Painting Tips by a Professional

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Spray Wood Stain: Zero-Maintenance Deck Stain Treatment

I’m personally happy to share this a once-in-a-lifetime deck treatment that I put on my own deck. As a professional painter, I’ve learned to avoid taking deck jobs: it’s hard work. With this eco-green-chemical change to your wood, you’ll have time for more important things!

What does a professional painter want in deck protection? To never have to do it again! One and done baby. Wow, a no-maintenance deck treatment. I’m so happy that my paint store buddy recommended this to me—I had no idea of the existence of this type of one-time-only spray wood stain.

You want this for your deck, Luke Skywalker. This is the droid you are looking for. The force is strong in this deck treatment. It’s more than stain—it’s not really a true ‘stain’, just better, Master Yoda.

The spray wood stain that I used

Eco Wood Treatment,  is a once-in-a-lifetime preservative: low effort, low cost, great protection. Really, there is no downside, except maybe that colors are limited to 4. I sprayed it with this insecticide sprayer. I wrote an entire post about using pump sprayers for stains: it’s tricky for ‘real’ stains.

Eco Wood comes as a powder that you mix with water, then either spray or roll/brush. Below we discuss applying it. No-brainer: spray it. Like gray (“Silvery Patina”)? Don’t use any tints.

Choose packet size on this page:

  • One gallon (perhaps a 10 x 10 front porch stoop)
  • We got enough to make 5 gallons: we have a party-sized deck. It comes in multi-packs too.
  • Colors: see below.

I view this type of deck treatment as being like the factory green/brown “pressure treated” wood treatment. A remarkable story on this treatment in my short video at the bottom.

My deck after stain treatment

This photo shows my deck just after treatment (Silvery Patina non-color): we had a 20-year-old deck of the ‘green’ pressure treated wood that was totally faded but still tight. You can see where we had a knot fall out some years ago and how I replaced it with a plug of the green treated lumber. In the photo at the top, it has aged 2 years: looking good.

The only reason to re-treat after some years would be if the color fades and you want to refresh it. The wood is protected forever.


Color choices for this spray wood stain

spray wood stain on scrap of wood
Here you see where some spray wood stain got on some scrap wood: this shows how this wood changes color in “Silvery Patina”, that is the non-color.

 


EcoWood Treatment has come out with several color versions since I did my deck. It’s based on the same powder that you mix with water, but it comes with a bottle of dye you mix with the solution. The colored version is not supposed to be used on surfaces you walk on, but it can be used on all other outdoor wood. Sort of a deal-breaker for me.

  • Slivery Patina (no pigment added)
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Red 

I used the non-color version: Silvery Patina, the one with no dye included (you see this product in their video). In my video (see below) you can see what it does to wood very clearly. My 2nd video below looks at the 4 colors.

Looking for Redwood Stain? I doubt the red is like the ever-popular redwood deck stain, but email them to find out: excellent response time.

What convinced me to try it? Parks Canda uses it on many outdoor structures and walkways, and other cities are doing the same. That means a lot. 

Also, it’s not expensive. 

In the company’s website FAQ, they say it will:

“actually increase its effectiveness as it ages. Eco Wood Treatment will migrate with cracking and checking in order to penetrate newly exposed wood. It will not cause the wood to crack nor create checking in the wood.”

I asked in an email, as I made my decision about trying it about re-application. The rep at EcoWoodTreatment wrote:

“Hi Brad, it does not come off..it stains the wood–rather than just coating it… The colors will slowly fade away after 5 or so years and may need to be reapplied.”

So that sounded very honest to me. They seem to honestly say that the color may fade, but the protection is permanent.

Best to spray it

I applied it with this insecticide sprayer. Using this as a deck stain sprayer is the way to go since it can be kept at a low pressure (pump it less). Much more control.

If you want a big-boy sprayer, the real McCoy, read our post about sprayers for DIY people.

Working man spraying a deckKey tip with all sprayers; keep the tip wet when using and be very clean when storing. Submerge the tip in a can of water when taking a break and blow out air for a long time when totally done. Don’t let anything but clear water dry up in the tip and it will last for years. Mine has. You can spray wood stain or paint as well, of course, but the cleaning is a bit harder.


In my professional opinion, Eco Wood Treatment is the best deck sealer for some key reasons:

  1. Non-toxic (even use inside)
  2. Very long-lasting
  3. Easy to mix and spray
  4. Decking oil and other types of spray wood stain need re-application forever, what that wha?

In the video from their site, the fellow makes only one claim that I found to be not-so-true.

He says that the dried film on windows is easy to remove. Well, I let it dry without wiping and the film was very difficult to remove from glass. I had to scrape very hard with a wet rag and razor blade. Slow work. I should not have let it dry, duh. Have rags and a bucket of water handy.

As with any deck stain or deck treatment you spray, protect with a hand masker that dispenses a film of plastic. I mostly use it to mask with paper. See me demo this tool in this video.

I actually invented this masker in my mind in 1977: I just cannot prove it!!

When you get the paper or plastic along your line, just tack the loose ends down with painter’s tape.


Wood deck recently spayed with stainMake sure Eco Wood it will work for you: It works only with either brand new lumber or old lumber that has no paint or sealer, or has had the old paint etc., totally removed.

Another issue is pressure-treated lumber

Factory treatment may have affected the ability of this type of wood treatment to actually wet the wood surface.

Test it: Before buying and applying the product, sprinkle water on the new pressure-treated wood as a test. If the water beads up, then there’s too much water repellency for Eco Wood Treatment (or any deck stain treatment) to work. Just wait until natural weathering occurs and the water does not bead up. That may take a year.

How long does wood stain take to dry compared to this? This stuff absorbs and dries like a quick rain shower. Oil-based wood stain takes hours, but that’s expected.

Can I brush it? Yes, use a deck stain brush: very wide to cover lots of area at once. You want a quality staining brush as the bristles fall right out of the ‘budget’ ones. Here is a 6-inch brush that can be attached to a broomstick, Hilda.

Keep a good brush clean (read how) and comb the bristles straight to dry—it will literally last for generations. The wide 6″ does go a lot faster. Still, I love the old 9-inch roller and Purdy brush (see our tools post for the complete list.)


Competitors for ‘lifetime’ spray wood stains:

Valhalla Lifetime Wood Treatment: about the same price as above. They seem to make all of the same claims as Eco Wood above, but I cannot vouch for it.

TallEarth has Eco-Safe Wood Guard that I have not tried but seems to be much like the Eco Wood Treatment above. It seems to darken all woods (from the reviews). This product is often unavailable. Like EcoWood it comes at least 2 sizes (1-, 3-gallon mix packets) but in only one silver/brown/aged color.


So before you go to DecksDirect to start replacing parts or all of your deck, you can certainly extend your deck’s life this way.

Related:
Before starting, be sure to have all the painter tools that you could ever need!

How to Stain a Deck Quickly, the Right Way

How to Paint a Deck With One Big Timesaving Tip

Best Deck Paint (with a Big Word of Caution)

Best Deck Stain and Sealer: Complications Simplified

Paint or Stain Deck? (bonus: Deck Restore Products That Don’t Work)

Questions about any type of spray wood stain? Use the comments below. Thanks!

Brad’s deck stain treatment after 1 year.

Video story about the power of the dark side (pressure-treated wood):

79 thoughts on “Spray Wood Stain: Zero-Maintenance Deck Stain Treatment”

  1. Would this stuff be good on my 10 year old pt deck that I just pressure washed and cleaned up? Or is it meant for new decks

    Reply
    • Definitely good for your old deck. As long as the wood grain is not blocked with previous stain/sealer/paint, you are good to go. I used a garden sprayer: look into the hand masker on the Everything Deck page: it protects glass etc, but you can also wipe it off. Best not to let it dry…the film is pretty tough once totally dry.

      Reply
  2. Hi there, I have two questions about the Eco Wood Treatment:

    1) Should I still use the Fresh Start primer? (My deck is nearly 30 years old, gets a lot of direct sun, and is pretty beat up.)
    2) I don’t love the color availability and it sounds like anything other than the Silvery Patina is not for foot traffic which is 95% of my deck is foot traffic, no rails etc… That being said, can I use it for its protection, then use another stain or paint over it for color?

    Reply
    • Hi. No, the primer is just for doing paint later. The ECO wood is a stain…no other first step other than cleaning and letting it dry.
      I know what you mean about the foot traffic: I conversed with the Rep and he said that in time, you’d spray another coat… time would vary, but think every few years… maybe every 5. And it costs what? about 15 per gallon…so still my favorite deck treatment by far. Good luck!

      Reply
    • Hi Paul. Curious about your outcome? I too have an old deck probably 20+ years and it’s never been stained or painted. I think it’s just old pressure treated wood but for the most part I think it’s still structurally sound. We will replace a few boards and then considering using this product on it.

      Did you use this and if so were you happy with it? Would love to see pictures if so 🙂
      Thanks,

      Tracy

      Reply
      • Hi Tracy, I didn’t end up using the product. I wasn’t thrilled with the lack of color selection and the fact that for any of the ‘colors’ it’s apparently not supposed to have foot traffic. The wood on our deck is so old, I cleaned/stained it to try and get 2-3 more years out of it, then will probably have it replaced.

        Reply
    • Hi. No, you are done. It does not seem lik emuch but it’s penetrated…that’s all there is to it. If you like, let us all know your method and any photos you have I could post. –Brad

      Reply
  3. Hi, My two porch floors are mostly original boards. The house was built in the 1850s, I think the wood is spruce / fir? Can I use this product? Looks like a good option. Less expensive than oil based primer + two coats of stain.
    Do I have this right?

    And good news for me — Actually, the silvery patina could work well for the color scheme. Thanks for a great website full of advice!

    Reply
    • Hi. If you mean ‘original’, as in never been treated or coated, or if the grain is open and porous, yes, you can. If not, you can sand down to ‘raw’ wood and apply the Eco-Wood. I have the Silvery Patina on my deck walking surfaces and railings etc, and I’m very happy.

      Reply
      • Hi Brad,

        Thank you for the amazing tips, it is highly apreciated.

        I am looking for this eco wood treatment/stain for a shed exterior wood siding and I am unable to find any website where it is sold. I’d be interested in the colored version, which seems harder to find.

        Where do you get yours? Amazon don’t seem to carry it right now. I haven’t emailed the company for retailers yet but their site doesn’t seem like one where you can purchase items.

        Thanks!

        Reply
  4. Brad, I have an unusual request. Would any of these products work on an old fiberglass door that has become hairy? I’m thinking it would be less expensive to send the hair off then spray with a thick textured coating of some kind rather than replacing the panels or the whole door. we are on a tight budget preparing my mother’s home for selling out of her estate. The garage door is a corrugated fiberglass door about 25 years old. Any opinion or direction you could give would be appreciated. (Name, phone number and location removed by Brad for security of readers)

    Reply
    • Hi. I don’t know about fiberglass, but if it’s basically trash now, why not spend a little money on paint and try to save it? Sure.
      Use Stix primer great bonding which is what you need, and yes, sand sand sand. Start with maybe 80 and go down to 150 or so… Myabe 220 is too fine, and not necessary.
      I know you have a tight budget, but don’t use just any primer. You will sell and it will be out of your hair, but it’s not nice to leave new owners with problems. You could be honest and say, it’ needs replacing some day, but it’s ok for some years with a great paint job.
      No, don’t use texture. Use exterior caulk to fill gaps and good exterior paint. Doors are usually semi-gloss. Good luck.

      Reply
  5. Brad,
    Great, informative, website! I am currently building a new large deck and am trying to decide between composite decking, treated wood, or cedar. I found your post very helpful. I prefer to go the wood route and stain it and am very interested in the Eco Wood stain. We like the darker colors (brown and black). We found a slate colored composite that looks very nice. Our deck is 24’w x 28′ deep with part of it 18’x16′ area covered with a roof that we are going to turn into a four seasons room in a couple of years. If we dont use composite, we are looking at using an AC2 “Cedartone” (brown) treated decking and would like to apply a stain/preservative/sealer to it. I assume we would need to wait until next spring to do this, right or should we do it before winter? We live in the mid-west. If we use the EcoWood stain, can we mix the black and brown to give it a varigated look? What would you recommend we do to preserve the wood with a decent color right away and for the future? Or should we just bite the bullet and buy the composite?

    Reply
    • Hi That’s a good question. As long as the wood has had time to cure, it’s ok to satin: in general. Ask the people you bought the wood from to be sure and then add some months. You can check how it absorbs water on a dry day to get a feel for it.
      Not sure about the variegated look… on thin ice I think. Please write directly to my contact: [email protected] … use my name. He replies same day usually. I would not try to preserve the color: just let it fade and re-do more brown or whatever color you like when it fades… I think putting anything over this Eco stain is a mistake and certainly unnecessary. You only need to re-do for freshening the color: the wood is protected.
      Good luck,
      B
      PS, good to stay away from TREX. I recently learned that while it lasts a long time, it does not support much weight and can sag if overloaded. Read more: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/trex_composite_decking.html
      Besides, there is enough plastic in the world! I just read that every single bit of plastic ever made is still in existance. Wow.

      Reply
  6. So I built a play set for my kids 6 months ago with treated wood. I’m looking to cover it in a sealant or something that is safe and non toxic and obviously cover up the pressure treated wood. Would this be a good sealant? I almost bought the AgraLife Lumber sealant instead, however it states it must be used with a stain afterwards. What do you recommend?

    Reply
    • Good that you did your homework. I would say yes, you can use the EcoWood but you have to let the lumber cure… I think it’s several months. Then choose your color and it will look stained. This stain will be just for color though, as the pressure treated lumber is already protected and will last for decades without treatment.

      Reply
  7. Just curious – their website says not for use on decks. Have you heard why they say that if so many people seem to have success with it on decks?

    Reply
    • Yes, we got on them for that: they should have re-printed that by now! They know it’s a mistake. They intended to say that for walking surfaces, sometimes called “the deck”, the color will wear off faster and need refreshing. That’s if you use a color. I used no color aka Silvery Patina. The weathered look.
      Go for it!

      Reply
  8. Hi Brad, we have some cedar fencing that we stained last year using Penofin. It is already beginning to look “faded” so we are considering re-doing it, though my biggest concern is preserving the wood rather than the appearance. Is there anything we would need to do to the wood prior to applying this product? Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Hey Brad! I’ve read many of your posts and I’m sold on the Eco treatment. That said, I am unfortunate to have purchased a home that used deck-over paint. I have removed 50% of it by scraping and sanding. Also- I doubled the size of my deck with brand new decking. My question is this: is there any reason not to use ECO treatment on the entire deck, with the understanding that when the remaining Deck-over peels off I will have to retreat those areas?

    Reply
    • Hi. I think not. Obviously, the new Eco stain will not have any effect on the areas where you leave paint, but so what? You’ll get them later. Before going forward, think about a pressure washer with a rotating tip (this tip prevents gouges in the wood). It really removes paint fast. Cleans the car too. But put lots of drop cloths around because the paint chips really fly far. Do some testing. Then, when dry you’ll be able to stain more and have less to do later.
      Yes, you’ll treat the now painted areas later when that paint falls off which it is want to do. You’ll suffer with it for a while, but when it’s all finally gone, you’ll drink a beer and listen to your buddies complain about scraping every 5 years!
      Good luck.
      Ps there is also the grinder option: I use… well, let’s be honest… I USED to use it to remove paint. WHat a terrible task, but really effective. The tool is on this page under Painting Prep: https://www.bradthepainter.com/category/best-painting-tools/

      Reply
  10. Hi Brad
    My husband and I are scrambling to agree on which stain product is best for our pressure treated cedar wood deck at the Wasaga Beach cottage. We just found out that TWP stain has pesticides in it and want to avoid any stain with pesticides in it.
    Our son had Leukemia when he was 18mths old and so we want to be extra careful with what we choose.
    We’ve been told we can use burnt linseed oil but my husband seems to think that we would have to re apply the following year and may not look as good as a cedar color stain.
    Do you service Wasaga Beach? Are you able to give a free estimate at 837 Eastdale Drive? I have cleaned the wood on Saturday/not sanded. We just want to get it done with safe ingredients.
    I appreciate any help in suggesting what we can use that is not harmful to our young boys especially when flip flops are not always worn on the deck…lol
    I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

    Reply
    • Hi. I’m not in your area, but I think I can ‘feel your pain’ as has been said.If I understand correctly, you have never added anything to the treated lumber, and it has aged somewhat.Good.It should age before you add color. You never need any treatment, but if you want to add color, and add rot protection, use the EcoWood stain I used. It’s a powder you mix. Totally natural and one treatment is for life…but the color may fade esp. where you walk. So your re-treat for color whenever you need it. I used the non-color version which is an aged gray look…and I’m done for life!Good luck.

      Reply
      • Hi. Aura has way more solids thus the bigger price…but it can cover in one coat even in the dreaded reds. I’ve used Natura a lot too, and the only diff. seems to be that Aura covers better. Be aware that if you tint your paint, the tints can have VOCs so they go from zero to low VOC.
        Yes at Mile High, you don’t have much mold and those gorgeous winters, ah.
        Last point is that after drying the VOCs are almost gone, then after it cures…about 3 weeks in summer… totally gone.
        If you are not a pro, use Natura. If you prefer Aura, it may seem to thick, so just thin with a bit of water. Careful if you thin: do 1/2 gallon at a time until you get ratio.
        Good luck,
        b

        Reply
  11. Hi Brad,was this photo here of your deck using the original Eco wood silver patina one or the one with the added stain that they came out with later on?I’m trying to get the silver gray like you have here in the picture on new rough cut pine boards that we are putting on a new barn and not sure which to get…the original silver patina or the one with the added gray stain….i don’t want it too dark but don’t want it to look just white-washed either…what you have here is what i am looking for

    Reply
    • Hi. Yes, this was the original color, before I knew about, or before they came out with colors. But you won’t get the same unless your wood was exposed as long as mine with no treatment: it’s green pressure treated wood. But you would get something close to it.
      So yes, buy the original: add no tint.
      Thanks for writing…ask anything else.
      b

      Reply
  12. We bought a home that has two connected decks in the back that the previous owner painted with Olympic Rescue It! I think the color is terrible and my husband wants to repaint. From what I’m seeing in your site we will not be able to paint over that product. Do we need to scrape all of it off? Can we use a different color of rescue it and have it bond? It does not appear to be peeling or bubbling (fortunately). Would a pressure washer get rescue it off or do we need to buy an angle grinder? I love the Eco product you used and think the brown would look great. I don’t mind re-spraying areas if the color fades.

    Reply
    • First of all, my condolences on having to remove all this. Yes, there is no other way. But on the good side, some of it will still be tight to the wood and you can leave it. It will become loose over the years and you take it off as if is ready to fall off.
      It’s a mess, but it’s better than trying to pry the bonded paint loose. That stuff is paint by the way. It’s very very thick paint. All these products have turned out to be a bad marketing idea. They don’t work.
      I would not try to put anthing over it as it just adds to the misery.
      Having said that, if you can get it all off in one go, it’s one year of pain.

      So, once you get that stuff off, you start fresh. If you want to paint…be forewarned, paint will also someday let go and you’ll be scraping and repainting. It’s life. But I like the once per lifetime stain you see on this page above.

      In order to use the EcoWood stain treatment, you’ll need to have the wood clean, so go with a pressure washer. As I wrote many times on this site, the rotating tip is key. Read more here.
      If you don’t get all the goop paint ‘rescue’ stuff off thinking you’ll get it later when it comes loose, just save a bit of the stain mix for that time. Keep your powder dry, as they say.

      Ok, if I did not answer fully, just let me know.
      Brad

      Reply
  13. Several years ago, we used the eco treatment on our new house siding and a fence and loved how they turned out – like beautiful old barn siding with a lovely patina. We recently built a new barn and thought we’d try the red eco stain. Sadly, we now have a pink barn. Too bad. Do you know if you can use a paint or stain over the eco stain product? It has been almost a year since we applied the red eco stain. I also emailed the company directly. Thanks!

    Reply
  14. Brad if the original (Silvery Patina) contacts (overspray, etc.) painted wood, will the painted wood color be affected? I’ve primed (Kilz Premium) and painted my deck handrails white with Behr Porch and Floor product and was curious if I need to take any specific precautions before staining the deck itself.

    Reply
    • I got it on some window glass and on some stone and some painted areas. The glass shows a film so there is a film on everything except where it is absorbed. I have no worries about color of paint changing, but you will want to rinse any siding or glass etc asap. Don’t let it dry for days like I did!

      Reply
  15. What kind of prep do you need to do before applying eco wood treatment? I have a 2 year old pine fence. The wood was treated before the fence was built but other than that we haven’t applied anything to it. Does the temperature, humidity, or weather matter when applying?

    Reply
    • If you don’t have rot or any bad mildew etc, just a pressure-washer and let dry very well. I recall the instructions say that it should not rain on it until dry, but it absorbs and dries fast.
      Pick a dry spell for sure. Humidity: no worries.
      Good luck!
      Brad
      send pics and I’ll post!

      Reply
      • It’s in good shape. The fence company told us to wait a year and then seal it. We probably should’ve done something with it last year but I couldn’t decide what to use on it. I read somewhere that using this on pine may not provide adequate preservation although I didn’t see that anywhere on the company’s website. I did try to email them too but they didn’t respond. I’m assuming they’re out of the office right now. What are your thoughts on this? Have you used it on pine? Have you been using it a long time to have seen how it does over time?

        Reply
        • I used it 2 years ago on my very old deck. I guess the only real test is to put on ‘new’ wood and wait 30 years ha ha.
          But I have confidence in it.
          If you can find that pine reference, please send me the link? I have not heard this before.
          It may be that new pine is very wet… It also may have to do with the oils in pine. Still, this stain absorbs and should protect from rot.
          I’ll write to my rep with the company and let you know if I learn anything worth telling you about.
          B

          Reply
          • https://www.harmlesssolutions.co.nz/eco-wood-treatment.html

            Here is the link for the site that said that. It’s in the FAQs section, at the bottom of the page, 3 questions down. Thanks for your help. I am going to use it regardless at this point but I’m just a little skeptical and worried about it truly being no maintenance and being protective. It helps to see that professionals, like yourself, use it as well as the Canadian government.

          • Its a chemical found in nature…where I have no idea….that prevents rot. It does not prevent water from getting in, but the alternative is to try to encapsulate all that wood with no cracks to keep the water out? there is just no way. So this was my solution.
            I have a 20..well now 23 year old deck… just used this 3 years ago. Seems fine so far, but it’s green pressure treated and that by itself is great.
            No deck is forever…people say 20 years. But that seems way too short to me.
            The upside: no re-coating every 5 years… no scraping, washing… blah blah blah. It’s such a pain to do that over and over and I’m not sure stains and paint add that many years. Water gets in and rots the wood anyway.
            Best of luck,
            b

  16. Hi Brad
    We have two large decks at our cabin. We built this three years ago and still wondering what to use on the decks.

    The siding is light grey with yellow trim

    Do you have any videos of the colours in Ecowood treatment to show me?

    I do like the natural grey but I feel it will drag the look of the cabin

    And do I need to pressure wash before applying this treatment?

    And lastly, where can I buy this product as I live in Newfoundland. Not sure if any stores here carry it

    Reply
    • You can buy it via Amazon on this page above. Find the page that offers the various colors.
      I think the best thing is to buy some to test. Select the color or test with a combination of colors and give the stain a day to come to it’s color.
      They have yellow, but maybe add some red to bring it to a more brown/yellow.

      Reply
  17. Hi Brad – Have you heard of anyone having used Eco Wood Treatment at least five years ago on a cedar deck? Everyone seems to talk about the colour but I really want to know about the condition of the wood. Does this product really preserve the wood? Can you wash food stains off? Anything else they may have noticed? Thanks very much.

    Reply
    • No idea about food. It’s not really a protectant. It aborbs, dries and then the wood cannot rot. People understand that the color changes and they accept that. On cedar, no, nobody has written. I know it turns gray unless you add the tint then it changes accordingly. My advice is to buy a small amount and do some testing.
      Good luck.
      B

      Reply
  18. Brad,
    I’m really interested in trying this Echo wood stain on my dad’s deck. If I understand correctly, we can apply a color, but it might fade over time, resulting in us perhaps choosing another application to refresh the color.

    I’m wanting to know if there is any product you could suggest to give “slip-grip” because we are looking for safety with this area also.

    Thank you in advance!
    Angie

    Reply
    • Yes it fades, but that is not on my list of worries. Less work is the main thing if it’s protected and it is, for life. Note: if it’s new (wet) wood, let it dry out for a year to be safe before applying anything.
      So for the deck, you cannot use eco stain and any kind of non-slip additive like silica which is what I like. I just did a ramp with a regualr outdoor paint and added silica. See this post on how to make your own or buy it and how to apply. But that’s only possible with paint, not stain. Opaque stain is paint so that works, but if it’s going to be used in a heavy traffic area, go with a good outdoor deck paint and add silica.
      I like the Sure Step on this post.
      Hope the wait was worth this answer! Let me know if not.
      B

      Reply
  19. Hey Brad, thanks for the detailed info. Wondering if this stuff can be used on fencing that makes ground contact. I am thinking about an untreated pine privacy fence or pallet fence for cost reasons, but I don’t want my wood to rot away. The fence needs to be in contact with the ground, will have grass in contact etc. I will cap the top to keep direct rain off of the end grain, but the bottom is a trouble spot.
    Also I’m looking at this for other ground contact applications such as combining with shou sugi ban. Will this do the trick or is this only for wood that gets a chance to dry and/or shed water like decking and siding? Thank you!

    Reply
    • How will you keep the water off the end? Cap? I don’t know what that might look like, but I’d like to see. Can you share a link?
      I know pressure treated wood is expensive, and how, but I have a deck with the old arsenic type and some was in contact with moistre for 20 years and looks fine.
      I don’t know if Eco Wood can do this. IT’s for bugs and rot. Think again about press. treated for the members in ground contact, and then stain the rest to match?
      It will all go blah color in a few years anyway.
      Good luck,
      B

      Reply
  20. Hey Brad, great article on this stuff. I just purchased some to use on a new wood picnic table I’m finishing up. The eco wood site says that any water based sealer can be used over this, have you had any experience in using a sealer over this stuff yet? I’m not sure it’s necessary (as you’ve mentioned above), but I do worry about warping without something that prevents the water from being absorbed.
    Also, have you seen any issues with it leaching out into other wood? Wondering if the stuff will discolor the deck below the table.
    Thanks for any and all info!

    Reply
    • Hi. No, I have not tried it. I would not do it personally, as then you have to deal with the clear coat when it peels, cracks later on.
      But, for a table, maybe that’s ok, as the surface would sure be a lot nicer.
      Water is absorbed after the stain, but it does not rot and it prevents bugs from getting in.
      I think there will not be any stain leeching or is it leaching? I’m certainly not 100% sure. YOu can write the company directly. They are great. But let it dry well out of the rain before placing on the deck.
      Good luck,
      Brad

      Reply
  21. Hi Brad,

    I appreciate your timely response to questions. I have attempted to contact the manufacturer of eco wood but haven’t heard back. I am interested in using their product for a free standing garage which is newly built. The majority of the garage is constructed of cement siding as I live in a city which has wildfire concerns. I am allowed to have cedar shake shingles as decorative accents on the garage but must treat them with a fire retardant. I am wondering if I can use the eco wood product first to change the color of the red cedar shakes and after some time, apply the fire retardant to the cedar shakes without affecting the color of the shakes.

    Also, I saw a post where someone complained that the eco wood product had stained their concrete. They provided pictures and it did look like their concrete had been diffusely stained a rust color from runoff – I am assuming from rain. I didn’t know what your experience has been in that regard. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Well, as you know the cedar never needs anything, but yes it will change color, and for color reasons, you will re apply when it fades. It’s once per lifetime for protection. I’d not bother. But have at it.
      Can you find and send me the link to that stain? I’m guessing it was a spill, not a run off situation.
      Good luck!
      B

      Reply
  22. I am referring to the fire retardant and what it might do to the eco wood treated cedar shakes themselves if I apply the eco wood first and then wait a couple of weeks and then apply a fire retardant. The fire retardant is required where I live since they are cedar shakes.

    I will look for the link to the stain issue I saw posted online.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • I have no experience with a fire retardant, but here’s what I would do. Stain one shingle, does not even have to be mounted. Then let it dry, then test with the fire retardant. Easy.
      My guess: it will be fine. The stain goes way into the wood. The tint that colors the surface may have an issue, but I doubt it. Re-applying stain later will probably not be possible after a fire retardant.

      Reply
    • If your wood has not been splashed with mud or oil or what have you, it may be ok to just start spraying the stain. It would not hurt to spray it all with just the garden hose, but a deep clean would involve a non-commercial level pressure washer. They use rotating tips that cannot gouge the wood. So, wash? I would. But again, you will probably be ok.
      Thanks,
      B

      Reply
      • thanks so much for the reply..

        Another question for you.

        I have been having problems finding places to purchase this eco wood treatment. I am in the USA and their actual website doesnt appear to allow sales for some reason. I wanted the brown color but cant find that anywhere. When I email eco wood on some questions of why the website wasnt working i got an email from Bruce Mac Nutt (which i find to be a name that seems to be spamish) saying its on ebay, but no answer on why i cant buy direct from the source. Ebay doesnt have the brown either.

        The dyes that you showed in your video are those just a water based dye? Curious as I can find my own dye to mix with the patina color if its just a plain water based dye and nothing special to eco wood.

        Any help and if you let me know on your opinion if any water based dye could work?

        Thanks

        Reply
        • Yes, water based. Most paint dye is oil based, even what that put into latex water based paints. So be careful.
          I see it on amazon…linked above. No? Click any product link above, then enter ECO WOOD TREATMENT. I found it.
          But it does go in and out of availablity. Look to see if you can get a notification when it comes in. Bruce is a good guy, I correspond with him a lot.

          Reply
          • thanks so much. Apologies, didnt mean to imply Bruce wasnt a good guy. Just a bit of a funny name to see appear in my inbox for the reply.

            Yes the patina color i can find many places, the brown is what I am unable to find. Thats why i was curious about the dyes.

            Thanks again.

  23. I am building a carriage house on coast of NH. I am using Yellow Alaskan Cedar for the siding. Two questions:
    > not white cedar, but it seems the same. OK to use ECO Wood Treatment?
    > how long do I have to wait to apply the stain? Again this is shingle siding.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • How long to wait? Hmm. You better ask the seller of the cedar. COuld be a year, could be no time.
      My main point is this: why stain cedar. It looks great, lasts forever and weathers to a nice gray on it’s own.
      Maybe you want a color? Yes, that is a good reason, but color fades and will need re-applying.
      The Eco Stain will certainly not hurt your wood, and may be a help when it comes to rot and bugs, but does cedar rot? I don’t think so.
      I’d put up the shingles and have a beer.
      Good luck.
      B

      Reply
  24. hey brad, my product (silvery patina) is here and i’m getting ready to do my thing. how soon after application can water (rain, etc) get on the wood without harm?

    Reply
  25. HI Brad – we have a large deck that was previously stained (6 years ago) with a Sherwin Williams product.It is time to restain as the wood is starting to look extremely dry and has started to crack and peel in this Florida heat. I know you said that the ECO product is out because of the previous stain, but do you have any recommendations on other products?

    Also, I have had the deck pressure washed, will I also have to completely sand it as well? I’ve hand sanded the areas where I see the peeling.

    Reply
    • Seems like you are all set to just re-stain. You did not say it now has solid, or semi-transparent etc… My advice is always go with the lowest maintenance product, but one with some protection. Opaque stain is paint and needs scraping. Yuck. Go light then next time just wash, let dry and retreat.
      I think you are on the right track.
      Good luck,
      B

      Reply
  26. Thank you for the reply. The previous stain was a semi-transparent. Is there a product that you would recommend other than Sherwin Williams?

    Reply
  27. I have a dog who tracks red clay and mud after it rains so I’m looking for something that I can spray with the hose and mop clean so she doesn’t keep retracking dried or otherwise wet dirt inside and also keep the deck clean. I was going to paint before I saw your site. My deck is old and there are definite cracks, grooves, etc. It was sealed with a clear sealer some 8 years ago. I have pressure washed it and trying to find something that I can glide a mop or spray hose down to clean. Will your ECO treatment allow that and if not what do you suggest?

    Reply
    • No. I think paint would be the best but clay will stick to that too.. Perhaps terra cotta color paint? Stain?
      Going to be hard to clean in any case.
      I’d say live with it.
      Good luck,
      B

      Reply
  28. Hi Brad,

    Thanks so much for this site and your very valuable advice! I’ve been researching eco wood treatment like mad since finding your review. I’m very interested in getting the brown version but worry that this product doesn’t prevent water damage. They clearly state it provides UV and white rot fungi protection, but nothing about water. Does this stuff just cause a chemical reaction with iron salt or does it actually encapsulate the wood at all? I thought it might be silica based since you got that buildup on the window, but I confirmed that it is not. Wonder if they put some borate in there.

    Anyway I bought a home that has an 8 year old ptp deck with the older (I think) Cabot’s Timber Oil in brown. Think they over applied it or switched to the newer formula (but only left the older can behind). It’s starting to peel pretty badly like an acrylic solid stain now, so I’m going to spray it with a borax/water mix (and let it dry) to kill off the algae etc. Then going try to carefully power wash it off, followed by an oxiclean soak to brighten it up and lower the PH. After I stain it with the eco I plan on using the borax spay 2x a year to inhibit insects and mold. Also will freshen the brown eco as it fades. Trying to stay as eco friendly as possible.

    Do you think this is a good plan and more importantly, do you feel that the eco treatment is going to protect as well as putting on a more traditional stain? I don’t care about water beading, I just don’t want moisture to cause premature failure. Not sure what was used to pressure treat it, but I know it couldn’t have been arsenic… so it probably won’t hold up as well as yours. It gets partial sun in New England.

    Thanks again kind sir!

    Reply
    • You have done your research. It certainly does not encapsulate at all.
      It’s an excellent plan. I think it protects from what it claims, but I only put it on my own deck about 3 or 4 years ago. It’s an old deck.
      This does not bead up water even in the beginning. It’s just a preservative.
      B

      Reply
  29. Love your website and I am going to buy the Eco wood treatment, I redid my deck with Pressure treated pine wood, my question. I have some wood stamps, meaning the brand of the company stamping on the wood, I have to sand off. When I am done sanding will the Eco still be good to spray on? Will it change the wood chemistry of unsanded vs sanded? We have a blue house and the silver/grey will look great.

    Reply
    • Yes, you can buzz them right off, and apply the stain. Absolutely the same penetration as far as the stain…. But whatever pressure-treatment solution was in the wood from the factory will be gone.

      Reply

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