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One TIME® Wood Protector on Cedar and Redwood

I purchased 5 gallons of One Time Wood a few weeks ago from your company.  I was going to stain my deck this weekend when I read the can and it said that I should wait a year?  In a year, my deck will be gray.  Are there any other options?

Thanks – Joe A------

I am assuming you have cedar or redwood. This is the age old dilemma with hardwoods.  The challenge is due to the density and tight grain nature of these species. Many times deck wood is “polished’ from the milling process.

Smooth Cedar and Redwood can be sanded before the application of One TIME or let it naturally age for a few months. As the wood grays in that time, it can be easily remedied with an oxalic acid brightener. The longer it weathers, the more it is able to accept the sealer. We can speed that process by the sanding, but I still like at least 6-8 weeks, then brighten and sand. Some tannin may still need to escape the wood.

Among various experts in the industry, you will get opinions at both ends of the spectrum. Some say absolutely no sealer in the first year, and some say do not let it weather more than 8 weeks. This is because every individual wood package will be variable in density, and age and presence of mill-scale.  I agree with One TIME that the very best is to let it season several months, and brighten the wood to undo the initial graying and allow some of the natural oil and tannin to be drawn from the wood.

One TIME works by soaking into the wood and curing. If we only get 25% penetration, then we will likely get much shorter life out of the first application. What I like about the One TIME is that it is non problematic. You may just be a little quicker on needing a color refreshing as opposed to aged wood. The manufacturer is giving the one year recommendation as a “safe” answer without evaluating all the many variables a client might have on a particular project, and most clients go bonkers when you tell them to sand a new deck. I have never applied a coating to any new deck without sanding, but that is something most people don’t want to hear.
 More about sanding.

We can always do a water test.  If you “dribble” water on the deck, see if it spreads out or stays beaded up. Then sand a board and do the same test.  The water should soak in and darken. If it does not soak in, then you will need to wait a bit longer, and test again.

Feel free to call or email here if you need further clarification.  


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