Is a primer needed for staining a deck?

Questions & AnswersCategory: Wood Deck QuestionsIs a primer needed for staining a deck?
Anonymous Staff asked 2 years ago

I applied solid deck stain on my deck that I cleaned well and let dry. It had not been stained previously. Some wood was new, other old, cedar.

Within two months it was peeling off (not oil based). I sent a sample to the company and they said I should have used a primer. The can did not mention a primer, instead it mentioned its superb bonding properties.

Is it common to use a primer? It’s not mentioned often in the preparation parts of “How to”.

1 Answers
crowderpainting Staff answered 7 years ago

The only solid acrylic stain needing a primer I have ever used for a deck is from Cabot's. They do recommend a primer, their Problem Solver primer. Their solid acrylic deck stain is more like paint.

If I have to use a primer before applying a deck "stain" then it isn't a true stain. It's a paint! I only use oil based deck stains. They penetrate into the wood, as a stain should.

You should ask for your money back from the manufacture. The can should state what system is needed for good results.

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