It may seem that the best way to get full coverage of your wood deck or log home is to apply multiple layers of stain. However, stain can quickly add up, resulting in poor results for your project. There is a fine line between “not enough” and “too much” when it comes to staining wood. So what is the correct amount of stain, and what happens if you apply too much stain to wood? 

What Are Wood Stains? 

The basic function of stains is to alter the color of the wood. They are made up of pigments to alter the color of the wood, a carrier, which helps flow the pigment onto the wood, and a binder, to allow the pigment to stick to the wood. Stains work by attaching pigment to the large pores of the wood. 

While the primary function of stains is to alter the color of the wood, stains can also highlight the wood grain. Wood stains can also provide a light layer of protection for the wood, depending on the type of stain. Penetrating wood stains seep down in the wood, drying inside the wood to give the wood more of a natural finish and hiding less of the grain. Surface wood stains dry on the surface, creating a protective layer on the surface of the wood.

Why More Is Not Always Better: 

It may seem like more stain means more protection for your wood deck or log home. However, this is not the case. Wood stains moisturize the wood in a way that allows the wood to soak in the newest layer of stain. If the freshly applied layer is unnecessary, that stain will not be able to absorb into the wood. Instead, it will create a tacky surface, which may be prone to early peeling. Because the additional coat is not penetrating the wood, it is simply layered on top, which will cause the coat to be more fragile and will not offer the same level of protection as the proper amount of stain. Additionally, moisture in the wood can not escape, which will result in the stain peeling. 

How Much Is Too Much Stain?

While it may seem like more is better, staining wood more times than necessary will cause more problems. When in doubt, do not apply more than two layers of stain to a wood deck or log home. Additionally, you should only add the second layer of stain if it is needed for the desired color; usually, one layer of stain is sufficient. If the first layer of stain looks perfect, then great! You do not need to add a second layer. You should reserve adding a second layer only if you want a darker color for the stain. However, many times, the first layer of stain will suffice for both adequate protection and the desired color.

Do Not Forget To Finish Your Project

In previous blogs, we have talked about the rules of staining, which include using minimal layers and applying stain “wet on wet” if applying two layers of stain. But after you have stained your wood deck or log cabin, do not forget to add wood finish for additional protection. Stains can prevent some UV damage and hide scratches, but they do not generally protect against dents and dings to the wood, or insect or pest damage. A good finish will help protect against these issues. Make sure you choose an appropriate finish for your project. If you are finishing a deck or other high traffic area, you will want a long lasting product. For help choosing the right finish, talk with the team at Lovitt’s Coatings. Our team is professionally trained and well-versed in all of the stains, finishes and wood coating products we sell, as well as their best uses, so we will be able to advise you about the best course of action.

Choosing The Right Stain 

Are you preparing to stain your wood deck or log home? Whether you are looking for advice on how to complete your project or searching for the perfect stain, the team at Lovitt’s Coating can help. Contact the team at Lovitt’s Coating for additional assistance and help choosing the right product for your project.