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Deck Bleed

Hi Everyone,

We stained our deck a year ago and we've had a major issue with what I think is sap bleeding through the white stain. The deck is about 4 years old and had never been stained so we went through the process of prepping the deck beforehand. We were just going to stain right over top of the yellowish parts again, but we did a test area first and the same thing happened. Rather than redo everything with the same result, does anyone have any tips and thoughts about what is going on here? This is the North side of the house so it does not get a ton of sunlight...

I've put a couple of pictures so you could see what I mean. Hopefully the work when you paste them in your web browser.


All the best,

Re: Deck Bleed

First, a couple questions: was your deck cedar or redwood? Was the stain a water based stain?
The import of the questions is that both cedar and redwood have water soluble tannic acid in them. If you used a water soluble stain, it is very likely that yellowish/reddish tannin staining would bleed through.

You did not state if your stain is solid hide or semi-transparent. If it is solid hide, I would either re-coat with an oil solid hide decking stain or, prime the deck with a tannin blocking primer and then restain with your decking stain. There are tannin blocking water based primers, but they require that you give them a full 24 hours of cure before re-coating. Oil based primers will stop the tannin bleed, but they also require drying time.

If your stain is semi-transparent, an oil semi-transparent stain would not continue to let the tannin bleed through, however, it would also not do too much hiding of the stains which are already there. In this case, I think the best course would be to strip the deck and then coat with an oil based semi-transparent decking stain.

Had you picked a darker colored water based stain, the tannin would probably still have occurred, but the tannin stains are much less noticeable against a darker, wood toned stain.

Re: Deck Bleed

The deck is made of pressure treated spruce (I think...or maybe pine?) .

The white stain is a sold hide that states it is a latex/oil hybrid.

Hopefully this helps.

Thanks again.

Re: Deck Bleed

Jekeddy, I think the problem is being aggravated by the water soluble nature of the stain allowing water soluble agents in the wood to leach to the surface.

Try priming the deck with a thinned oil based primer followed by another coat of the stain. Water soluble primers such as Kilz Premium Primer claim to stop such bleeding also, provided 24 hours of cure time is given before the stain is applied.

When you tried re-staining over the yellowish stains, was that done on the same day? If so, it would increase the chances of the yellow continuing to bleed through.

Re: Deck Bleed

The entire deck was first stained (two coats) in October 2010 and then in the spring of this year we saw what had happened.

We were going to strip the whole deck and start from scratch, but I thought we'd try and just restain over the first part of the handrail (the first pic I posted). It was white to start when we redid it, but eventually the same thing happened (that's when I posted here so I can try and resolve the issue). Other than that, the whole deck only has the initial 2 coats of stain.

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