Gummy Stain on new cedar deck


New Member
I'm needing a gut check since the deal is already done.

The Setup: New (1 month old) western red cedar deck in NJ. Cleaned and Brightened (Wolman deck and fence)

Although some very knowledgeable folks on this forum suggested not using F&P, I was unfortunately only given a choice between that and Behr and I think I went with the better of the 2. I used 1 gallon Golden Pine + 1 cup Natural.

Contractor applied the stain 2 days ago. He used a pump sprayer, then brushed it. Then he used (his words) a wet sponge to go over it all again. I assume this means it was wet with more stain.

24 hours later the deck was still glistening and wet looking. Its a little humid up here this week.

I called Wolman and spoke to a rep, twice. He said that the stain was put on too heavy and I needed to get the extra off asap or it will dry out to a white powder and need to be stripped entirely. His recommendation was to use mineral spirits and a rag (well it took 6) to clear the excess off.

This was not an easy job. A lot of the stain was turning gummy like syrup. Bugs were caught in it. So for 2 hours my wife and I crawled around the deck scrubbing with rags until all the excess gunk came up.

Today the deck looks amazing. Its mostly dry, a slight hint of oil to the touch, but otherwise it seems like the oil saturated in. While cleaning a bead of sweat fell on it and it beaded up and stayed on top. So I assume that's a good thing.

I'm looking for some confirmation that:
1. What Wolman recommended was wise (even though we're down the stream already)
2. Mixing the two colors was not responsible (contractor said that was the reason)
3. The deck is still protected even though we took Mineral Spirits to it.

PS - I called the contractor throughout yesterday morning telling him what I was finding and he was resistant and told me to wait it out. Suggesting that the Wolman Customer Srv. don't use the product, they sit at a desk all day. What a nightmare.

If you've made it this far...thanks!


Your contractor sounds like a winner!

To your confirmations:
1- What the Wolman rep recommended makes sense. F&P tends to kind of "gel" on the surface if it's applied too thick. Their recommendation (like any corporate help desk these days) comes out of a manual written by their chemists and their lawyers. I'd trust it over your contractor.
2- The only chemical difference between the 2 sealers is pigment. Mixing the colors was not responsible.
3- F&P penetrates but does leave some surface finish. You may have thinned that finish when you rubbed it down with spirits, but the important part for the protection of your wood (the oil), won't be affected by the spirits.

Next time build your deck in MN, I'll get it done right the first time:)


New Member
Thanks Jake. Appreciate your comments....and yes, if I ever build a deck in MN i'll look you up!

Whew. PS - rained like crazy here and water is nicely beaded on top!


New Member
jake summed it up and confirmed the over application. What you did is the fix I would do as well. Today's VOC compliant stains have far less carrier in them (mineral spirits) so they are mostly oils and resins. They tend to sit on the surface with long curing times. It sounds like all turned out okay. You are kind of lucky in that respect. Sometimes a rainfall will be all that is needed to activate mold spores that love to stick to uncured oil. Then your finish turns black in a few months.

We don't service NJ, but I have a network of great wood contractors I can suggest on your next round of maintenance. With advance warning, they are going to want to strip the Wolman's just like I would recommend you do once it wears off a bit. (2-3 years)

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