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stain for a mahogany deck

we have a mahogany deck that was installed about 4 years ago. we have been using cabot's australian timber oil to stain the deck but it does not even last a year. I am not sure if I am applying it wrong. It looks great when it is done but fades very quickly. Not sure if anyone else has had this problem or some recommendations on what stain would be best. Thank you

Re: stain for a mahogany deck

We have a mahogany deck and use the same sealer/stain product that you mention. We hired someone in October of last year to power wash it really well and apply a new coat of the sealer/stain. During the winter it didn't last long at all in making the rain water bead, as expected. The contractor came back in May and applied another coat after another very light pressure washing and it is beading water extremely well now. He made a point that the sealer/stain should be applied with a pad applicator, not a sprayer or a brush. When he did it he was very slow in applying it with the pad to be sure the wood absorbed it. He used something like a kitchen floor cleaner pad.

Re: stain for a mahogany deck


I know of no oil based tranparent or semi-transparent stain which does not advise yearly maintenance coats of oil. Oil stains are a trade-off between yearly maintenance or periodically having to strip high build type water soluble stains. Oil stains will not peel, as is possible with the others.

Oil stains can be applied with spray, brush or pad. Personally I prefer a brush. If using a pad or spray, it is best to back brush. Spray and pads do not get the edges of the decking boards and leaves them vulnerable to water penetration there. Also, most decks are fastened down with screws which are often over-torqued and are at the bottom of little craters. Pads and spray alone do not get sufficient stain down into these areas.

It is important to give the boards a liberal coat of stain, but not so much that it does not get completely drawn into the wood. If oil remains sitting on the surface, it could be sticky for months! If you look back after about 15 minutes and see oil sitting on the surface, you should wipe off the excess with rags or paper towels. Be carely with these rags, especially if the oil contains linseed oil. It is very prone to spontaneous combustion! Let them thoroughly dry out on the lawn before discarding them. They are then best put in a sealed metal can.

Yearly maintenance consists of giving the deck a thorough cleaning. I like a product such as Jomax for this. It is mixed with water and bleach to make a gentle , yet affective cleaner. You should be careful with the use of pressure washers. They can damage the surface. They are best used to merely give a vigorous rinse. Let the Jomax do the work. A scrubbing with and old fashioned scrub brush on the end of stick does not hurt to aid in getting up surface dirt and stains.

After letting the deck thoroughly dry ( oil and water don't mix!), give the deck a light coating of oil. Once again making sure that all the oil gets absorbed into the wood.

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