Exterior Stains

Q: Does water beading prove a surface is waterproofed and protected from water damage?

Beading alone is not a measure of water repellency. It is just a surface phenomenon - remember, water will even bead up on a dirt field when it starts to rain. Some products are formulated to produce water beading on wood but do not effectively protect the wood from water penetration and damage. The best way to tell if a surface is waterproofed is to use the “Splash Test.” Pour a little water on the surface. If it darkens, the water is penetrating and the surface needs to be protected. If it beads, rolls off or stands on the surface, but does not darken the surface, it is protected. Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Waterproofers and Exterior Stains penetrate the wood so that even after the beading is gone, the waterproofing protection lasts.

Q: If a product is labeled “waterproofer”, does that automatically mean it will protect against water damage?

Passing federal or industry tests IS NOT required for a product to be advertised and sold as a “waterproofer.” However, nearly all Thompson’s® WaterSeal® products exceed the widely accepted industry tests which measure the amount of water repellency a waterproofing product provides (these tests are developed by industry leaders and the American Society of Testing and Materials [ASTM]). On tests with a pass/fail standard, a score of 60% or higher means the product passes. There are many products on the market which do not meet this criteria yet still claim to be waterproofers.

Q: What surface preparation should be done prior to staining?

One very important step is to remove all existing loose, flaking or peeling stain. Failure to do so will result in continued flaking and peeling. Other preparation steps include cleaning the surface thoroughly. Apply to a small sample section of the surface to ensure the color you want.

Q: What is the difference between a clear, transparent, semi-transparent, and solid stain?

Clear Provides long-lasting protection while helping enhance and maintain wood's natural color
Transparent Provides complete outdoor wood protection by adding subtle color
Semi-Transparent Adds beautiful color while still allowing some wood grain to be seen
Solid Hides the wood grain while allowing wood texture to show

Q: What's the difference between Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Penetrating Timber Oil and Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Waterproofing Stain?

Both products provide excellent outdoor wood protection against exposure to the elements of nature. Thompson's® WaterSeal® Penetrating Timber Oil is an oil-based product that provides protection by penetrating into wood pores and sealing out water infiltration. Thompson's® WaterSeal® Waterproofing Stains are water-based products that have film-forming properties to protect the wood by repelling water. Each product has its own "feel" during application; however, each product provides protection from water damage and has a coating that resists mildew and UV damage.

Q: On what type of woods should I use Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Penetrating Timber Oil?

Thompson's® WaterSeal® Penetrating Timber Oil can be used on all exterior woods, including exotic hardwoods.  Exotic Hardwoods, such as, Ipe and Mahogany, are a very dense and less absorbent species than pressure treated pine. This makes them more difficult to coat. Thompson's® WaterSeal® Penetrating Timber Oil is specially formulated with a triple blend of premium oils that can more easily penetrate dense species of wood replenishing their natural protection for lasting beauty.

Q: How long does Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Waterproofing Stain take to dry?

Drying time will vary depending on temperature and humidity. Under normal conditions, the product should dry to the touch within 2 hours.

Q: How do I know if my deck needs waterproofing?

Perform the splash test. Sprinkle water on various sections of the surface to be sealed. If the water absorbs and darkens the color of the substrate within five seconds, surface is porous and considered ready to be treated.