Update 2019: Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Stain Review
We would love to hear from you if you have used the Benjamin Moore Arborcoat deck stains. Please post a rating in the Consumer Star Ratings below. If you have any pictures of your experience with the Arbor Coat, you can add them in the comment area with a detailed description.
If selecting this deck stain, keep in mind ArborCoat users in the comments have noted that they have better results when applying to a dry 12% non-PT wood deck. While the majority of comments and user experiences reported are negative, the application is definitely a factor in results. If reliable long-term results are desired, read more about our top rated deck stains for 2019, and weigh in with your own experience.
Important Note: This is Our 1st Review of ArborCoat Deck Stain. Our second review was completed in 2015. Please see here: Benjamin Moore ArborCoat Review 2016
Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat is a 100% acrylic exterior wood stain that provides water repellency, mildew resistance, and UV protection. This stain is a waterborne product that was introduced in 2010 as a two-component system. One coat of stain and one coat of a protective clear coat needs to be applied. Available in a range of colors, this wood and deck stain can help you protect and beautify your outdoor furniture, deck, and siding.
We tested the Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat for only 1 year as it was introduced for Spring 2010. We used the semi-transparent version to be consistent with other field tests.
Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat Stain Scores (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 4
– 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. These stain types are definitely prone to peeling in cold weather states such as our test deck in Michigan.
Preventing UV Graying at 1 Year Mark: 9
– We only tested for 1 year but the Benjamin Moore Arborcoat did very well with preventing UV graying. The nano-technology seemed to fully repeal the graying effect. We noticed no color change after 1 year.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 1
– We got a call from the homeowner in the Spring of 2011 to look at the deck. On inspection, we were extremely disappointed. The Arbrocoat had peeled significantly on the brand new pine deck. Patches of the finish had peeled off the wood in strips. You could peel back with your fingers large sections of stain. The product did not seem to have penetrated into the wood at all.
Cost Per Square Foot: 5
– Arborcoat retails for $42.99 a gallon. 9 gallons were used for the 1000 foot deck at a cost of $.39 a square foot.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 10
– No mold or mildew as on the stain after the one year mark. The zinc oxide in the formula definitely seemed to help.
Ease of Application: 4
– We found the Arbor coat to be difficult to apply. As with most water-based formulas, the Arborcoat dries fast and displayed overlap marks. Adding the clear top coat did help even out the appearance somewhat. The stain applies like paint and dries on top of the wood. We were skeptical of the appearance and if the stain would make it through the winter (it did not).
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 8
– There was no visible darkening of the stain except for some dirt that accumulated on top of the finish.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 1
– The customer was so displeased with the condition of the deck after less than one year that they requested the Arborcoat to be removed. A traditional deck stain stripper did not remove the stain or top coat. Power sanding was needed and cost the unfortunate consumer a substantial amount of money.
Overall Score Defy Extreme Stain at 2 Year Period: 5.75
– Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat did not perform well in a cold weather state and on a newly built deck. The unnatural appearance was reason enough not to use the stain but the peeling and difficulty of removal, really was tough to swallow.
Where To Buy: Benjamin Moore Paint Outlets
Cost: $42.99 per Gallon
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – 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
Manufacturer: Benjamin Moore
Test Deck Stats:
Deck Wood Type: New Pine Decking, ACQ
Deck Square Footage: 1000 Square Foot Deck
UV Exposure: Mostly Shade
How Many Years Tested: 1 Year
Stain Color Used: Cedar
*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.