Saturday, January 25, 2014

One Time Wood Protector for Decks, Boardwalks, Docks, and Marinas

One TIME Wood Protector is unique protection that is a proven long-lasting, low maintenance alternative to conventional wood stains for Docks and Marinas. This unique wood protector eliminates the frequent and difficult maintenance characteristics of most acrylic stains and oil finishes.

There are some good quality oil stains available, but they are still oil stains. Oils dry out in the sun, and have a pretty short life. Harsh chemicals or bleaches are usually required for maintenance. Frequent maintenance after several years can lead to darkening and buildup in many cases. That can lead to the need to strip. That creates a bad situation when we are on docks or boardwalks over water.

We prefer One TIME Wood Protector for docks, decks, logs, and siding when the structure is near water. No harsh chemicals are needed for future maintenance, and One TIME never leads to stripping.

Unfortunately, oil based deck stains generally last about a year or two in heavy sun. Most widely sold oil stains contain linseed oil, which contributes to mildew growth. Oils get dry, then begin to release pigment. Then it holds moisture, and so on..Repeated maintenance coats with oils lead to darkening and eventual stripping. Most oils sell in the $25-$30/ gal range and cover about 100-150 square feet per gallon. Repeated use of oils, most times, will lead to eventual costly chemical stripping at some point.

2. Acrylic and water based stains sound great for the environment. Unfortunately most of the acrylics tend to build a film with repeated maintenance coats as required every couple of years. . Color buildup and eventual spot-peeling lead to the need to strip. Unfortunately, most available deck strippers are not effective at removing failed acrylic stains. Most acrylics sell between $30 and $50 per gal, and coverage ranges from 100-200 square feet per gallon. If you have to strip an acrylic, as many do, it is quite difficult and costly.

These common problems with most stains can be avoided by using One TIME Wood Protector. There is no solvent in One TIME. There is no water in One TIME. Nothing evaporates. All the product stays in the wood. That is why it is expensive. The sun cures the resin into the wood and locks in the pigment for UV protection. One TIME never builds a film, and cannot peel. One TIME sells in the $75-$85/ gal range and covers around 300 square feet per gallon, depending on the surface. One Time requires only a mild detergent wash before recoating every few years. No bleaches or harsh chemicals EVER. The biggest difference between OneTIME and most conventional wood sealers is the longevity between maintenance coats. One TIME yields the lowest cost per year (labor, material) compared to all other products we have tested.

I know we sound biased, but we get hundreds of questions from clients across the country who are getting disappointing results from practically every deck care product you have seen advertised, or sold at the big boxes.

We have never had a client switch from One TIME. We have helped thousands switch to it.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Building and Staining a New Deck

This is part of our “Common Problems/ Better Solutions Series featured at

Please pass this article to anyone you know who is about to stain or paint a wooden deck. You may be ready to stain your own deck. It may be your neighbor. It may be a contractor you are hiring to stain your deck. Why should you care what you, your contractor, or your neighbor uses on his deck?
  Consider this:  The average deck stain available at Home Depot, Lowes, and the national chains last about 1-2 years on most decks. Then you or your neighbor get out the deck stripping and cleaning chemicals that will be rinsed into the ground in your neighborhood. Then they might use a gasoline powered pressure washer to rinse, destroying the peace and quiet of the only Saturday you have had off in weeks. Finish off the day with the noise of a sander, then multiply that by all the decks in your neighborhood, and you have a bunch of pollution and noise on a regular basis. These problems that can be eliminated by using proven solutions featured on the PaintSource Network.

We know what works, and we know what doesn’t from over 20 years experience in wood care. We have used and tested countless wood coatings, and only a few products available  really last. It seems to be a race among some retailers as to who can sell the cheapest per gallon price. Homeowners bear the brunt of these choices in disappointing results, and costly frequent maintenance. Before choosing a wood care product, ask how often it requires re-coating, and what chemicals are involved in the process.

You should consider kiln dried wood, or be sure to dry treated wood for 30 days before
you build your deck. Why would we  build a deck with wet wood, knowing it wants to warp and twist, and split, as it rapidly and uncontrollably dries out once you unbundle it? Read More. Simply order your wood a couple of months before you plan to build your deck. Have it unbundled and re-stacked, allowing air movement between the boards. Use thin wood strips or rack wood, and cover from the sun, best indoors if space allows. Wood can be slowly dried (sometimes with dehumidifier) and is usually dry in about 30 days. 

The bottom side of the board should be sealed
before installation.Backside coating is an important step to get a good looking, low maintenance, low cost deck care solution. If wood is near the ground, and the sun beats down on the top surface, moisture is drawn from the cool ground underneath up through the bottom side of the boards. This causes expansion and contraction of the wood, leads to cupping of the boards, and greatly reduces the long-term performance of any coating. Even elevated decks will absorb moisture through the uncoated backside, even if the lumber is "pressure-treated". More
For new wood, we have found
One TIME can be applied on new wood dried about 30 days, sometimes sooner. Many Stains and wood coatings fail due to original application on wood that is either too wet, or wood that is too polished from the milling process. We like the ability to coat the topside quickly after building the deck to prevent UV damage. Smooth Cedar and Redwood should be weathered a bit before applying One TIME.

If you are building a new deck, get your wood dry before you build, prepare the wood , sand it if it is slick or mil-glazed, choose a proven solution, coat bottom and saw-cuts, install wood, coat the top, and maintain as directed.

If you have a deck with existing failed coating, you will likely need to strip and possibly sand the surface for proper performance of the new stain or coating.

More on Decks:
PaintSource Blog

More on Decks: PaintSource Deck Care Solutions

Wood deck care discussion at PaintSource Radio.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Fall Season - A great time to coat exterior structures

Here is some great wood care advice from our friends at Structures Wood Care.

Fall is the perfect time to coat your outdoor wood projects. The cooler temps make it nice for the applicators and they do not have to be so concerned about the finish flash drying on a surface that is too hot. But more importantly, your wood needs to be protected from the freeze thaw cycles of winter. Wood left unprotected suffers the greatest amount of damage in these winter months. Any cracks or checks in the wood allow water to penetrate into the wood. In the wintertime this moisture freezes and expands by becoming ice crystals. This causes more subsurface damage, making tiny cracks larger and allowing more space for water to penetrate father into the wood, causing more damage.

Your deck, due to the nature of its construction, especially needs protection. The horizontal surface is filled with screw and nail holes allowing moisture to seep in the wood. The enviable snow build up only compounds the problem. NatureColor® Base Coat or NatureOne® will fill in the cracks and nail holes to help keep moisture from penetrating the wood. Structures Wood Care products are formulated to be breathable and flexible, which allow it to contract and expand with your deck.

The painting day in the fall is shorter than in the summer but there are many good painting hours available to take advantage of. Often the morning dew is heavy on the deck. Allow time for the dew to dry off before coating. The temperature when coating should be 50 degrees or more. The alkyd oil product, NatureColor, needs three to four hours dry time before dew or frost occurs. The 100% Acrylic, NatureOne, dries and sets more quickly, and needs only two hours to dry. Structures Wood Care® products are water repellent, flexible, and micro-porous helping to protect the wood and keep it looking beautiful year after year.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Deck Stain Problems

For most homeowners, deck care is frustrating, disappointing, and costly. Common problems include frequent maintenance, cupping and warping of boards, and in some cases wood replacement. Most homeowners have tried various stains that they see advertised or reviewed in consumer publications, and various online sources. Many times these tests are not conducted in a real-world situation, rather in a lab setting. Most stains carried by the national chains and warehouse type outlets lead to a paint-like look that covers the wood to get a high UV resistance rating. Many times these reviews do not take into account the natural beauty of the wood, wear and tear from dogs, kids, furniture, and mother nature.

For truly consistent and satisfactory deck care with enduring beauty, we must start when the deck is being built. Much of the treated lumber used for building decks today arrives at the jobsite containing approximately 60% moisture. This saturated wood dries rapidly leading to warping and cupping and stressing of the fasteners. Once the deck is built it is many times difficult to coat the bottom side of the deck.

When wood is uncoated on the bottom side, it allows moisture to be absorbed, especially if the deck is close to the ground. This moisture will cause expansion and contraction of the boards and in some cases, the moisture must pass through the bottom of the board and out through the top causing problems with the coating or stain on the topside of the board. More

When the deck is built and saw cuts are made we create another tremendous source of moisture intrusion. Saw cuts cannot be sealed once the deck is built. So the solution to this common problem is to get your wood a few weeks before the deck is going to be built, stack it with spacers allowing air movement through the stack allowing the wood to dry slowly before the deck is built. Once the wood is dry, a sealer or waterproof or can be applied to the backside and all saw cuts as the deck is being built. Once construction is completed, the topside of the deck can be stained or sealed or finished with the appropriate product.

We continue to see excellent results in our testing and evaluation of One TIME Wood Protector. One TIME Wood Protector is uniquely different than any other stain or wood finish we have tested.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Common Problems with Deck Care

This article will be most helpful to clients who are building or planning a new deck. It can also be helpful to understand why many common deck care problems occur on existing decks.

Common Problem

It is the nature of wood to absorb and store moisture through natural design. Capillaries and cells of wood are simply nature’s waterways, and when exposed to moisture, dry wood will seek and absorb water. Moisture intrusion into wood is predominately through saw cuts and exposed end grain. In a very simple test, you can take a piece of deck lumber and stand it on end in about an inch of water. Within 12-24 hrs, moisture elevation will be measurable up to 3 feet into the length of the board.

Unsealed end grain leads to a legacy of costly maintenance, and splitting and cupping of deck lumber. As wood dries, it shrinks. Any change in moisture content to various parts of the board will cause expansion and contraction cycles to the wood that lead to cracking and splitting.

Better Solution

Seal all end grain before and during installation.
Seal backside prior to construction, as many times, underside is inaccessible after construction.
If you make a saw cut, re seal the exposed end grain.

Common Problem

Most cupping and splitting is the result of rapid drying of wood, as decks and structures are constructed of wet lumber. The more rapid the wet to dry cycle, the more pronounced splitting and cupping will be. Most of the wood that is used in new construction is high in moisture content, and improperly handling that issue can lead to a lifetime of various deck care issues and costly problems. Since you should not dry wood rapidly in the sun, you should never build a deck out of wet lumber, unless you build a very big tent.

Better Solution

Wet wood must be dried in a controlled fashion, by racking and stacking wet wood for a few weeks prior to construction. Stack your lumber with 1 or 2” spacers between layers, boards 1” away from each other. Even if indoor storage is not available, stack the wood on any flat surface (a couple of wood pallets would do), then spacer the wood for air movement, and cover with blue tarp or other covering. Be sure to stack some weight on top of the stack to keep the drying boards flat. Dry to under 20% moisture range, and you are then ready to pre-coat the back side, followed by end-grain coating as saw cuts are made during construction.

Common Problem

When wood is planed (smoothed) at the sawmill, resin, sap and sawdust is “polished” onto the surface of the wood. This “mill glaze” will repel most wood coatings, and if coated over, can lead to a legacy of maintenance issues. Mil glaze is apparent if you can look at an angle across the wood, and you see a shiny surface.

Better Solution

Do not stain over mil-glazed wood. While mil-glaze can weather off over time, the best approach is to remove by washing, or in some cases, sanding. Wash with TSP or a strong oxygen bleach cleaner and scrub, or sand where appropriate. Sanding is not advised for some treated lumber.

Choosing the best deck care product for your project:

More on new Decks

Check out the before and after here and below. These guys had to work hard to strip and sand to remove the failed finish. What a hassle.

Use One TIME the first TIME. No stripping again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Decks and Porch Flooring

Keeping decks well protected is a big challenge. The wood is in a horizontal position, full of nail holes allowing water to seep into the wood where it will swell, shrink, and warp the wood and stress your stain or coating system. Wood that is inaccessible, such as end grain, can't be properly sealed once the deck is already constructed. Most times, furniture scrapes the surface, people and dogs track grit and mud on it, and Mother Nature takes a toll. The following discussion explains reasons we must consider sanding wood for best results with any stain or finish when wood has been allowed to weather in the elements, or if a previously applied coating has failed. Many times, it is highly beneficial to sand even new wood for a variety of reasons.


Many products available have their own distinct appearance, performance, and application characteristics. The premium wood coatings discussed below are all proven solutions we choose for various specific conditions. Trans Oxide pigments provide the highest level of ultraviolet resistance, and impart a very natural look to the wood. Most of the coating choices outlined below utilize this premium pigment type.

Natural FinishA product we discovered in recent years is One TIME Wood Protector. It is uniquely long-lasting, and is very natural looking compared to many stains available. We believe solvent free One TIME Wood Protector is good choice with respect to environmental issues and ease of maintenance. This is a great choice for docks and severe exposure. It offers beautiful protection with extended easy maintenance procedures. A most unique characteristic and great feature of One TIME is that it is virtually impossible to get lap marks or drip marks due to the unique way the product works on wood. We have coated 1/2 way across a board one day, then coated the second half the next day, and amazingly -NO LAP MARKS. I do not recommend coating this way, but it certainly demonstrates the solution to a problem with most other deck care products.

Satin FinishIf you desire a furniture-like shiny finish, and ventilation is good, and the deck is at least two feet off the ground, and boards can be sealed on the underside, you could consider a thicker film-forming coating like Sikkens Dek Finish . This is a two coat brush applied alkyd protective translucent finish system for exterior wood decking. On properly prepared wood surfaces (sanded and undercoated) this coating gives practically a look of furniture, imparting a varnish like shine while beautifully accentuating grain and color of the wood. This system requires a maintenance coat about every 3 years if in full sun. You need to have the pores of the wood grain open for proper anchoring of the sealer. The first coat preparation is the most important factor in longevity of the entire coating system. This product is suitable if the bottom side of the deck is sealed, and is at least 2 feet off the ground.

For a water-based Satin finish consider Structures Nature One. Structures is a great alternative to oil based varnishes, it looks and performs great, and is environmentally friendly.

If the decking wood is 2 feet or less off the ground, you should consider only a non-film forming wood sealer like One Time. Maintenance for color rejuvenation is generally around 4-5 years, but wood is well protected for several years.

Hardwood DeckingOne TIME is a great solvent free protector offering long lasting protection on hardwood decks. The UV cure is a great feature, since new exotic hardwood exhibits a high oil content which can sometimes interfere with drying and curing of many coatings.(See Video One TIME for Hardwood).

Read more:
Staining Ipe, Mahogany, and other Exotic Hardwood Decks

Porch Flooring
Porch floors are sometimes difficult surfaces to protect, as the softer a coating is, the easier it wears off, but the better it tolerates moisture transfer and wood expansion cycles. Conversely, the harder wearing a coating, the less able it is to handle expansion and contraction of the wood, so most coating choices represent tradeoffs to consider. It is very important to seal the underside of a deck or porch floor. The best method is to seal the bottom side of boards and end grain cuts before construction. If wood is near the ground, and the sun beats down on the top surface, moisture is drawn from the cool ground underneath up through the bottom side of the boards. This causes expansion and contraction of the wood, leads to cupping of the boards, and greatly reduces the long-term performance of any coating.

The product choice for your project should be determined by finding the most suitable product available given your specific project requirements.

Solid Color
For a solid painted look on exterior porch floors, you could consider Sikkens Rubbol Solid DEK, which is a flexible, breathable wood floor coating (not a paint). It looks solid like paint, but performs like a stain--no film to peel. It is breathable and flexible when applied to bare wood.

We choose California Coatings Enduradeck Acrylic Floor Stain System for many projects. The Acrylic makeup gives this coating excellent satin sheen and color retention.. It offers excellent adhesion to properly prepared surfaces that have been previously coated. Enduradeck is flexible and breathable and is a great choice to consider when coating exterior wood decks and flooring.

Previously Coated WoodRegardless of your coating choice, it will still be best to try to strip or sand any old, failed coating. After using strippers, many times wood is "fuzzed" and should be sanded using 3x Sand Paper 80 grit following the stripping process.3x Sand Paper is also designed for coating removal. The paper really does make a difference. Most floor coatings will recommend 80g bare wood sand, but it depends on the coating you choose. We use a Dust Free Palm Sander . If you have sharp corners on boards that could be slightly sanded round, that would be helpful. We always do a final brush vacuum prior to coating application, and actually wipe the surface to insure no dust can interfere with coating absorption and adhesion.


Sanding opens the pores of wood to accept stain, and also removes loose or deteriorated wood fiber that generally leads to premature coating failure and poor results. Sanding can also be utilized to blend or remove remaining stain after the deck stripping process. Even NEW Wood usually needs sanded due to "mill-glaze" resulting from the Planing Process , which compresses wood fiber, and "polishes" new wood making coating penetration virtually impossible. New wood should be sanded to remove possible mill glaze, or to remove grayed wood fiber if deck has weathered unprotected during the drying process. Sanding will always increase the adhesion and performance of your coating system.

For potentially dangerous sanding dust, use paper disposable dust collection bags, and dispose of properly. Use only vacuum capturing sanders, and sweep and wipe clean all surfaces immediately after sanding. Pets and family should not be exposed to sanded surfaces until wood is sealed and protected.

Please visit us at for valuable information BEFORE you build your deck. Wood must be back and end-grain coated for optimal performance.