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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. As a professional painter, I've learned to avoid bothering with decks. With this eco-green-chemical change to your wood, you'll have time for more important things!
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What does a professional painter want in deck protection? 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.

I’ll review the spray wood stain that I used:

    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 spray it with  , more below about this.

We are not paid in any way from any manufacturer to recommend any product on this site.

This comes as a powder that you mix with water, then either spray or roll/brush. Below we discuss applying it. No-brainer: spray it.

Choose size:

  •   (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

The photo shows my deck just after treatment (Silvery Patina 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.


Colors 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”.

 

 

 

 

 


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
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Red 

I used the non-color version:  , 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.

* Our video look at the 4 colors is at the bottom.

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. It 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.

I applied it with   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 Dr. McCoy, read our post about sprayers.

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?

Again, we are never paid or compensated by any maker of any product we recommend, and we say that this is the very best deck finisher on the market.

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. So have some  

As with any deck stain or deck treatment you spray, protect with   that dispenses  or a film of   along with   I invented this key painter’s tool in 1977: I just cannot prove it !!


Wood deck recently spayed with stainMake sure it will work for you: It works with either brand new lumber or old lumber that has had the old paint etc., totally removed.

Another issue is pressure-treated lumber: Factory treatment may have affected the ability for 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.

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   as the bristles fall right out of the ‘budget’ ones. Keep a good brush clean (read how) and comb the bristles straight to dry—it will literally last for generations.

Here is  , but I cannot give it a ‘thumbs-up’ as I have never used it. Can be attached to a broomstick, Hilda. I’ve used similar and the wider 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.)

There seem to be 2 main competitors for ‘lifetime’ spray wood stains:

  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 two products:   that we have not tried, but seem to be much like the EcoWoodTreatment above. It seems to darken all woods (from the reviews). This product is often unavailable.

The other is Eco-Safe, is called a   . It seems to be more like EcoWood that I used and comes 3 sizes (1-, 3-, and 5- gallon mix packets) and in only one silver/brown/aged color.

Another type of lifetime wood treatment:

  creates a driftwood look, but the packets are much smaller. It seems this product is intended more for furniture and other smaller features. This is more of a brush-on or sponge-on stain rather than a spray wood stain.


So before you go to DecksDirect and 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):

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28 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

    • 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.

  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?

    • 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!

    • 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

      • 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.

    • 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

  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!

    • 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.

  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)

    • 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.

  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?

    • 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.

  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?

    • 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.

  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?

    • 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!

  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!

  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?

    • 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/

  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.

    • 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.

      • 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

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