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”.
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.