Let’s look at wood Stains.

Today Let’s talk Stains

  1. What is a commercial water-based stain today?
  1. Today, if you see a “water-based stain” in the local hardware or paint store, there is a 99.9% chance it is actually a paint that they call a stain. This is because they can’t figure out how to make a water-based stain that actually works like a solvent stain. There is only two company’s today that actually makes a true water based / true stains which work like the old solvent stains did years ago, yet are safe and non-flammable. Both are located in Arizona. The difference between the two is one uses some conventional materials where the other uses all natural materials and sells it under the name AgriStain.
  1. Conventional “water-based stains” come in semi translucent and solid color. These words should be flags one should key in on. Theses so called stains contain some form of dryers and/or either a latex-acrylic, acrylic, or some other thin film forming type of binder that forms a film on the surface. i.e. A Paint.
  1. Key things one should thing about: 1) If you cannot see the grain after application, it is not a stain. 2) If you can see the grain, and also have a sheen (flat/matte, satin or semi-gloss) then it is not a stain; it is a PAINT. Only paints have sheens, stains penetrate into the wood and become one with the wood in order to color the wood. You cannot do that if you form a film on the surface. Of course, the big manufactures will try telling you that their products penetrate; however, they can’t tell you how far. Their answer is they would need to get a microscope to measure it. AgriStain you can see how far it penetrates into the wood with the naked eye.
  1. Here is a sample of AgriStain applied to some Pine wood and allowed to set for 8 hours. In 48 hours, it actually traveled through the board in some places. Note that the stain was not applied to the end of the board for this test.
  1. What is the difference between a conventional “water-based stain” and a real stain?
  1. Conventional “water-based stains” (Paint) form a thin film on the surface of the substrate just like a paint and over time this film will crack, chip and peel off. When this happens, moisture can get into the wood grain also known as the gate cells and damages the wood. A common result of this is referred to as wood wrought.

                                                              i.      Wood wrought is caused by the sap in the woods gate cells dripping out and the rest drying up and clinging to the sides of the cells. Water/moisture is then allowed to travel into the cells and set there. It can cause mold or mildew growth, and in winter, if the temps drop enough, it will cause the water to freeze and expand. This expansion causes the gate cells to crack and rupture. Then when it warms back up, the water will melt and travel out of the affected area/s or will possibly even go deeper into the woods gate cells or come out of the wood. If it stays in the wood, the next time it freezes, this same area will be affected even more. The process will continue until the area is so heavily damaged is starts to crumble internally because there is no more strength in the wood grain.

                                                            ii.      A real stain however penetrates into the woods gate cells. In some cases, the stain will even solidify the existing sap in the gate cells. The saps will then travel deeper into the cells as well as along the sides of the cell walls which helps to keep the wood alive and the cell protected. But the solvent stains also have a down side to them. They can actually damage the wood and make water intrusion easer if the wood was quite dry before the solvent stain was applied. This is because the sap will travel deeper into the wood, leaving the surface areas unprotected. So, the same issue can occur as with paints, but it will be closer to the surface. But the solvents can also help combat the water intrusion for a while as solvents and water normally do not mix together. This is because the solvents will normally displace the water.

  1. Now today you can get one of these fairly new true water-based stains that are actually plant/water-based materials. AgriStain actually has the highest certified levels of Bio-materials and has no chemicals in it. So it is truly the safest and most natural stain today.

                                                              i.      Key benefits of using plant materials over petrochemical solvents. They are normally Non-flammable, there is however an exception with the use of the new linseed oil stains, these stains are very flammable because to get linseed oil to work, you have to turn it into a petrochemical first.

                                                            ii.      Other benefits of plant materials, they are made from some of the same materials that plants all have in them. AgriStain’s are safe for the environment, the wood and user. AgriStain works better on woods than petrochemical solvents. Adds needed nourishment to the wood. Helps preserve the wood better. Rejuvenates old woods. Prevents wood boring pests from damaging the wood. Extends the life of woods. Makes woods repel water naturally. Gets deeper into the gate cells than a petrochemical solvent can. Helps strengthen the gate cells. Even drives the colors deeper into the wood than petrochemical stains, which means longer color life. And AgriStain can even help prevent mold and mildew from forming on the wood surface or in the gate cells.

                                                          iii.      AgriStain’s can even be frozen and it they will still work just fine once thawed out. As well, AgriStain has also had the highest standards of testing performed on them, C14, C18 and ASMT D6886. This one stain has also been found capable of driving all the way through the wood over time.

  1. Unlike conventional stains, AgriStain has even shown the ability to drive the stain and color through a piece of wood. It has even been able to stand up better than Thompson’s Water Seal to weathering and water repelling.
  1. Unlike conventional stains including solvent stains. AgriStain’s have outperformed conventional stains, including the prevention of mold and mildew growth in or on the surface.
  1. Unlike conventional solvent stains, AgriStain’s can be cleaned up with soap and water. And AgriStain is safe to use by anyone or around any pets. Although it has been found that AgriStain will repel exoskeletal pest, things like spiders, wood borrowing pests, scorpions and so on.
  1. AgriStain’s have also been found able to rejuvenate old dried-up wood buy replenishing the woods one living component, tree sap.
  1. Conventional solvent or water-based stains (paint) have a major issue on decks and steps, unlike AgriStain. Conventional stains on a deck will start to show weathering and traffic patterns over time, when this happens you will be told you either need to do one of the following: Re-stain (paint) with a darker color, or strip (sand) the coating off the wood and start from scratch. Not with AgriStain. Simply pressure wash the traffic pattern areas, allow the areas to dry for several days. Then apply Agri-Stain over the traffic areas and overlapping the non-worn areas by 2 to 3 inches. Allow it all to dry and within a few days you will not be able to tell where the original stain ended and the new stain started as well where the traffic pattern areas were.

We hope this help you the better understand stains today and the difference between a real stain and a paint being called a stain.

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