We are looking to stain a western red cedar deck we recently had put up. It is in direct sun all day and we live in a somewhat humid environment. I had a few questions I would like help with.
1) Our main concern is the health of the products we use. We have a newborn, 3 year old and chemically sensitive that will be using the deck daily. We are only wanting to use the best products for everyone including the environment.
2) Which staining method would you recommend for cedar?
3) Should all sides and also top and bottom be sealed?
4) We want to make sure to prevent mold growth on the wood. Which is the best for that?
Thanks in advance for taking the time to address this email!
I think for a Western Red Cedar deck in full sun with a chemically sensitive child, I would:
1. Lime Clean
2. Sand 35-50 grit
3. Rainforest Sealer (diluted 1 quart per gallon with Pure Citrus Solvent).
The color selection will have a lot to do with how long it holds up since the colorant will be best thing to block the UV / IR radiation from the sun.
I would look at the deeper tones; Almond comes to mind since that wont get as hot as the dark browns yet it still has a lot of color protection. Cinnamon Stick would be a medium tone that also does very well in harsh sun climates.
As far as mold goes, all of the products are mold resistant. We don’t use toxic fungicides, benzene or other common mold killing chemicals that are in conventional deck stains. This is because there are better long term ways of managing mold. The cashew resin we use in Mountain XT is one of those more natural ways. This combined with the zinc oxide and boric oxide give us a safe way to protect wood. The reason I lean toward Rainforest Sealer is that it is excellent in harsh sun, also has zinc oxide and the boric oxide and there have been many, many people with chemical sensitivities who have used it happily. This is true for Mountain XT as well, it’s just that Rainforest has been around longer and I want to steer you towards what I would use for my kids.
As time goes on, if you see your deck getting dirty (which feeds mold), I would just wash it with Earth Clean. That will extend the life and give you and easy way to keep it looking good. Eventually, when it needs a maintenance coat you could wash with Earth Clean and give it a sprucing up. Each coat builds on the previous and a stronger and stronger finish is developed over time.
Sample pints are recommended for creating a finished sample in advance.
Earthpaint is in no way liable for unintended uses of this information. Sample Pints are recommended. Please, create a completed sample board for approval in advance. Test as deemed appropriate to make sure no allergic sensitivities exist. Be sure to Read TDS (Technical Data Sheets), MSDS (Manufacturer Safety Data Sheets) Labels, How To’s and Product Web Page before using recommended products.