ExoShield: Tips, Tricks and FAQ's

By Keaton Smith, 09/14/21

ExoShield: Tips, Tricks and FAQs

We receive many questions regarding the proper application practices of our ExoShield wood stain, so we thought it would be best if we answered many of the questions we've received in a comprehensive blog article.

First and foremost, we want to thank everyone who's purchased Nova's ExoShield wood stain and hope that you find the following information helpful.

ExoShield Rolling Angelim Pedra

There are several components that can affect the results when using ExoShield, but if you follow our advice below, you should be left with a beautiful and long-lasting result.

What's the best weather for applying ExoShield and how long after a rain should I wait to apply?

As many people know, dry weather is necessary for applying an exterior stain, but it's not as simple as just waiting for a single day of sunshine. It's important that the wood itself is also dry, so we only recommend applying ExoShield when it hasn't rained for 2-3 days and won't be raining for an additional 1-2 days after applying ExoShield. Ideal temperatures for staining are 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit or 10-30 degrees Celsius.

When staining in lower temperatures or high humidity it's important to note that ExoShield can take longer to dry, so you'll want to ensure there will be at least 48 hours of dry weather after applying. Likewise, in hotter temperatures ExoShield can dry faster. When applying ExoShield in hotter temperatures, we recommend wiping excess oil after only 10-15 minutes.

How should I clean my deck prior to applying ExoShield?

We recommend cleaning your decking off using a deck cleaner per the deck cleaner's manufacturer instructions or using a pressure washer on tropical hardwoods. Please make sure to check our pressure washer disclaimers on our product information sheet prior to pressure washing your deck. Either method of cleaning will saturate your decking with moisture and it's important to allow the decking to dry out for an adequate amount of time prior to finishing with ExoShield. After cleaning your deck using a hose or pressure washer, you should allow a minimum of 5 days for the wood to fully dry out prior to applying stain because the cleaning process will saturate the decking with moisture - more than your average rain will. The longer you're able to allow the wood to dry - the better.

How long does ExoShield take to dry?

Full drying and curing times can change depending on the temperature and humidity at the time of application. ExoShield will typically dry within 12-48 hours depending on the temperature and humidity, however the curing process is much longer. Tung Oil will cure within the wood once applied, which is its process of hardening over time and will result in the stain's surface becoming more scratch resistant. The curing process at 70 degrees F can take between two to three weeks, while at 40 to 50 degrees F it may be upwards of 30 days.

Is one coat all you need and why is wiping off excess oil necesarry?

Over-application of ExoShield can cause a number of issues including uneven sheen, peeling, and cracking. Typically, the only remedy for over-application is sanding the deck and starting over. In almost all cases, one coat is sufficient. Remember, applying an additional light coat (if needed) is always easier than sanding the entire deck and starting over.

ExoShield Stained Deck

Wiping off excess oil 10-30 minutes after applying ExoShield is probably the most important instruction of all. Pretty much all exterior oil-based stain manufacturers will have the same requirement of wiping off excess. Remember, when applying ExoShield in hotter temperatures, we recommend wiping excess oil after only 10-15 minutes - otherwise the oil may start to become tacky and become difficult to wipe off.

If excess is not wiped off, it can create an uneven sheen on parts of the deck. ExoShield is not designed to have a sheen and there's a reason for that. ExoShield is specifically designed to soak into wood and protect the wood from the inside out. High sheen is a prime indication of over-application and will cause the oil to essentially flake and peel off as seasons change because it's sitting on the surface and not within the wood fibers as intended.

Regardless of temperature and sun exposure, ExoShield always needs a good wipe down in order to produce the best possible outcome.

For a quick review, you should remember the following:

Moisture can ruin your deck finishing project if not properly noticed because it prevents the oil from soaking into the wood, so making sure that the wood is adequately dry is critical for success! Both weather and temperature play a role in when you should finish your deck. Too low of temperatures, too high of temperatures or too high of a moisture level can change the outcome. Within 20 minutes of application, carefully inspect the surface for excess oil or shiny spots which indicate over-application. Wipe down these over-applied spots immediately. More is NOT always better, so before going ahead with a second coat, please contact us to see if an additional coat would be recommended.

ExoShield Custom White Railing Sitting Area

Have any further questions? Check out our FAQ section or contact us for more information!

By Keaton Smith, 09/14/21

"At what temparature can stain be sored in winter"

By Michael on 12/24/22

"We generally recommend to keep it above 40 degrees F. Because it’s oil and solvent based, it won’t freeze at 32 F."

By SteveG on 12/25/22

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