Choosing a Better, Longer-Lasting Deck Stain

By Steve Getsiv, 04/14/20

Anyone who entertains at home knows how inviting an outdoor space can be for parties and family gatherings. Many homes feature outdoor patio and deck areas because they’re appealing for large groups. But homeowners need to keep features like wood decks up to date on maintenance. With some stains, that can result in a lot of upkeep, so many homeowners are in search of the longest-lasting deck stain available.

Here are a few features to keep in mind when you’re choosing a high-performing stain for your wood deck.

Afternoon tea on the lookout

This 12 YEAR OLD Cumaru 1x4 Hardwood deck, located in Portland, Oregon, is sporting a fresh coat of ExoShield Walnut, Nova's own Tung oil deck stain.

ExoShield Gallon Cant

What to Look for in a Deck Stain

This Old House recently reported how “wood deck additions are one of the top remodeling projects for homeowner return on investment.” In fact, according to a 2018 Cost vs. Value report, installing a wood deck has an average ROI of over 80% percent.

Deck installations are also a popular DIY weekend project. But decks come with a considerable amount of upkeep and maintenance. Because it’s such a trendy feature, wood deck construction has given rise to a demand for quality deck stains … ones that last longer than a few months before fading and needing to be reapplied.

Nova USA Wood provides beautiful, natural wood decking and siding for homes, and knew that a superior deck stain would need to feature a few components in order to be maximally effective in protecting the wood and preserving the natural color:

Natural Oils:

Natural oils, like Tung oil, penetrate wood easily and don’t require a sealer. “These stains last longer and are more durable than unsealed water-based stains because there is no film on the wood to chip or fail,” according to the Green Home Guide Tung oil is the optimal penetrating oil because it can penetrate, harden and still remain somewhat flexible.


There are two types of colorants when it comes to wood stains, either dyes or transparent iron oxides. The transparent iron oxide colorants don’t fade as much over time. Typical dyes used in stains don’t last as long and are water-soluble which means they can be rinsed off when the deck is exposed to moisture.

Damage Resistant Solution:

Wood decks have to be able to withstand the elements, and they need protection from storms, UV rays, severe temperatures and pests. Deck stains need to include fungicides and UV blockers to help resist damage from being constantly exposed to the outdoors.

Low VOCs:

Even if you’re working outdoors, using low VOC solutions is important when it comes to applying finishes and stains on your deck.

Because Nova’s own decking and siding installations require an oil-based stain, we needed to find a solution that ensured our hardwood decks would last, without a ton of upkeep on the homeowner’s part. Maintaining your deck on an annual basis, without having to perform hours and hours of prep work pressure washing and or sanding was Nova’s goal in developing ExoShield.

Finding the Longest Lasting Deck Stain

Exoshield protecting the Backyard Getaway

Nova found a solution for the longest-lasting deck stain by creating its one: ExoShield.

This high-performing stain uses a proprietary formula to deliver superior protection to your decking and other exterior wood applications (including siding and furniture). The stain uses a blend of tung oil, trans-oxide pigments and ultraviolet inhibitors for a long-lasting stain and wood protection solution.

ExoShield uses a polymerized tung oil that hardens over time, and a low VOC solvent that allows the stain to permeate the wood easily. This results in ample exterior protection for any kind of wood decking, siding or outdoor furniture because it’s made of marine-grade components that are tested to the highest standards.

Before Your Deck Stain Application

If you’re installing a new deck or want to bring your old outdoor space back to life, a high-quality deck stain can help make that dream a reality.

Using ExoShield can help homeowners ensure their deck design will last for years , without the headache of frequent maintenance. It comes with several benefits to make getting the job done a little easier:

  • COST-EFFECTIVE: Get up to 800 square feet of deck coverage per gallon, instead of the traditional 400 square feet from other stains. This goes a long way, especially with reapplications, since you won’t need as much stain for each maintenance coat.
  • POWER WASHING NOT NECESSARY: Thanks to our proprietary blend of oils and solvents, you won’t need to do a deep power wash on your deck or scour off the wood before applying. A light rinse and reapplication annually will keep your decking looking great with a minimal time commitment.
  • GOES ON EASILY: It’s easy to apply by rolling or spraying onto the wood surface. Brushing is acceptable for smaller projects. ExoShield is a wiping stain that requires that the stain is not allowed to pool on the surface. Letting it soak in for 15 to 20 minutes is usually sufficient for full penetration.
  • HARDENS FOR COMPLETE FINISH: After 30 to 45 days, the stain treatment will achieve its full hardness. You can walk on your deck the next day after application.
  • ONE-COAT FORMULA: Just apply and wipe up any excess with a cloth and let dry for 24 to 48 hours. No need to follow up with a second coat.

Because of ExoShield’s transparent formula, homeowners still get the warm look of wood and will see the grain through the stain. And ExoShield won’t need to be reapplied for at least a year after its initial application, so homeowners can enjoy their deck (instead of having to maintain it). Siding applications or other vertical applications such as fences can go as long as 3-4 years between maintenance coats with ExoShield.

Poolside relaxation on the Deck Source

Long-Lasting Deck Design

“Staining a deck or fence is a perfectly doable DIY project,” writes Haniya Rae for Consumer Reports “That doesn't mean you want to do it more than necessary. If you want to avoid repeating the chore every year, you're going to want a long-lasting stain.”

Nova’s ExoShield was engineered to be the longest-lasting wood stain available to homeowners and comes in a one-coat formula to keep your project cost-effective. Using marine-grade components with natural tung oil and ultraviolet blockers, ExoShield ensures your deck stays protected.

Don’t let weathering get you down: Maintain the beauty of your wood deck with the longest lasting deck stain you can find. See how ExoShield has helped homeowners enhance and protect their wood deck design.

By Steve Getsiv, 04/14/20

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