Applying an ExoShield Finish: What NOT to Do

By Chad Koehnen, 09/30/19

Summer Deck Fun

Summer is the perfect time for enjoying your wood deck. Fall and spring is the perfect time to maintain your deck. Applying a wood stain to your deck, such as ExoShield, can protect it from the effects brought on by the summer heat and strong UV rays. ExoShield stands up to the heat and keeps your deck looking like new. High heat and sunlight alter the staining process, so if you are considering staining your deck during the summer, be sure you understand how to apply stain in hot weather prior to starting application.

Applying in Heat

Working under a hot sun

The ideal temperature to apply a stain to your deck is somewhere between 50 and 70 degrees. High heat causes the stain to dry quickly, which might sound nice. The faster it dries the faster you can use it right? But how fast is too fast? The faster drying speed means you have to wipe it down sooner – and if you don’t, you could end up with shiny spots all over your deck where the stain dried on top of the wood before you got a chance to wipe it down. Temperatures above 70 will cause the solvents in the stain to evaporate more quickly and less stain that can penetrate into the wood. Over application during hot weather is the number one issue in working with ExoShield wood stain. Although not ideal, it is possible to stain your deck in temperatures above 70 degrees. On a typical 50 to 70 degree day, wood stains take around 20 or 30 minutes to dry. On a hot day, stains can dry as quickly as 5 minutes. In order to prevent the areas from drying and getting sticky before you start wiping it down, work in smaller areas. Take one small area at a time, apply the stain, wait 5-10 minutes and then wipe it down. It may take longer to stain an entire deck on a hot day, so if possible, try applying early in the morning or later in the evening.

Applying in Direct Sunlight

Wood rails in direct sun

The weather reads 75 degrees without a cloud in the sky, what a perfect day to work outside on your deck! However, direct sunlight, much like heat, makes the process more difficult. Direct sunlight causes the stain to flash dry. Flash drying also prevents the stain from penetrating properly, resulting in a shortened longevity of the stain. The escalated drying process brought on by sunlight can also leave water marks on your deck. If you find a day with the perfect temperature, be sure to consider cloud coverage or possible shade over your deck.

Glossy Spots? Don’t Worry We Know How to Fix It!

Applying Exoshield to a table

If you notice shiny spots or areas from over application early enough, it can be a simple fix. These spots can be wiped down with mineral spirits, if caught within the first few hours of application. If it took you a few days to notice these marks and the stain has hardened, sanding is the only way to remove the excess finish. Block sanding by hand, or with a belt sander, using 120 to 150 grit, is a good place to start when removing excess finish. Very small areas, such as drips, can be wet sanded out. You can do this by using a wet-dry sandpaper, dipped in the ExoShield finish. When sanding these small areas, we recommend starting with 320 to 400 grit; although, a more aggressive, lower grit paper may be required.

Be sure to look at the project from multiple angles when searching for areas of over-application which are indicated by shiny spots. To learn more about ExoShield finish and the application process, contact Nova USA Wood at (503) 419-6407 today!

By Chad Koehnen, 09/30/19

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