B A C K

NOT ALL STAINS ARE THE SAME: HOW TO PICK A STAIN BASED ON THE APPLICATION

Eco Chemical is considered a specialty coating company, but we like to call ourselves an applications engineering company, too. What that means is that we formulate our product specifically for the application it will be used for.

In the world of wood, there are three main applications for stain: deck surfaces, pressure treated lumber (PTL), and fence boards. Within each vertical there are different specifications to meet, such as environmental restrictions, quantity, and performance. We adjust our formulation accordingly to create the best product for a price our customers are willing to pay.

A great way to think of it is as if you were buying a jacket for the different seasons. In the winter, you’re going to want a thick, warm coat (at least here in the Northwest). Even though those jackets cost more money, you understand that a winter jacket has to meet a higher performance standard, so you shell out the extra bucks. But for spring and fall you’d probably want to invest in a rain jacket, and for summer you’ll buy a cheaper, light coat for when it gets cold at night.

Essentially, you’re paying for what you need from your jacket, and for each of those seasons, your needs change. Though they all may keep you warm to some degree, you wouldn’t show up to a 4th of July Barbeque in a down coat, nor would you want to wear your summer jacket in a snowstorm.

The same can be said for stain applications. Just as the seasons require jackets with different qualities, treated wood applications need various amounts of protection from UV (sunlight), exposure, moisture, and abrasion.

We formulate each of our stains to reflect these differences by varying qualities and quantities of pigments, resins, and other ingredients.

The chart below illustrates the basic differences between our three broad stain product formulations according to the intended use of each:

chart

Deck Surfaces

Decks are typically subject to the greatest stress from sun exposure, standing moisture, and abrasive wear from furniture and foot traffic. In other words, decks are the winter of wood. That’s why we develop Eco Deck Stain with a greater concentration of high quality iron oxide pigments that don’t fade. We also add more of the best quality acrylic resins to ensure sufficient film thickness and durability to stand up to abrasion and water damage.

Pressure Treated Framing Lumber

The stain appropriate for pressure treated lumber (PTL) is like a rain coat. PTL, like decking, is subject to severe moisture, and there is a risk of high UV exposure. However, most pressure treated lumber is used in framing and eventually is protected by some cover, such as decking. Our stain formula for PTL takes these factors into account in addition to including certain ingredients and formula features to guarantee our stains are compatible with the variety of preservative chemicals used in the pressure treating process.

Fence Boards

Fence boards usually need less protection from exposure to sunlight, standing water or surface abrasion. Our fence stain formula takes advantage of these factors, requiring less pigment and resin, resulting in lower ingredient costs and greater initial concentration – the summer jacket. We’ve brought the binder/pigment relationship as low as we can while still giving a pigment that will adhere to the board better or as well as any other low-cost fencing stain designed for the high-speed production line. This allows for greater eventual dilution at the working solution stage.

Are you looking to stain? Then the first question you need to ask yourself is, “What am I trying to accomplish?” If you wouldn’t buy a down coat to wear in the summer, then why buy a stain you don’t need? Give us a call and our stain experts will walk you through options and come up with a formulation that’s just right for your application.