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OT - Deck Finish Recommendations

ViennaJackViennaJack Posts: 357
edited 8:27AM in EggHead Forum
Today I'll be stripping the last bit of finish off of our 15 year old 1000' sq. ft. deck and soon it will be time to apply new finish to protect the wood. The deck is mostly pressure treated pine, with mahogany top rails.

I would imagine that some of you might know a thing or two about deck stains. I am looking to use a clear finish that protects the wood but does not mask the beauty of the wood and grain.

I've been thinking about Cabot Australian Timber Oil "Natural" but I'm open to suggestions.

Here are a few pics of the project so far:

A little before/after shot:

Other views:










  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    You have way too much energy. lol Ever though about a stain with a gloss finish?
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit for BRISKET HELP
  • DynaGreaseballDynaGreaseball Posts: 1,409
    Jack, look in the Yellow Pages for a small business franchise called "Protect A Deck". Call them and get an estimate. It's quick, and my guy did a great job. I used their services every 2 or 3 years. They strip it one day, and come back and protect it the next day. Hope that helps.
  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,248
    Nice looking BGE playground. This was posted last year.

    How to, Wood Deck, Preserve

    1 RRP,
    2 Hi there. I have been in the paint business 15 years and I can help with deck situation. I have faced a ton of deck restoration jobs like you are dealing with, and yes, Thompson's is trash. Look at the ingredients and you will find that is simply mineral spirits and paraffin wax. Terrible product with terrific marketing, that is why it is still around, though sales are down on it nationwide. I have never carried in my stores. In order to make a sealer that will last 4 to 6 years in a harsh environment like the Southeast, you must have silicone in it. This not only helps with water beading, but UV protection as well. You get what you pay for, Thompson's is cheap for a reason, there is nothing in the can. A good wood finish/sealer that is both a weatherproofer and waterproofer will have silicone in it and will run at least $26 bucks a gallon. This type of product will not only penetrate into the wood, but also form a protective shell on top of the wood. Thompson's only lays on top of the surface, and repeated rains, foot-traffic or sliding of furniture will wear it out FAST. I tell people, "if you love cleaning and treating your deck, use Thompson's, cause you will be doing every 6 months".
    3 Power-washing is not bad for a deck if you know what you are doing. Get to close to the wood and you tear it up, stay back a proper distance, and it safely cleans. It does however drive some contaminants further into the wood grain. I have seen many examples of decks covered in mildew, where the owner simply pressure washes it off, only to drive some living mildew spores deeply into the wood. Then after the pressure wash they seal the deck and thus seal in the mildew. Weeks or months later, the deck surface begins to have tiny black dots appear. That is the mildew working its way out. You have to use a cleaner! Preferably one with sodium hypclhorite (bleach) to kill mildew/mold, and an ionic surfactant to lift dirt and grime away.
    4 Home Depot has one by Behr called #62 cleaner, both Lowe's and Home Depot sell one made by Jomax. You can also make your own at home. In an empty 5 gallon bucket, pour in a gallon of bleach, a scoop of tide washing powder (or other really good ionic surfactant) and fill the rest with water. Pump up spray on, scrub any tough spots with a stiff bristle brush/broom, then rinse. Let the deck dry in the sun for at least one day before sealing/treating.
    5 If the deck is in really poor shape, or it is just old and dry, a smart step after cleaning is conditioning. I always condition, even on new decks. A gallon of concentrate conditioner that makes up 5 gallons, enough to do a 1200 sq foot deck, only costs around 13 dollars, so why skip this step???
    6 The key ingredient to look for is oxalic acid. Oxalic acid based conditioners actually dissolve away a layer of dry surface wood to expose fresh material underneath. This works on new wood to remove mill glaze, works on old wood to remove the damaged top layer from years of neglect, sun damage, or harsh cleaning. In both instances it slightly softens and opens the grain of the wood making it more ready to accept the finish or sealer. It also returns the wood to its original color, or very close to it.
    7 Again, Home Depot sells one by Behr called #63 wood cleaner and conditioner.
    8 So once you clean and condition, you seal it and you are done for as long as the sealer lasts. Like I said before, the good ones last 4 to 6 years. More if it is a covered deck, sometimes slightly less if you are in a harsh environment. You can know if your sealer is no longer working by doing a simple water test. Pour a cup of water on the deck, come back in fifteen minutes, if the water is still standing, your sealer is still working. If the water is gone, it is time to treat the deck again.
    9 My recommendations for the sealer depend on what you are looking for. There are 3 types. Transparent, Semi-Transparent, and Solid.
    10 Trans shows off the most grain of the wood. They come clear, or slightly toned or shaded toward natural colors like cedar or redwood. Use this if after cleaning/conditioning the wood looks good and you want to show off the most grain. Most top-line oil/latex (alkyd-acrylic blend) trans finishes with silicone in them will last 4 to 6 years.
    11 Semi-Trans is actually a stain and sealer in one. It hides more grain than the trans. Comes in a wide array of stain colors. Can still get it in an oil based formula or the new alkyd-acrylic blends (sometimes called oil-latex or alkyd-acrylic) and either type, again from a top line product, will last 4 to 6 years.
    12 Lastly, there is solid. The solid oils are getting harder to find due to VOC compliance, just about everything is going latex. I don't sell a solid oil deck stain anymore, only solid latex. I recommend only using one that states it is 100% acrylic on the label by a trusted top line brand like Behr, Cabot, or Benjamin Moore. These last the longest, up to fifteen years. But in my opinion, they are the ugliest. They mask all the grain of the wood like a paint would do. I only recommend this on decks when it is in really bad, ugly shape. I like to know I am on a deck, I want to look down and see the grain of the wood, so I steer clear of solid unless it is just the last option before replacing the surface boards.
    13 Hope this helps. Feel free to shoot any paint related questions my way! - pipedream

    Recipe Type

    Recipe Source
    Source: BGE Forum, Pipedream, 2007/07/12
  • RRPRRP Posts: 22,052
    last summer I found a new product called Oxishield that claimed to be far superior to anything else on the market. It's a tad expensive compared to other products but here a year later it still looks great.
    I'm sold on it and will use it again in the future as it really does work!
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
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