Stains and Sealers

Dan Flynn

PWN Founder
Spring is coming and I thought this would be a great time to discuss stains and sealers. What do you like to use? How about listing the brand you use for color and clear applications and listing why you think your choice is best.


only did 20 to 25 decks last year. Sealed probably half of those and we used behr clear weatherproofing sealant. In our area, the associations require natural wood look, so no colored stains are permitted. Privacy fences here are plentiful but way to large to use behr or wolmans, so we drop to a less expensive brand of water sealer like Sears weatherbeater 2 year sealer. Most customers don't even ask what we use, they are just glad we are doing it.

Behr around here is about 65 bucks a 5 gallon jug where the sears weatherbeater is about 35. So we use the Behr on decks and other on fences. The Behr is hard to spray and hard to get mixed. But its tough.


Dan Flynn

PWN Founder
Good Point, Also keep in mind that Behr has some U.V. protection and the Weather Beater is just a surface sealant. Which is fine, just make sure that you explain to your customers that they are getting the same protection as far as water penatration but not U V. Meaning that Weater Beater will grey faster.

Dan Flynn :p

[This message has been edited by Dan Flynn (edited February 13, 2000).]

Rick T

New Member
We started out using mainly Wolman sealers but have started using Ready Seal in the later part of last year.Personally I like them both but I think that Ready Seal is much easier to work with.It sure eliminates a lot of headaches. So far I've gotten nothing but good replys from my customers in regards to colors and overall appearance.
Dan, I've been using CWF-UV as my general finish. It has shown good results in the "cedar" and "redwood" tones. The "clear" is just average in my opinion. If a customer wants a solid color stain (which I really try to talk them out of if the deck's grain has never been hidden), I suggest Olympic deck stains. For those who want the "economy" job I finish w/Thompson's Wood Protector and just go back every year. Good for me, not so economical in the long run. However, "the customer's always right" (Even when they're not!)

[This message has been edited by Sea Breeze Deck Service (edited February 20, 2000).]

JR Wood

New Member
When I first started,I used CWF UV because it was readily available. I quickly learned that if you want to stay in business,you have to use quality materials and CWF is not quality.It is a surface sealer,which means it is like a wax and it wears away very quickly.The behr used to be the same way,but they have improved it somewhat,I still would not use it to save my life.One of my customers who hired me was going to seal their deck themselves,they had already bought
behr from home depot.I refused to take the job if they insisted on using it.I finally convinced them that the stuff was not pro- grade and I would be happy to return it for them.Well I have gotten 3 other jobs from their recommendations and have been back to do the maintenance.This would not have happened if I had used Behr!Behr and weather beater were rated fair and poor in last years consumer reports and CWF was not even tested!
My sealer of choice is Olympic Natural look Protector Plus,it came in second in the toned division in consumer reports,right under Sikkins which is fifty dollars a gallon.This is a great selling point and surprisingly many of my customers will have a subscription to consumer reporst and I can refer them to that issue.It is extremely user friendly,I was sealing 6 decks a day with this stuff(many of you won't believe that,I would urge you to use it once and you will see).Their is only minimal stain pads used.You can spray onto the deck from the outside and not even use a dropcloth it does not leave drip marks or streaks.Everything blends backbrushing is needed and it dries in fifteen minutes.I can usually place furniture back on the deck before I leave which makes the customer very happy.It is cheaper than some of the crappy sealers out there.It has lasted for two years so far and I have not gotten a single complaint.
This year I will be switching to Ready Seal because they have a lot more colors,it also is extremely user friendly and will be a relief to not have to keep running to the lumber yard for supplies.

P.S I spend a third of my season removing failed finishes amd most of them are behr and CWF UV because they are available at the local home depot and DIY'ERS are talked into using them by paint department employees.
[This message has been edited by JR Wood (edited February 26, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by JR Wood (edited February 26, 2000).]


New Member
I've been using Wolman F&P for a few years w/ generally good results. I understand that "Ready Seal", might be a better choice.... Can anyone who is familiar w/ it shed some insight on how it compares as far as application, coverage, permanancy.... etc... thank-you

Roy Moren

New Member
I have used Olympic Natural Protector Plus on numerous decks and docks and it does apply very easy, and looks great when you leave. The problem I have found is it turns milky looking after a few months. I have also had it look like if had disappeared in spots. I really loved it at first but am now afraid to use it. Wolmans works ok but F&P is a little thick and needs straining. Nothing holds up well in Florida
and I have about a dozen samples up on my dock roof in the sun. The Wolman extreme seems the best so far. I have Ready Seal up the too but its fading after 6 months. I put another test board up there yesterday with a new heavy coat of ready seal. I will see how that holds up.I may not of put it on heavy enuff the 1st time. It seems like everyone else who uses it, loves it.

Dan Flynn

PWN Founder
Thanks Roy,

Keep us updated on the resaults of the Ready Seal.

Dan Flynn
Flynn Service Pro
708 715-4205


New Member
Hey Roy

Here's the way we apply Ready seal to the floors, 2 very light coats, we spray the first coat on, wait 5 minutes, wait 3-5 minutes make sure it's all soaked in, then spray another light coat on. I'm not talking about 2 heavy coats just 2 very light ones. This process makes the wood look sooo much prettier too. gives it that killer focused look, (my term for that beautiful wood grain) Thanks Chris


I have been using Ready Seal since October 1998. I am hard pressed to find something that I don't like about this product.

I went back to look at a couple of the decks I did back in 1998.....still look pretty good.

I prefer to limit the colors that I offer. I don't want to give them too many choices. I have used almost 90% "Light Brown". The rest were "Gold".
I'm told that the Gold color does not last as long as the Light Brown. I only use Gold for those people that insist on having a "clear" sealer. Gold is not really a clear color, but it is as close as Ready Seal comes to it.

This year I will be offering mostly "Natural Cedar". Looks like a winner.

P.S. Like JR, I have spent alot of time removing failed finishes such as CWF and Behr. I won't touch a deck with Sikkens on it....I know better.

Mike Hughes
Souderton, PA

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