We would love to hear from you if you have used any of the Big Box Brand stains such as the Behr Premium Wood Stain. Pictures of your experience with deck stains from Lowes or Home Depot can be posted in the Comment Area below. Please specify the brand of decking stain that was used and a description that is positive or negative as it would be helpful for other consumers who are considering which stain brand to choose. The majority of comments below describe issues of peeling, application issues, and color problems with most of the stains that can be bought at Lowes and Home Depot.
Why Deck Stains are Poor at the Big Box Stores
As a homeowner, you know that regular maintenance can not only prolong the life of your property, it can also increase its curb appeal and value. Nothing is truer when it comes to the exterior surfaces of your home like a deck. Deck maintenance includes regularly cleaning and sealing the wood to protect it from the harsh elements. Doing so ensures a lasting surface that will provide years of use and value.
To perform proper deck maintenance it is crucial to use quality products including wood cleaners, brighteners, and especially deck stains. Deck restoration or maintenance can go wrong in a hurry if you use the wrong products. The biggest culprit to deck maintenance gone wrong is applying a cheap or inferior deck stain.
There are plenty of good deck stain products on the market and the key to finding a quality wood stain is looking in the right place, or better yet, knowing where NOT to look. As you know, many of the big box stores carry a wide variety of deck stains. It’s convenient, fairly priced, and you will notice they carry some well known brands of deck stain such as Cabot and Olympic.
So it would seem the search for a quality deck stain is over that quick, or is it? There is no doubt that some of the brands they sell are quality brands but the problem stems from where they are being sold. Manufacturers of products are forced to make a “cheaper version” of their once quality products before being stacked on the shelves of any big box store.
Big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot compete on price, so they literally tell any company wanting in the door that they have to make a cheaper version of their product to sell at a certain price point. This is known as the Wal-Mart Effect.
What this means for a deck stain company is that the formula has to be changed so it is cheaper to produce allowing them to sell at a lower price. The bottom line is when you buy a quality brand of deck stain at a big box store; you are not buying the same quality formula they have always been known for but rather a watered down version. That’s right! A cheaper, less effect formula of deck stain that does not perform or hold up as well as it should. It is the sad truth and it preys upon unsuspecting homeowners every year. You buy what you thought was a quality wood deck stain and a year after applying it, it begins to fail leaving you confused, frustrated, and back to square one.
Let’s Look at the History of Deck Stains at the Big Box Stores:
Penofin: Entered the Home Depot market in the late 1990’s and was almost put out of business. They came in with the same formula but was forced to either move their operations offshore to keep the same quality or pull the line. They did the right thing and pulled the line.
Cabot Stains: Before Valspar bought Cabot in 2005, Cabot was considered one of the bests. This stain was immediately introduced into the Big Box Stores but with a new modified formula. Cabot has to yet recover the quality it had pre 2005.
Flood: Great stain back in the 1990’s. Put into Home Depot with a new formula. Same results as Cabot.
Sikkens: Entered Home Depot in select stores a few years ago. Completely different formula then is sold at the hardware and paint stores.
Behr Wood and Deck Stains: Probably the worst stain ever made. Just research the many angry and unhappy consumers on the Internet who have posted reviews.
Don’t fall into the trap of buying deck stain at the big box stores regardless of the brand name. There is a good chance it is not the quality product that you think it is.
Have a Review of a Stain Bought at a Big Box Store? Please Post Below.
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