Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain Review 2024  2.7/5 (82)

This post was updated on May 1, 2024

Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain Review 2024

Here at DeckStainHelp.com, we have worked hard to become the Internet’s number one reference for your deck stain opinions and reviews. We thank you for your continued support. Our customers who have used Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain continue to give poor reviews about the appearance and longevity of their deck stain projects. If you have used Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain, we would like to hear what you think, so feel free to leave a comment below and pictures of your completed projects if you have them.


ArborCoat Stain Review

ArborCoat Stain Review

Important Note:  This is our 2nd Benjamin Moore Arborcoat. See our first review here: Benjamin Moore Arborcoat

ARBORCOAT Premium Exterior Stains offer a variety of opacities in an array of captivating colors that let you express your own unique style. These finishes are designed to enhance the appearance of your deck, siding, or outdoor wood furniture with outstanding color retention. All ARBORCOAT finishes are easy to apply and offer superior protection while enriching the texture and grain of exterior wood surfaces.

ArborCoat Deck Stain

Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat Stain Rating (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 5

– Similar to our first review, the Arborcoat after drying had a “plastic” unnatural look to the wood when done. The finished result was a film-forming stain, similar to a varnish.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8

– The Arborcoat does well with UV protection. It has a high solid content, similar to paint. We did use the topcoat clear on this deck as well. Not sure if that actually helps with UV protection, but BM claims it does.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 3

– This product does not perform well on our tests. It is prone to peeling and wearing. After 2 years much if not all of the flooring had peeling issues. Cracking, peeling, and mold growth were evident throughout.

Arborcoat Failure

Arborcoat Failure

Cost Per Square Foot: 4

– We used 2 gallons of the Cedar color for our 300 sq. foot deck and 1 gallon of the Clear Coat. About $.50 sq. foot.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 6

– We had mold growth after two years. The mold was under the stain and on top.

Ease of Application: 5

– We found the Arbor coat to be difficult to apply in this second review. The Arborcoat dries fast and displayed overlap marks. The stain applies like paint and dries on top of the wood.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 1 Year: 10

– Arborcoat did not darken in color after 2 years

The Difficulty of Reapplication: 1

– This product cannot be stripped off completely. You will have to sand to remove it fully. We would not suggest applying a stain of a different brand over the Arborcoat. The new coating may not adhere and will be prone to future peeling

Overall Score Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain at 2 Year Period: 5.25

– There are many negative reviews on the Internet about the Arborcoat. Benjamin Moore knows there is an issue yet they continue to sell this product. We do not recommend using this product.

Google Search: Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain Review

Benjamin Moore ArborCoat Stain Photos

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Benjamin Moore Paint Outlets
Cost: $49.99 per Gallon
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Acrylic/Alkyd Urethane Blend – Water Based
Available Colors: 75 Custom Colors
Application Temperature: 40-90 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats. One stain coat and one top clear coat
Coverage Per Gallon: 150-200 sq. ft in field tests
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 24-48 Hours
Cleanup: Soap and Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Benjamin Moore

Test Deck Stats:

Deck Wood Type: Cedar
Deck Square Footage: 300
UV Exposure: Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: 
Cedar with Top Coat Clear


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

Please Rate This. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

author avatar
Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites. All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.

Related Deck Stain Help Articles & Reviews

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
101 Comments
newest
oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mary Grant
Mary Grant
16 hours ago

We had our deck stained with the Arbor coat exterior stain as recommended by the painter who worked with our contractor. That was in August of 2023. As I started to clean the deck today of mold and dirt the stain is peeling. I did not use a power washer just a hose with a deck cleaner. I am pissed to say the least. If the painter knew this we got taken.

MikeG
MikeG
7 months ago

We had a new deck built 3 years ago. The builder used solid BM Arborcoat. After the first winter, large sections of the deck had the Aborcoat peeling or worn away. I also noticed that Aborcoat didn’t clean well. if things fell from the overhanging trees, the Aborcoat would be permanently stained (no pun intended). It looked awful. At the beginning of this summer, we had the deck sanded & a different contractor also used BM Arborcoat. Since we’re far from winter at this time, I can’t speak to how well Arborcoat will do. However, I can report that it still apparently permanently stains when stuff falls on it. I’m very sorry we allowed the second contractor to use BM Arborcoat. It sucks.

Marge McGorty
Marge McGorty
1 year ago

Total crap product. Looked great for the first year (Fall 2019) then noticed the steps were wearing. This Spring (2022) which isn’t even 3 full years, and the deck is ruined. Waited 8+ months for the wood to dry out, so this isn’t due to wet wood. This product simply sucks. Please read all reviews and save your time, energy and money and DO NOT BUY ARBORCOAT.

5E8B0703-50D6-4E24-9662-EC29ED88ECD8.jpeg
6DB5008A-25A7-4E2E-A34C-F5C0080D912A.jpeg
Mark
Mark
2 years ago

Spent $500 on this product to restain a large deck . Prepared deck with extra care-power washed and then hand sanded any rough spots. Followed directions exactly in applying two coats. Waited until deck was perfectly dry.. Waited until weather forecast was perfect, dry and well within recommended temperature range. Waited recommended time between coat applications. Applied product with recommended applicators. Less than three month later the deck began peeling off all over. The deck now looks another like it looked before I did all of this and spent all that money. Must be nice for BM to make money selling inferior products while touting them as top-of-the-line. Last time I will get suckered by BM.

CTPAINTINGPROS
CTPAINTINGPROS
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark

Did you preform a water test prior to application?

J Weber
J Weber
2 years ago

This is the worst product I have ever used. It is like chalk after it has been on for less than 3 months. We spent $35,000 on a new deck and this stain completely ruined it. We had it professionally applied and EVERYTHING sticks to it like chalk. Worst stain ever!! It needs to be pulled from the market. We used Arborcoat Semi Solid stain and regret it everyday!!

Andrea Mouldon
Andrea Mouldon
3 years ago

DO NOT buy this stain!!!!! I wish I would have listened to the bad reviews instead of the contractor who told me he hadn’t had problems with it. Completely peeling off a couple of months in. A total disaster and headache!! Applied to a new deck and now it all has to be sanded off. The below picture is one year later but started peeling much sooner.

53273168-1DA2-456F-A7F0-3A3A0678E672.jpeg
Brk49er
Brk49er
3 years ago

Goes on very streaky, leaves horrible overlap marks. I have stained probably 50 or so decks and this stuff has been the worst i have ever used. If you drip any at all it leaves the drip mark even if you go over it immediately. Im just telling you to listen and to not use this on anything you want to look nice.

Kip McEwen
Kip McEwen
4 years ago

Benjamin Moore Arborcoat solid stain is absolutely the worst deck stain I have ever seen. It is a total failure. It was installed on a properly prepared deck, by professional contractors, in Sept of 2019 and not subjected to a lot of use during the fall.

While it did look great for about a month the deterioration, once started, continued through the fall, winter and now spring. It chips, flakes and almost washes away. There is no rhyme or reason. Not just just in traffic areas, but on seating and rails as well. After 6 + months, you would never know it was done. It tracks into house and makes the deck almost unusable and most certainly unsightly.

This is my first experience with with a solid stain and it will never happen again and most certainly won’t be Benjamin Moore Arborcoat

The only solutions are now to Replace the deck completely or somehow sand it all off and choose another stain. Either way a time consuming and very costly solution. Of course I can retreat, but what is the point if it will only continue to deteriorate.

This was a major project I was happy to get out from under, but now I must revisit another even larger project by doing it all again. Highly disappointed.

John Blake
John Blake
4 years ago

Here’s my deck nine months after applying two coats of Arborcoat stain. It started to flake off a couple of days after the application and now I can take it off by dragging my foot across it. This is the worst stain I’ve ever used.The response from Benjamin Moore and the local supplier was just as bad as the stain.

DSC00292.JPG
DSC00296.JPG
DSC00294.JPG
Rick Baker
Rick Baker
7 months ago

I wonder why my review and photos is not posted?

Philip Bernot
Philip Bernot
1 year ago

I am not a paint professional or decking expert, but on the advice of someone who is I used Arborcoat and couldn’t have been happier. First application was 2014; it could have been repeated last year, but it held well until 2023. Will definitely use the same product again.

Henry
Henry
2 years ago

I been using Arbocoat coat for sometime as a professional painter and it makes me sad hearing all these negatives review about this great product. It does take some skill to accomplish a long lasting product to work. For instance the surface must be prepare fully well meaning sanding, washing, let the surface dry well, Apply in proper weather temperature, No direct sunlight, 2 coats minimum and periodically do some maintenance especially if it is a deck that you can only do one side of it. Very important to stay away from clear, semi clear for decks because the sun with eat or fate it out quick so its best to use semi solid or solid if you want the finish to last longer.

Phaser
Phaser
2 years ago
Reply to  Henry

I’ve been using Benjamin Moore Arbor coat stain for many years and I’ve had zero problems with call backs from customers. The key to long lasting and Great results is proper preparation before you apply the product. Many people do not clean or sand properly and in most case do not apply the product in proper temperatures or apply it on a previous oil stain that had not been sanded and prepped properly.
Preparation is KEY for Professional looking long lasting results with this product.

Stanley Barry
Stanley Barry
2 years ago

I have a client that chose Semi transparent oil based Arbor coat because of the color she wants. Have not applied it yet. I am now having 2nd thoughts on using this after reading below. However, most of the comments are not saying if they used a waterbourne finish or the oil. Any help??

Stanley Barry
Stanley Barry
2 years ago

Thanks!

Ouzelfalls
2 years ago

My daughter and her husband began their deck restoration in 2020 and we completed the staining using Benjamin Moore’s Arbor Coat solid deck stain. I can’t give it a performance evaluation as it’s too new. I will say the deck looks great. They used the “Blue Note” navy blue stain for the decking and “Tapestry Beige” for the upper sections of the deck which matched the newly pained home. They used the blue stain on the “hamburger board” (trim board that on top of the spindles). I will also say this—this stain REALLY BONDS. It’s not easy to get it off your hands and as far as getting off the wooden handles of my paint brushes–forget about it! Hopefully it will stick as well to all the wood (very old wood and the new decking boards they installed to fix their deck).

The previous owners did ZERO maintenance on this deck–it was never stained and may of the decking boards were rotted out and badly warped. Rather than spending a lot of money tearing it out and re-building, my daughter invested about $2500 to purchase new “thick” decking boards, new spindles to replace all the rotted decking/spindles, assorted materials and Benjamin Moore deck stain. I am hopefull they will get many new years out of their “new” (and now safe) deck!

Here are some pictures of the project.

Sanding_Main_Deck.jpg
Ben_Moore_Arbocoat_1.jpg
Ben_Moore_Arborcoat_2.jpg
2nd_coat_Arborcoat.jpg
Jeremiah McKenna
Jeremiah McKenna
1 year ago
Reply to  Ouzelfalls

Any follow up to your first report?

Ouzelfalls
Ouzelfalls
1 year ago

this picture’s from Dec., 2022 showing the resin bleed-thru. The same stuff came back this Summer (2022) after we had a spell of 90 degree days and hot Sun was on the deck. When wiped with denatured alcohol, all the “white spots” go away. A small amount of stain’s on the wiping rag, but there’s enough embedded in the wood that we’ve never re-stained an of the resin bleed -thru boards. Also, regarding the small areas that have “popped” –they are VERY small areas—no more that a half inch square located in 2-3 spots on the deck “hamburger” board.

IMG_0027.jpg
John J De Laura
John J De Laura
2 years ago

I recently tried this stain on two small pressure treated decks that had been untouched for 8 months to weather before applying ArborCoat semi-solid deck stain. It lasted 6 months. Awful stain, it peeled and wore off even on one small deck that is hardly used. I would not use this stain again and will re-coat with Flood which I used for my large deck.

Joyce
Joyce
2 years ago

Have you tested/reviewed Cabot decking stain?

Joyce L Marlow
Joyce L Marlow
2 years ago

Where’s the search bar?

Rita
Rita
2 years ago

Arborcoat started peeling within 6 months. Rather than refinish the entire deck areas, what is the best product to use over Arborcoat? Plan to sand the peeling areas. For the future, can you recommend a product that will hold up on an older deck during the harsh winters of Western Massachusetts?

Rico Suave
Rico Suave
3 years ago

I have had nothing but GREAT RESULTS using Benjamin Moore Arborcoat! Listen folks, I don’t care what product you use. If you don’t do the proper prep work before applying the stain, then it’s gonna be an awful job. Stop being lazy and doing a half-ass job and do it right the first time!!! You want good results?? Then do the job right!!!

Ouzelfalls
2 years ago
Reply to  Rico Suave

I AGREE with you 100%. I helped my daughter with her deck staining project. We used “Oxyclean” and scrubbed the deck, then used Oxclic Acid as a brightner. We sanded the entire deck and all spindles. followed up with two coats of Ben Moor’s Arbor Coat solid deck stain. A picture’s worth a thousand words. We did the prep and I’m hopeful they will get YEARS of use from this deck. I think it is a good product!

2nd_coat_Arborcoat.jpg
Arborcoat_finished_project.jpg
Stanley Barry
Stanley Barry
2 years ago
Reply to  Rico Suave

Rico, what would you do for prep on a clear vertical grain western red cedar deck?

Lydia Afeman
Lydia Afeman
3 years ago

I had bought the solid black Negro solid stain to have my painter stain the fence. The Benjamin Moore store manager told me I would need 20 gallons but now that he started we found out it will up to 40 gallons on my new cedar 8ft 450 sq ft fence. I’m not happy. This is what they said in response. None of this is stated in the brochure so the average consumer will be blindsided by the cost of using this product. From this post, I’m worried now about how long it will last.

Hello Lydia,

Thank you for contacting Benjamin Moore & Co.

I am sorry to hear about that.

Stain is one of the most difficult types of coatings to calculate. The porosity of the wood and how the stain is applied greatly affect how much material is used. Also, a dark color takes more material to provide an even finish.

All of our dealers are independently owned. I do apologize – if you are not satisfied, we recommend discussing with the manager or the owner of that dealer.

Thank you,

Steve Murphy

Product Information

Benjamin Moore & Co.

360 Route 206, Flanders, NJ 07836

Steve S
Steve S
3 years ago

I have an older deck (pressure treated) that has wear and tear and stains. I am considering Arborcoat translucent. Any thoughts/comnents on Teak versus Natural as a stain color. Thanks

Sue Dye
Sue Dye
3 years ago

I just finished a two week project of prepping and staining the deck with Arborcoat Deck Stain and it already has scuff marks and scratches from shoes and the dog’s paws. I have used Arborcoat on my porch for 5 years without these issues. The differences are : 1. The deck is a darker color stain than the porch and 2, the deck is water-based semi-solid as opposed to the porch where I used an oil based semi transparent. Is there a way to prevent the scuff marks or do I have to re-coat(which the product states not to)?

Carol Ivins
Carol Ivins
3 years ago

I have always used Benjamin Moore products for the inside of my house and have been pleased with their product. Five years ago, I automatically purchased the Arborcoat for my new 9 month old, pressure-treated-wood deck in Pennsylvania. I followed the long-time employee’s directions and after washing the deck, I put down 1 coat of their Fresh Start exterior primer and 2 coats of the solid Arborcoat water-based stain. I was told then that it would last 2 – 3 years before needing to be reapplied. In 2017, I did the same thing after doing some light sanding and washing down the deck. I thought that I could squeeze out another year, however, and now in 2020 it looks terrible. Some boards look wonderful but the ones right next to them on either side are all cracking and peeling and there is now much bare wood exposed throughout the deck. This deck does not have much wear at all so I can’t blame it on that aspect. As I work alone and do my deck in sections, the first third (with very little peeling) is completely done and looks good- only some light sanding and washing needed, 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of stain. The second and third sections have quite a bit a bit of peeling and cracking. I’ve been using a scrub brush,putty knife, palm sander and my leaf blower (works great to show me where the paint is peeling) and am ready to begin the painting process all over again – primer and 2 coats of paint for these last two areas. Then, I happened upon your website! I thought that this every 2 year thing was to be expected for all decks and products. I’ve been reading all of your reviews and helpful information and am wondering if I should just purchase a new product to finish the rest of the deck or am I “stuck” with the Arborcoat for ever and ever? I am very mindful of the weather when applying the stain (actually give myself a whole month to get it done) but as I am in my mid 70’s with a sore back, I find it more and more difficult to to this ritual every two years. I guess I am asking, other than hiring someone, what would you do? So, #1 – do I continue using BM product to finish the deck this year and hope that maybe 2 years from now their product will be improved? #2 – do I change my product now and finish the last 2 sections and, if so, do I have to sand off the paint that is firmly in place in the unfinished sections? My palm sander probably won’t be much help here. #3 – am I correct in assuming that any new stain could not be painted directly over the deck area that is completely done with BM stain so that I would have color uniformity? #4 – I noticed that you… Read more »

Erin
Erin
3 years ago

I was planning to use BM Arborcoat until I read this review. I had purchased the Restore cleaner based on the recommendation from the local store and after cleaning 7 boards I started to panic. The result was extremely splotchy and left a fuzzy texture to the wood. When I called the store to ask if this is normal they told me that it’s not a very good product and that they wouldn’t recommend using it (!) and that I should just power wash my deck since it is only a year old and only slightly gray. Needless to say, I won’t be using their products BUT my question is, how do I fix these boards? Do I need to use another product to clean it (I already power washed everything) or can I just sand it down along with the rest of the boards with 80 grit and start to stain? I have some Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner on hand from a composite deck if needed but with the weather being perfect this weekend I’m hoping it is an easier fix! Thanks for your advice!

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 3.54.54 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 3.55.04 AM.png
Yana
Yana
3 years ago

Have you reviewed the Benjamin Moore oil-based Arborcoat deck stain? Having my mahogany deck refinished now, used Australian Timber Oil (not water-based) in the past and new contractor swears by Benjamin Moore Arborcoat alkyd product, not water based. Thanks!

Yana
Yana
3 years ago

Thanks for quick reply! So then Australian timber oil, not water-based? TKO-1500 reviews well but is it good for mahogany?

Yana
Yana
3 years ago

Is TKO-1500 good for mahogany deck?

Yana
Yana
3 years ago

Oops — TWP-1500. Armstrong-Clark looks like the best pick for my mahogany deck, but have yet to find in a retail store, just online/. Suggestions? Thanks again!!!

Kathi
Kathi
3 years ago

Can you use the solid Arbor coat over a 6 year old sikkons oil based product? How long will it last if you can use it compared to the sikkons product? We need something that will last on railings longer than 2 years

Jane Benson
Jane Benson
3 years ago

I totally agree. We applied Arbor July 2019 and when the snow melted off the deck in March 2020 it looked horrible. Now we will need to sand and stain again. Do not buy!!!

Donald Schulz
Donald Schulz
3 years ago

Can I use on Trex composit deck?

Ray Wojcik
Ray Wojcik
4 years ago

Hi I just finished staining my deck,with Arborcoat ,k637-30,teak color,is it safe to apply Arborcoat, clear coat,k636-00,will it peel sooner then later

Lynn Downie
Lynn Downie
4 years ago

Is this product safe for garden containers where food is grown?

Caroline
Caroline
4 years ago

I used semi solid stain on an outdoor buffet. Do I have to put a clear coat on it.

Ed G.
Ed G.
4 years ago

Can this water based product be used on cedar lap siding that was finished prior with an oil based stain??? Some areas of the siding are only about (1) year old & some areas are dark w/ exposure. If used how should the siding be prepared??? Our home is on Long Island, NY, about (2) miles from the coast. Thank you for your help.

Denise
Denise
4 years ago

We live in Central Virginia and had a new deck built in October 2017. Benjamin Moore Arborcoat semi-transparent classic oil based stain was recommended and applied to our deck in April 2019. Within a month it started showing signs of mildew, dirt, footprints, etc. Is it resin or mildew in the knots on wood. Contractor was told by BM to use 75% bleach and 25% water to clean. What is the best product to use to clean this mess? I certainly wish I would have read these reviews prior to the stain.

20190819_151501.jpg
20190819_151738.jpg
20190830_133159 (2).jpg
Denise
Denise
4 years ago

Just realized told contractor to use 25% “outdoor” bleach to 75% water. This isn’t going to help either, is it? Reading other comments, is sanding off the stain the only solution?

John Blake
John Blake
4 years ago

Just used Arborcoat Solid Deck stain. Followed all the instructions, allowed it to dry for three days before applying a second coat. Allowed second coat to dry for three days. Putting back the patio furniture and the stain started to flake off with just putting the patio chairs back. Happened in other places with just walking on it. No response from Benjamin Moore. This is overpriced garbage.

Frederick W McCullough
Frederick W McCullough
4 years ago

I couldn’t be more disappointed with Benjamin Moore stains. My mother’s residence has been treated with Moore stains since it’s construction in 1987. In the last 7 years I have had the house professionally stained by a fastidious contractor twice. In year 3 the last application is peeling on most surfaces. Given the extensive amount of preparation undertaken for the last application I am fuming. The contractor just told me he is losing confidence in the Benj. Moore product line. Have I been duped? Do I have any recourse? Any advise is welcome.

Janet Mashia
Janet Mashia
4 years ago

I used a water based semi-transparent stain made by Benjamin Moore Arborcoat on my deck last year. Had cleaned the pressure treated wood thoroughly before painting. Within two months I could see a grey dirty looking film on the deck. Will need to clean and restain. Do I need to sand and strip the BM product off the deck to stop this from happening again?

101
0
Questions or leave a review, please comment!x