Searching for deck stain? Consider ARBORCOAT

Can of ARBORCOAT from Benjamin Moore

If you have a wood deck that you are planning on staining, you may want to think about using Benjamin Moore’s ARBORCOAT exterior stain. While there are many deck stains on the market there is nothing quite like ARBORCOAT. This stain is a water-borne acrylic based product, and comes in a two-component set. This means that two coats are required: one coat of stain, and one coat of finish. The first coat provides the actual stain while the second coat seals in the stain and protects it from graying, mold and mildew, and weathering.

ARBORCOAT deck stain is especially good at repelling mold, mildew, and algae, due to its use of zinc oxide. Another signature feature is its resistance to graying. This stain really keeps its color for years, and is great to us if you have experienced graying in the past. Since it is acrylic-based, the end result may have a bit of a “plastic” look, so be aware of that before beginning.

Gather The Right Materials

Before starting out, we recommend that you make sure that you have all the tools and materials you are going to need. Whether to use paint brushes or rollers really depends on the size of your deck and personal preference, but we would recommend using rollers for large areas and brushes for cutting-in on edges and railings.

Another tip is to purchase some Benjamin Moore paint extender and mix it in with the coating. This will keep the stain wet a bit longer, and keep it from showing lines when it dries. For ARBORCOAT stain this is especially important, and you may end up with lap lines if you do not use it. Obviously the speed at which the stain will dry is dependent on the weather and humidity, so you are going to see faster dry times on a hot dry day than a cold humid one.

Preparing Your Deck For Staining

You’ll want to make sure that your deck has aged for at least 12 months before staining. Some people think cedar decks can be stained right away, but we recommend always allowing your wood to thoroughly dry out.

Starting out with the prep-work, you will want to make sure that bare wood is exposed. If there is a pre-existing coat of stain on the wood, you will need to remove it with a combination of stripping, sanding, and power-washing. We would recommend using a high-PSI power washer to wash dirt and grime off first, careful not to damage the wood. Start out the sanding process with a coarse grit sandpaper to remove the large imperfections, then switch to a finer grit to really smooth it out.

An improperly prepared deck may not allow the stain to stick to it or penetrate at all. This means that you will quickly see the stain start to peel and crack. Taking the time to prepare the wood greatly increases the chances of the stain penetrating and leaving a lasting impression on the wood.

Apply the stain smoothly and evenly

Once the wood is ready, you can start applying the deck stain. Apply it smoothly and evenly. Remember that any imperfections will quickly show up once the stain dries. Make sure that it is applied totally evenly. For large flat surfaces, use a roller for quick applications. Also be aware that the stain will start to dry quickly after being applied, so don’t lollygag once you have started.

After the stain is applied in a smooth, even coating, you can apply the final protective clear coat. This should be applied just like the stain was, smoothly, evenly, and quickly. Allow time for the clear coat to finish. Once again, any imperfections will be more visible once the coating dries. Furthermore, imperfections in the protective coating can create weak spots in the defense of your deck, allowing a spot for peeling to start, or for mold to start growing.

For further information be sure to take a look at this video Benjamin Moore put together:

If you have any questions about ARBORCOAT deck stain, or need advice on your deck staining project feel free to contact us.

Exterior Paint Buying Guide

When working on an exterior painting project, choosing the right paint is crucial. It may not always be obvious, but the paint used is directly proportional to how long it is going to last. Choosing the wrong paint usually means having to repaint again just after winter or summer destroys your work. In today’s post, we are going to cover a bit of the basics about how to choose the right exterior paint for your project, and how to make sure that it not only looks great, but protects the materials that you are painting on, and resists the weather’s attempts to fade and peel the paint. Remember, when buying exterior paint there is more consider than simply choosing the paint colour.

Oil-Based vs Water-Based

The first choice that presents itself is whether to choose a water-based paint, or an oil-based paint. Water-based paints, such as acrylic or latex paint, contain a pigment and binder in a water solution. These paints dry much faster, and are not flammable. Water-based paints also retain their color for a much longer time than other paints, and are breathable, so they do not trap any moisture inside of the coating. They also boast a more glossy finish than oil-based paints.

Oil-based paints, like an alkyd paint, are used when surface penetration is a key goal. They are usually composed of a pigment with a resin contained in a solvent thinner. After application, the thinner evaporates, and leaves behind a hard coating of pigment. Downsides here are that it takes a bit longer to dry, however it does leave a smoother finish, with less imperfections and better flow.

Finishes and Sheens

The next question arises when choosing the sheen, or finish. The sheen can be flat, glossy, or satin, or a mixture of a couple of different types. Choose a flat sheen for walls and fences. This will cover up any imperfections in the wood or wall that would normally be visible with a glossy sheen. Flat finishes do tend to be harder to clean, so be aware of that.

A glossy sheen will be a lot easier to clean, while being shiny and quite resistant to weathering. These are usually chosen for outdoor furniture, doors, window sills, and the like. Satin finishes are slightly glossy and good for most surfaces; they are also easy to clean and they tend to hide imperfections like a flat paint does.


Choosing a proper primer for your job depends mostly on the material being painted on, and the paint that is going to be applied over the primer. Primers are also made in both oil-based and water-based varieties. An oil-based primer can be used with either oil or water-based paint, however, a water-based primer is only recommended for use with a water-based paint. Always make sure to prime surfaces such as wood, or other stripped and bare surfaces before applying paint.

Priming a surface will allow the paint to adhere much better and last a lot longer. Be aware that there are specific types of primers used depending on the surfaces, such as wood primer, steel primer, et cetera. Some paints are actually paint and primer in one so that you don’t need to worry about choosing a primer. These are great, however, for most jobs, it’s recommended to use a separate primer coating.

In closing, there are many different formulas of paint, primer, and in-between. The one you choose should reflect the surface and location of your project. Be aware that a good exterior paint will also protect your surface materials from weather damage, and won’t peel or crack as easily. Good paints also tend to keep their color much longer, with less fading.

So remember, there is much to consider when buying exterior paint and it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional at your local paint store before making your final decision.