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Posts Tagged ‘Clear Wood Deck Stains’

Peeling Deck Varnish
Peeling Deck Varnish

Peeling Deck Varnish

Deck stains are meant as a protective finish for exterior wood. They contain special UV shielding pigments and mildewcides to ward off mold and mildew and to keep the wood from fading. Other sealers or clear finishes will not adhere well to a deck stain and may result in the topcoat failing prematurely. Most likely the clear sealer or polyurethane will end up peeling and flaking off the deck stain.

Unlike paint, stains and sealers are not necessarily designed to adhere to each other. Most are designed to penetrate into the wood or at least adhere to bare wood in the case of film forming stains. Applying a clear sealer over a deck stain is never a good idea. It really won’t help the deck stain or give any added protection more than the deck stain already is. Clear sealers have no pigment and therefore provide zero UV protection. The same goes for polyurethane.

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Is It Okay To Let The Wood Gray Naturally

Most homeowners know that untreated wood left to the elements will gray over time. This graying is due to the sun’s UV rays. When the wood is not treated with the proper wood stain, it turns a rustic looking gray.

Another enemy of exterior wood is moisture. This can cause the wood to warp, crack, splinter and eventually rot. To protect wood from water damage, a stain or sealer can be applied. When a stain with added color or toner is used it will not only protect the wood from water damage but also from sun graying. The added pigment of the toner helps block out the UV rays. When a sealer (clear stain) is used it will only provide water protection and no sun protection.

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New Redwood Deck Stain

Clear Deck Sealers and Stains for Exterior Wood

It is no secret that protecting a wood deck with a water repellent sealer is vital to its integrity and lifespan. Clear deck sealers leave the wood looking natural which may appeal to the deck owner. Without a doubt, a natural looking wood deck is a thing of beauty.

Deck sealers do give adequate water protection by locking out moisture. This is important to the wood’s lifespan. When water is absorbed into the wood it swells and when it dries up it shrinks. This continuous swelling and shrinking eventually begins to crack, split, and warp the wood. A clear wood sealer will stop this water damage from happening.

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Deck Stains vs. Deck Sealers vs. Deck Paints

It is a common concern of deck owners whether to use a deck stain, deck sealer, or deck paint. There really is not an exact definition for any deck stain, sealer, or paint and many professionals use the terms loosely when speaking about deck coatings in general. But some clarification can definitely help. We will describe which each one is most commonly described as.

Deck Sealers

A sealer usually does not alter the appearance of the surface. It is applied to protect the surface from such things like foot traffic, water damage, mold, and mildew. Therefore, deck sealers are most commonly any clear, transparent, or translucent coating that protects the wood without altering the appearance.

Deck sealers are popular for those wanting the most natural wood look you can get while still providing water protection. Most deck sealers have excellent water repellency properties but lack in shielding against harmful UV rays causing the wood to turn gray over time.

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Should you use a Deck Stain or Clear Deck Sealer?

To enhance the appearance of a wood deck and protect it from the elements the wood need to be treated with a deck stain or sealer. Both deck stains and deck sealers protect against moisture and water damage but there are some differences between the two.

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Defy Extreme Review
Defy Extreme Wood Stain

Defy Extreme Wood Stain

Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain is the premier “crystal clear” decking finish on the market. The Defy Extreme Clear utilizes nano particles of zinc oxide into their formula. This is the same product that is used in sunscreen. These zinc oxide particles filter the UV radiation from the sun, prolonging the oxidation (graying) of the wood cells.

We tested the Defy Extreme on a wooden fence. Decking surfaces may have slightly different results.

*Note: Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain is an “untinted” version of the Defy Extreme Stain. Clear wood deck stains traditionally will not last as long as a stain that has a tint when it comes to preventing UV graying.

Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 9

– Defy Extreme Clear Stain did not change the appearance of the wood at all after drying. The Defy extreme Clear goes on the wood milky white but then dries clear without enhancing the wood or filming on top of the wood.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 6

– After 2 years the wood fence had retained close to 60% of the initial color. There was some graying of the wood that had southern exposure. Consider using the Defy Extreme Stain in one of the three tints if you would like better UV protection.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9

– The Defy Clear had no wearing on the vertical fence. There was a small amount of peeling on the horizontal cross bars. On further inspection, it seemed as if the sprinkler system had worn off some of the finish.

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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 in consideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.