Oil Based vs Water Based
Oil Based Stains & Sealers vs
Water Based Stains & Sealers
Selecting a stain or sealer for your wood deck, siding or
furniture can be a daunting task. You
read about water (or soy) based stains that are all natural and environmentally
friendly and then you read about oil stains and it can all be very confusing. The fact of the matter is that there is no
real correct answer. What we want to do
is to educate you on the pros and cons of each and allow you to make your own
Qualities of Water Based Stains &
Water base stains and sealers do not trap moisture in the wood allowing the
wood to breath after application allowing the wood’s own inherent properties
protect itself. This is especially beneficial
on softer woods like cypress, cedar and redwood.
Process – The application
of water based products can be much easier to deal with. There are little or no harmful fumes emitted
which allows for you to use in an enclose area and not have to have all the
windows open. Dry time is faster and
clean-up is a synch with just soap and water.
You have to be careful because using too much of a water based stain can
raise the grain of some woods. It’s less
of an issue with decking, siding and outdoor furniture where you aren’t trying
to have that perfect glossy finish. If
you are finishing a raw piece of wood, you can select whichever type you
want. And water based products can be
applied over oil based products if that was what was originally used.
Mildew Resistant – Completely mildew resistant
because of the breathability quality we discussed earlier. However, some manufacturers will include
additives that can increase the possibility of mildew. If this is the case, the instructions will
say that the product is not breathable.
Friendly – Soy Based
Stains are often considered eco-friendly.
Where water based stains don’t normally carry the same stamp, they are
certainly more environmentally friendly.
They have less harmful chemicals and are not flammable.
Durability – Over the years they have made
these products more durable but oil stains are still considered to be more
durable. What this means is that you may
want to reapply more often as the finish will wear off faster. So the advantage of an easy application can
be offset a bit by the need for reapplying more often.