate resin blend that protects by penetrating into the wood cells and cross linking into the wood. One Time® contains no solvent or water to evaporate and cures in the full UV ray’s of the sun.

The manufacturer claims a 7 Year Warranty on UV Fading, Water Damage, and Natural Weathering.

One Time® Wood Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 5

- One Time Wood Stain had a decent look to the finished wood. Very rich in color. We did not appreciate the drying problems that the One Time displayed. This caused a slick/sticky appearance.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 6

- One Time® faded considerably in the full sun areas. About 40% of the original color had remained. The shaded part of the deck still had stain left but unfortunately had darkened considerably.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9

- One Time® Stain showed little to no peeling or wearing. This is the only claim by the manufacturer that actually lived up to it’s warranty.

One Time Turned Black

One Time Turned Black

Cost Per Square Foot: 3

- One Time® promised coverage per square foot to be 2-3 times better spread rate then conventional stains. We did not get those results. Coverage was closer to 200 square feet per gallon on the 7 year old cedar deck.  At $84.99 per gallon, this doubled the cost of a conventional decking stain.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 5

- The deck had a very dark appearance in the shaded areas. On closer inspection, the One time stain had a noticeable amount of black mold. This happened to be the same areas in which we had the drying issues (see below).

Ease of Application: 6

- Applying One Time Wood Stain was fairly easy. The problem was the drying/curing of the stain. In the full sun areas, One Time® took 1-2 days to fully dry. The issue was the full shaded parts of the decking. Full curing/drying did not take place for 2-3 weeks. Manufacturer suggested that stain was over applied. Not sure if that was the case as the One Time® did dry in the sun.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 4

- One Time® Wood Stain did very poorly at the 2 year mark. Stain had turned a dark black color in the shaded areas. In the full sun areas, the One Time® Stain had faded about to about 40% of what the original stain color had been.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 4

- One Time® would not be an easy product to reapply. The finish darkened in color substantially. Applying another coat would darken the appearance even more. A cleaning with a deck cleaner would not lighten the stain so a heavy duty stain stripping would be needed.

Overall Score One Time Wood Stain at 2 Year Period: 5.25

- We were very excited to test One Time® Wood Stain and it’s 7 year warranty, unfortunately One Time® did not live up to it’s warranty claims. One Time® failed faster then many of the other deck stains that have been reviewed. One Time® Deck Stain lost a substantial amount of color in the sunny areas and turned a dark black in the shaded areas. The 7 year Warranty after review is limited. It states that it will “prevent” not “stop” UV fading for 7 years. A conversation with the manufacturer confirmed this point.

One Time® would have scored an “average” score if not for the warranty. The warranty claims brought our scores down. A deck stain that will last 7 years on a horizontal deck surface is not possible in our field tests.

Note: One Time® Wood Stain had been removed from the shelves in the Metro Detroit, Michigan area. When consulting with the local Ace Hardware store, the manager said it was removed due to poor sales and customer complaints with drying and not living up to it’s claims.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: One Time®
Cost: $84.99 per Gallon, $329.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent
Available Colors: Natural, Golden Honey, Red Cedar, Clover Brown, Chestnut
Coats Required: 1 Coat
Coverage Per Gallon: 250-400 sq. ft (According to Manufacturer). Actual coverage when tested was about 200 feet per gallon
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 12-72+ Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant all 50 States
More Info: MSDS
Manufacturer: Bond Distributing

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: June 2006
Deck Wood Type: Cedar
Deck Square Footage: 1200
UV Exposure: 50% Sun 50% Shade
How Many Years Tested: 2.5 Years
Stain Color Used:
Red Cedar

*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

43 Responses to “One Time Wood Stain Review”

  1. Ralphied says:

    I am a property manager in western Colorado. Many of my properties are at 11,000 feet. I come originally from the east coast where I thought that the environment was antagonistic to exterior finishes. My learnings there were basically without meaning when I came to Colorado. Some products are better than others but the primary message it to perform maintenance annually for all horizontal surfaces and wood based roofing. Vertical walls might stretch to two or even 3 years. I even have to wipe metal and plastic frames with penofin to keep the chalking away. I would love to host manufacturers here to test their products in our weather and altitude.

    • The higher the UV index, the quicker the stain will fail. Let us know a brand that you are interested in testing and we can get a gallon to you to try. I would prefer that you tested one of the higher ranked stains.

  2. Vanessa says:

    What stain stripper would you recommend for a redwood deck finished with One Time Wood?

    • Vanessa, I would try the Restore-A-Deck Stain Stripper.

    • MDR says:

      you dont need a deck stripper for a re-application. If properly preped the stain will have penetrated into the wood and no deck stripper will pull it out, What you'll want to do is power wash it with Oxy Clean and let it dry for 3 days then just reapply OneTime Be sure not to get too close with the power washer or you may fray the wood. The stain should spread better the second time around

  3. Sally says:

    I am really needing help to know what product to use on my Garapa Hardwood deck. My contractor used a product by Rymar for exoctic hardwoods and it started to fail in just 6 months. Does anyone know anything about the Behr weatherproofing stain that is supposed to last for 10 years. I really need the right advice this time, we have so much on this deck and all manufacturers promise a lot, but who actually delivers?

    • Sally, exotic hardwoods require a coat of stain annually or sooner. This is the wood\’s fault, not the stain. Behr will not work on this and will not last more then the Rymar. Do not believe any warranties that \”lie\” like Behr or One Time! You will need to re coat this deck every year. Best to choose a stain that penetrates into the wood and can be easily reapplied with a light cleaning. I would look at Armstrong Clark in the Amber or Mahogany colors.

      • Sally says:

        Thank you so much for your feedback. I will look into the Armstrong Clark product. Also are you familiar with the Defy product line for hardwoods? They are a synthetic resin and supposed to penetrate well on hardwoods. My painting contractor thinks it is important to sand the old Rymar stain off, than use a cleaner before adding a new stain. I was just planning to use a liquid stain remover and brightener before the application of a new product. The sanding will increase the cost of the project considerably, but if you agree this is a good decision, I will proceed with your advice. Since I now understand, that a coat of stain will have to be applied every year, I want a product that will not have to be sanded every year, but rather just re-applyed. Thanks for all of your help. Sally Nisley

        • Sally, I would strip and brighten then sand lightly if needed when done. Both Armstrong Clark and Defy are penetrating stains that can be cleaned lightly and re coated annually without the need for stripping. AC would probably be the easier of the two for this. Make sure to not over apply either. Typically only 1 coat on exotic hardwoods.

  4. Russell Thomas says:

    Found this review interesting as I have had deck stained for 3 years with OneTime and liked the results – wonder what the difference was?

  5. Peter L says:

    I used the One Time Wood product in 2006 on my new deck here in central Minnesota and have had no problems with it. I will be cleaning and reapplying One Time this summer as I have had none of the problems described in this review.

  6. jeff says:

    I used ONETIME in 2008. Lasted about 4.5 years. Now bad. I am in NY (lower hudson valley) and need to power wash and redo the tongue and groove cedar siding.
    would you reco another brand ?

    • Jeff, Vertical siding always lasts 2-3 times longer then a horizontal deck surface. Not as prone either to turning black. We would look at the TWP 1500 if you want to switch to a better and less expensive brand.

  7. Debbie says:

    I live in South Texas where our summer weather is brutal. I built a deck using cedar and bought Sikkens stain/sealer which was highly recommended from the lumberyard. It didn't last a year down here. After 3 years of looking at bleached out cedar I figured I had better save it while I could. I went through the trouble of getting on knees and sanding the whole thing using a belt sander and orbital hand sander using 60 grit. I was ecstatic that it brought it back to life and that it wasnt to late. I bought One Time Stain and applied it using a small roller with a friend coming in behind me with a dry paint brush to make sure puddles or excess stain was not left. AFTER I applied I started reading reviews about One Time and thought "Oh Shoot, what have I done". The stain recommends 72 hours dry time and I have done exactly what the stain has recommended. I used Clove Brown on my cedar and I have to say It is beautiful. Im not quite sure how everybody else is applying this stain but If you put a little elbow grease into it and do what manufacturers recommends I think you will have better results. I dont think applying this stain would be a good idea using a sprayer unless you back brushed to get off excess puddling, but that would entail walking all over it. Honestly I could not be happier with One Time stain and I will post comments every so often to describe how the stain is looking/working down here in this extremely hot area. The deck is in full sun all day with weeks of over 100 degree days during summer. If One Time can work down here it can work anywhere. I have learned that there is no stain that once applied will last (with color) for years. I guess thats the price/ work you pay to have that beautiful wood look.

  8. ross says:

    I applied One Time to my deck (pressure treated wood) three years ago. So far, I am satisfied with the ballustars and rails, but somewhat disappointed in the performance on the horizontal surface. It has faded and worn down and algae is present every spring. It is on the north side of the house, so some of that may not be avoidable. There is no peeling, though. I must admit that I was influenced by a radio personality that hosts a DIY talk show.

    • Debbie says:

      My deck is on the north side of my house too. Very interested to see if algae forms on mine. I built my house in the roof of my barn so that when you walk out the french doors onto the deck it would be considered the hay loft area. Maybe being so high up I get enough of a breeze to keep algae from forming. ?? Will post what happens after a few months.

  9. Derek says:

    I applied one-time natural in 2006. How should I clean and prep to reapply this year? The deck still looks great but show some signs of fading. All the wood is in great shape and of course with One-time I see no blistering or pealing.
    i am looking to reprotect the wood and get that uniform look again.
    The long term savings in time and money are well worth the initial expense!

  10. zzpops says:

    this is not a good product, difficult to use drying is a bear and warranty is bullshit.

  11. erricat says:

    The benefit of One Time is that when it is time to re-stain, you don't strip. You just clean and re-stain.

    We put this on our deck 3 years ago and are extremely pleased. The cedar railings look nearly as good as the day we applied the stain. Of course, the horizontal decking has faded somewhat and we will probably re-stain next year. It is in direct Southern exposure sunlight all day from 9 until sundown, so nothing is going to last forever. The point is, we have done anything but hose it down occasionally and it looks great.

  12. Brian Pease says:

    I used One Time on two new decks, one in direct sun and one covered. The direct sun faded out the first year and needed to be redone by the second year. I cleaned, reapplied and had the same results as the first time, far from being a one time stain or even lasting the seven years as advertised. On my covered porch, I did receive good results and it did last the seven years. But I will not be re-appling one time. I started using Ready-Seal and have had better luck. Not only is the product less than half the price, delivered from Texas to Michigan vs buying One Time locally, they do not claim some outlandish life expectancy. I am on my third year and totally satisfied with the results.

  13. Crustycreature says:

    I applied One Time clove brown on an east facing, new cedar deck with a roller and brush. It took a little more than 2 weeks for it to ‘cure’ – and it was a sunny, dry period of time. During that 2 weeks, it was sticky but eventually came around – keeping the kids off of it was interesting. After a year, the high traffic areas were already showing wear. Now it’s been 2 years and the entire flat surface of the deck is showing that the stain is in failure mode. Vertical portions of the railing are fine but the rest of the deck is looking pretty sad. No need to reapply this stuff and see if it fixes it. Then I’ll just be 2 years further down the road and I’d expect the same results.

    I’m going with the recommendation of this site to strip with the RAD Stain Stripper. Brighten with the RAD Brightener. Stain with TWP. We’ll see how that turns out.

    • Crsutycreature, TWP lasts about 2 maybe 3 years as well on horizontals. Difference that we have seen is that TWP does not darken like the OneTime. TWP does not claim a ridiculous warranty. TWP is fairly priced.

  14. Steven says:

    I used One Time natural on the pine, tongue and groove siding I was replacing at my older home. I only replaced the wood that needed it, and the whole house is due for new paint. I thought it would be beneficial to seal it, before prime and paint. An extra layer of protection couldn't hurt right. I rolled on some Kilz latex, to get it ready for the Sherwin-Williams Super paint, and the primer still is tacky, and has not dried, after several days time. Help.

  15. Ann says:

    I put this product, natural color, on my new cedar deck two years ago in July 2011. Now the start of the third summer, it looks terrible. The stain has peeled off most of the surfaces, both horizontal and vertical, especially the surfaces in the sun. I first sent the company an email – no answer. Then I filled out their online form – no answer. I sent them a letter with multiple pictures asking for replacement product to redo the deck – no answer. I finally called them and talked to a lady. She had my letter and pictures. She said the product wasn't at fault but that I should have waited a year to apply the product. She blamed it on mill glaze. There was no way I could wait a year since it was a rainy spring and mold was already appearing on the wood. I had a professional carpenter come out and look at my deck and he said it wasn't mill glaze but a poor product. The manufacturer would not honor their 7 year warranty. They would only send me replacement product for a slight price reduction. I chose not to buy more of their product and will tell others not too also. It is very expensive, didn't hold up even two years, and the manufacturer didn't honor their warranty. Don't buy this product – try something else.

    • Ann, high quality stains still need to be reapplied every 2 years maybe 3. The issue is the OneTime makes up a ridiculous warranty and then charges 2-3 times more then other stains.

      • Tony says:

        We used OneTime. It went a long way! Even if it lasts half the time stated it has already been cost effective. Another great property, is it won't peel, like many other products. No need to strip before reapplying.

  16. Phil Parker says:

    I have a house on a lake in far northern NY. The siding is a combination of cedar and cedar shakes. It was a new build, completed in May of 2011. What was originally applied to the siding was Sherwin Williams Deckscapes Exterior Stain Clear Sealer. Unfortunately, it has no UV protection, and any surfaces that get much exposure to the sun have become completely bleached out.
    I'm looking into having it completely re-done. I know very little about this and have been given conflicting information by painters I've talked to, such as:
    - power wash it first/ don't power wash it
    - use a stripper on what's there/no need to use a stripper
    - use an oil-based stain/use an acrylic stain
    - use a product called Nature One/don't use Nature One

    I would LOVE some recommendations from people who really know what they're talking about. That's why I was glad to find this board. Thanks in advance for your help and input.

  17. P B says:

    Applied one time spareingly due to the cost of a gallon. It has been one week and it is still wet. Can you run a roller through it now or wipe at it with a rag. any way to help it a long.

  18. SUSY says:

    IF YOU APPLY THE ONE TIME AND IT RAINS WILL IT STILL CURE, WHAT DOES A PERSON DO?

  19. BrianB says:

    I am planning on staining my deck of 15 years that has had a previous stain color. The stain color was a lighter Cedar Naturaltone semi-transparent. The contractor I am working with is suggesting that we go with a darker Porter PPG Acri-Shield stain. I did not see any reviews on this oil-based stain. Have you had any experience with this stain? I live in Atlanta, Georgia and my deck is pressure treated pine with mostly shade, partial sun and then full sun for part of the day. The deck does have exposure to moisture and mildew.

  20. Carlisle says:

    Hi, have you guys ever reviewed or tested the Penofin Verde line? I live in San Francisco, where I'm building a new redwood deck. Our local paint store around the corner carries this and was wondering about it's UV protection.
    thanks!

  21. Enrico says:

    I'm building a white oak table and coffee table for outdoor. I would like to keep it natural and let it grey over time. What is the best product to use for sealing the wood, make it water repellant and easy to clean? I live near the water in Orange County CA. Thanks for your help

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