EARTHPAINT DECK STAIN
Earthpaint Deck Stains are premium, high density wood finishes. They are made with natural ingredients selected for durability, health and sustainability. We make the highest grade deck stains and offer them factory direct at our Webstore. We will not dilute our products to fit within the big box distribution model and our webstore allows us to keep quality, health and sustainability as our primary purpose. Over the years we have meticulously tailored our deck stain formulations; fine tuning them to work with all the major wood types and climates. Orders ship five days a week to all regions of the United States, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and numerous islands and territories.
Ask Earthpaint - Since websites can't replace person to person service we offer this forum for customized recommendations on each deck staining project.
DECK STAIN SELECTION
Lime Clean - Deck Cleaner
-Best way to clean & prep a deck.
- All natural, deck stain, Low Voc, Safe.
- Our strongest natural deck stain. 24 colors.
Mountain XT Clear 00
- Amazing Wood Grain Illumination.
Never Peel Water Repellent
- Zero Voc practically odorless.
- Semi Solid Stain. Flat two coat system.
- Clean up brushes with water. Natural cleaner.
- Dilute 1 qt / gl for new or unweathered wood.
- Lime Clean
- Sand 35-50 grit
- Rainforest or Mountain XT
TWO COAT SEMI TRANSPARENT (Weathered Wood Only)
- Lime Clean
- Sand 35-50 grit
- Mountain XT
TWO COAT SEMI SOLID (All Wood Types)
- Lime Clean
- Sand 35-50 grit
- Wood Assure 1
- Wood Assure 2
CLEAR 00 SYSTEM (Weathered Wood Only)
- Lime Clean
- Sand 35-50 grit
- Rainforest Sealer Clear 00
- Mountain XT Clear 00 x 2 coats
Weathered wood that is dry and porous does not need to be diluted.
Dilute 1qt per Gallon for Unweathered Wood and New Wood. It is common to dilute for Hardwoods, Redwood and Cedar when they have not been fully weathered. This improves performance.
Wash with Earth Clean in Spring and Fall.
ASK EARTHPAINT if you have any questions about deck stains.
DECK STAIN COLORS
Please click on the link to the right to open a .pdf color chart>>>
RECOMMENDED DECK STAIN COLORS: Clear 00, Honey, Light Cedar, Acorn, Brown Cedar, Fawn, Cinnamon Stick, Natural Pine and Toffee. [
Listed in order of opacity and therefore sunlight and greying resistance.]
SAMPLE PINTS: These are the best way to check a deck stain color on your deck wood variety. The .pdf chart here is a printable link that is a fair representation of the stain color but color varies when using stain so it is best to sample first.
RAW COLORANT SYRINGES: With these pure colorant injectors you can customize your stain colors to practically any color you want. Add more for darker more opaque colors. Add less for lighter more transparent colors. We use Zero Voc earth pigments; complex UV Resistant, Fade Resistant pigments. Syringes are marked, so exact measurements are easy to replicate.
ASK EARTHPAINT: Need help selecting the best deck stain colors? This tool can help narrow down the search.
HOW TO STAIN A DECK
DISCOVERING THE BEST DECK STAIN COLOR
SECRET RULE #1 For Deck Stain Durability: Many times it helps to pick a color that blends well with the color of the wood being coated. When trying to get a stain to last another year or two it helps to have a color on the wood that blends well. All wood eventually gets scratched. If those scratches stand out like a sore thumb then the deck will look less attractive sooner. If the scratches don't stand out but blend somewhat, then the deck looks better longer. Our Two Coat Systems outlined above resist scratches the best. But if using a one coat system this little trick can help get an extra year or two out of it.
NATURAL DECK STAIN: For those who want a natural deck stain tone, such as having the real and natural color of the wood to appear without stain, then it helps to weigh a few factors.
1. Wood turns grey quickly outside unless specially designed stain pigments are used.
2. The best colors to use for a natural toned deck are Honey, Light Cedar and Natural Pine. These look great and have natural wood tones; they have good clarity and hold up very well under sunlight compared to major brand “Natural” stain tones.
3. Our CLEAR 00 System is exquisite on exterior wood. Wood lovers who want to keep the wood authentic, clear and natural turn to Rainforest Sealer Clear 00 followed by two coats of Mountain XT Clear 00. As long as a simple prerequisites and maintenance plan is followed the wood can be kept from greying and shining in its glory indefinitely.
MID to DEEP TONED DECK STAIN COLORS: Light to medium colors. Acorn is a transparent medium brown that reveals a lot of wood grain yet resists greying well. The best mid range deck stains are Brown Cedar and Fawn. These balance protection and beauty. Sage and Cool Leaf are gorgeous green tones. These offer deep, rich colors that block a relatively large amount of UV Radiation while holding their color with minimal fading over the years. Rosewood holds up incredible on Ipe and Locust, especially when top coated with Mountain XT Clear 00.
ULTRA DEEP TONED DECK STAINS: These are the dark browns. For the longest lasting deck stain these ultra deep tones are the best. These are the kinds of colors you can put on and forget about for a good long time. Toffee and Raisin have proven to last through high altitude, heavy snow, intense sunlight and still protect the flat horizontal, brutally weathered deck boards.
INCREASING PROTECTION BY ADDING RAW COLORANT: Now, keep in mind that the ultra deep tone durability is mostly due to opacity and the fact that we put our deck stains into high density resins not cheap petrochemical poisons like mineral spirits. You can use the Raw Stain Colorant we sell in the Webstore to increase the opacity of any of the other colors as desired. Just squeeze into the can and stir. Stop when you like how it looks. This will increase exterior durability of any of the colors. [This is why we made Wood Assure. Because, it blocks sunlight and resists mold naturally without having to rely on colorant. This means we can have light colors like Natural Pine and Cool Whitewash that hold up to harsh sun exposure.]
MIX N MATCH STAIN SYRINGES: Stain Injection Syringes can be mixed and matched to create any color you desire.
The Best Deck Stain for High Mold / High Sun Conditions
We determine the best deck stain for each project based on many factors, including: climate, wood type, desired look and desired maintenance plan, health concerns, odor sensitivity, chemical sensitivity, budget restrictions, age of wood, method of acclimation, previous coatings, level of prep etc. The full scope of this topic wouldn’t fit here but it may help to look at the two major climate conditions that affect deck stain. High Mold and High Sun. For customized recommendations please see the Ask Earthpaint tool.
HIGH MOLD: Here in Asheville we have a high mold climate. The mountains and trees generate great places for mold to grow. There are many 80F days combined with shade and humidity; the three favorite things of mold. North facing decks tend to have the most mold and algae. The best deck stain to use in high mold is generally the Two Coat Stain System; using Rainforest with some stain and then coating that with Mountain XT until there is a hard washable film. Mountain XT is completely waterproof and mold doesn’t grow in it. It makes the perfect barrier for washing away mold spores year after year. A biannual wash with Earth Clean cleans it up and keeps it looking nice.
Wood Assure 1 and 2 is a great flat deck stain system for high mold areas. It is highly resistant to mold and can be washed with Earth Clean as well. If it wasn’t for the freakishly awesome performance of the cashew resin as a top coat then Wood Assure would be a sure winner for high mold areas. It’s made out of minerals that have historically been used to kill mold. But since washing dirt off a surface is so easy with Mountain XT Clear 00 we will have to rank Wood Assure as a close second in the high mold category. But if you want a flat finish or need to hide unsightly blemishes or or marks in the wood then Wood Assure may be the best deck stain in this scenario.
The two coat deck stain systems get all the glory but our flagship product is no slouch here either. Rainforest Sealer is used in high mold areas. It usually needs to be washed with Earth Clean within about six months. After that first washing it retains a higher degree of mold resistance similar to Mountain XT. And since Rainforest is 82% resin the wood stays fully protected no matter what the weather does and it only takes one coat.
HIGH SUN: If the exposure is South facing without shade then harsh Ultraviolet and Infrared Radiation is sure to wreak havoc on the wood. Any of our deck stains will do well in harsh sun but some provide more protection than others. One coat of Rainforest Sealer or Mountain XT deck stain in Honey or Light Cedar looks natural and stays relatively light and cool in harsh sun. Acorn, Brown Cedar and Fawn are good mid tone colors that block sun well and last a bit longer than the lighter colors. Cinnamon Stick is probably the best color we have right now for harsh sun. It holds its color very well over a long period. Raisin and Toffee last amazing in harsh sun. They do tend to hold more heat which matters most on deck floors. This can be beneficial in ice and snow zones for melting snow faster.
Of all the products Wood Assure provides the most sun blocking ability and can withstand even desert like conditions. Any of the Wood Assure colors will work well but Natural Pine is one of the coolest deck stain colors and can be topcoated with Wood Assure 2 Natural Pine, providing exceptionally high levels of sun resistance.
The Clear 00 System can be gorgeous in harsh sun but since there are some prerequisites it’s best to use the Ask Earthpaint tool and check first. Clear 00 is mostly used on exotic hardwoods, cedar and redwood in high sun areas. These deck wood types can be greatly illuminated and kept from greying for many years with proper maintenance. The verticals and railings last a long time without needing much maintenance but the floor and top rail should be rolled out after the first year to give it a bolstering coat. Lime Clean and sanding is essential prep for this system.
Deck Stain Reminders
Cape Cod Patina or Natural Greying: For a fast grey patina use Never Peel. This takes about 3-6 months depending on sun exposure. Use one coat of clear wood finish (untinted) on Decks and horizontal surfaces to cause a natural patina or grey. This usually takes about a year with Mountain XT. On vertical surfaces one coat of Mountain XT and Rainforest are capable of resisting greying for quite some time but deck floors tend to grey in about a year when stain is not added. If you don't want the wood to grey the Clear 00 System is a two coat system that is capable of keeping the natural color many years or indefinitely without turning grey.
Bolstering a Mountain XT Clear 00 Top Coat: It can be helpful to come back after the first 12-24 months and roll on another coat of Clear 00. Although the wood may look perfect at this point it is a good time to bolster the coating. Wood that is freshly coated tends to settle into its new coating. It dries out slowly and condenses firmly into it's new fully bolstered protected state. At this point it is good to give it a fresh coat to bolster the outer barrier and really seal the deal. This reduces prep in the long run and increases the overall longevity of the Clear 00 topcoat. Washing the surface and brushing on a topcoat goes very fast and uses a relatively small amount of product. We have regularly gotten over 600 sft / gallon when bolstering a Clear 00 Top coat.
PREP: Wash surfaces with Lime Clean Wood and Deck Cleaner. This is a natural, sustainable cleaner made from the mineral lime. It works very well to remove Mill Glaze, Black Mold and Mildew Stains, Algae Stains and prepare exterior wood for staining. Bleach & TSP or Oxalic Acid are similarly strong but Lime Clean is better and less damaging to the Earth.
Oxygen Bleach is fine for brightening wood but in our experience it is not strong enough to prepare wood for coating. Deeply embedded mold spores tend to stay viable and it doesn't seem clear that this deck cleaner is strong enough to kill them.
MOISTURE CONTENT: Water vapor will leave wood slow and even, reducing splitting and warping when one coat of Mountain XT or Rainforest is applied. One coat is breathable. Two or more coats is not. Do not apply two or more coats to wood above 18% moisture content. If you have high moisture content apply one coat this year and in 1-3 years apply one or more coats. This will allow the wood to acclimate in a safe way; dramatically reducing splitting. The
Assure System is unique two coat system that is breathable and has a flat finish.