Transparent stain is made to show all of the wood grain on your deck. This stain is a similar look to most interior hardwood floors exposing the beauty of the wood with a protective clear coat. This product comes in a few colors, such as cedar, redwood, and teak to name a few, and generally the deck wood should be in good shape, not rotted, and typcially not previously coated with a more opaque stain (semi-solid/solid). If the deck was stained with a solid stain for example, and the owner wishes to go to a transparent stain, excess sanding, and/or stripping will be needed to acheive the required wood clarity. Transparent stains look their best and last longest on new wood or wood that has been prepped in a way where wood pores are clean, exposed, and not spotty.
Benajmin Moore's Arborcoat transparent stain is a two step process requiring a stain coat followed by a protective latex clear coat, again similar to an interior hardwood floor. The Arborcoat transparent stain's purpose is to give your deck a beautiful aesthetic appeal while giving it longevity with simple maintenance in years following. Unlike other stains which look good for a year and begin to break down the following year, Arborocat requires just the clear coat to be re-coated every 1-2 years depending on use, sunlight, and yearly damage. We push for this product on decks that are new or are in "excellent" to "great" shape. Arborcoat's design is made so the heavy prep, sanding, and staining is done one time and one time only, and a quick clean and clear coat will be the only work needed in years to follow. .
** This product is also available in an alkyd version which has the same colors as the latex version, but in a richer and deeper tones, and does not require a clear coat. The alkyd (1 coat) finish looks best on cedars, teaks, and redwoods, but does not have the protection and easy maintenance as the Arborcoat transparent latex two coat system.
**Cedar and redwood decks are prone to tannin bleed due to the nature of the wood and may require additional prep, and yearly clear coats rather than bi-yearly to prolong the bleeding effect. Tannin bleed is a black/deep red dye that rises from within the wood.