Now Available - New Deck Defense Deck Stain for Decks, Railings, and Fencing

deck olddeck clean deck stained

Deck Defense™ deck stain has been reengineered for better performance, longer life and easier application. We started by removing the oils and hazardous driers to produce a friendlier product. Although it is now a totally waterborne product, it has the penetrating properties like oil. Unlike oil, Deck Defense hardens into a lattice, supporting and strengthening the natural cellulosic fibers to protect from the inside out, not just on the surface.

Additionally, powerful additives to Deck Defense inhibit the growth of mold, mildew and algae within the cured film. We also have incorporated a bit of wax to help repel surface water. Homeowners can feel secure in the knowledge that their investment is protected from the damaging effects of wind, sun and water.

Deck Defense is easily applied to dry surfaces with a pump-up sprayer, roller, brushes, pads or an airless sprayer. Designed for a one coat application, an additional coat may be applied using a “wet on wet” method in order to achieve a deeper and richer color. Wet product should be back-brushed to eliminate splotchy areas and reduce the chances of lap marks and eliminate pooling of product.

By Jeff Kyger
Northwest Log Home Care


Pressure washing (also referred to power washing) is the function of using highly pressurized water to remove mildew, mold, dirt, pollen, UV graying, etc. You’ll hear different recommendations whether or not pressure washing your logs is the best cleaning method.

pressure washing log video

Generally speaking, pressure washing is the quickest and least expensive choice.

One fallacy is that you’re saturating and “damaging” your logs with water as a result of pressure washing. This simply isn’t true. On hard, sound, rot-free logs, you’re only introducing water into the top fibers of the wood.

This year Perma-Chink's Technical Team has devoted a tremendous amount of time on projects to develop high quality products. These projects involved a significant amount of scientific testing that helped define our product portfolio with new and improved products. 

Here are 4 things we have learned along the way:

1. The more sterile the log surface is prior to staining, the less chance there is for mold formation underneath the stain. 

Deck Defense FAQs

Click the question to see the answer.

What are the major differences between the Deck Defense *improved* versus the old product?

The major difference between the two products is the improved version is a true, penetrating water-borne product without any sort of emulsified oils or alkyds. The product penetrates the wood substrate and the forms lattices to strengthen and support the natural cellulosic fibers for protection from the inside out, not only on the surface.

The second difference is the new Deck Defense cannot be applied to damp or wet wood; therefore, the surface must be dry before application.

How about water protection?

We have incorporated ingredients in the formula to serve as a deterrent to water intrusion. One must remember that waxes are sacrificial, and over time the beading on the surface will go away. This does not mean a re-coat is necessary. It is just an indication the waxes have worn away from the surface. The protection for the wood is still in place.

{sider title="Does Deck Defense offer any protection against mold and mildew?"}

Yes, there is a complete mildewicide package incorporated in the formula.

I already have a finish on my deck; does this have to be removed before I can apply the improved Deck Defense?

The old rule of thumb says for the best success with a coating, the best practice is to remove any old finish before applying a new product. However; if you are applying over an older, tired oil-based product, you can apply the new Deck Defense after a thorough cleaning with Wood ReNew or Log Wash. If you have previous Deck Defense, you can also apply the newer product after cleaning. If there has been a film-forming product applied (Vista, Endure or “painted” surfaces), then it will need to be totally removed prior to application of the new Deck Defense.

Is there protection against UV damage in the new Deck Defense?

Yes, there are UV inhibitors within the product, plus, as transparent iron oxide pigments are also used to produce the desired color, they will enhance the UV protection through sun-blocking properties of the color itself.

Is the new Deck Defense safe for the user as well as the environment?

The product is considered non-toxic, but as with any product, certain precautions should be observed as they just make good sense. Wear gloves and eye protection when applying the product and avoid inhaling vapors (See precautions on the label). Shrubbery and plants should be rinsed before and after application (or covered). Covering adjacent surfaces like concrete or paver pathways is also a good practice.

Pre-Application steps needed?

First and foremost; the surface needs to be clean and dry. New treated wood needs to “season” prior to application. This process will vary with temperature and humidity and actual moisture content of the new wood. On older wood, a thorough cleaning with Wood Renew will help to restore the color of the wood and remove stains and dirt. Make sure to adequately rinse with water and check the pH of the run-off water to make sure all the surfaces have been rinsed well. Ph of run-off water should be around 6.5 to 7.5 (depending on the pH of the water source). Make sure to check fasteners and condition of wood prior to cleaning and replace any decayed or unstable wood.

Do I need to sand the wood first?

In an ideal world, sanding would be best. But most applicators and homeowners do not want to go through the effort or labor expense to do so. Sanding increases the mechanical adhesion of the surface and will also make the substrate color match better. The sanded surface also opens the substrate and promotes better penetration of the product. If a decision is made to sand, we recommend 60-grit or possibly even 40-grit paper. Media blasting may also be used but may be considered overkill unless the entire home is being media blasted. After sanding or blasting, wash with Log Wash, rinse well, and allow for complete drying prior to application.

How do I mix the product?

Prior to applying Deck Defense, mix well. The colorants used in Deck Defense do not settle hard and re-disperse easily. DO NOT USE POWERED MIXING EQUIPMENT, as this action can possibly shear the backbone of the product and cause possible product failures. As with any product, box the pails together if there are different batch numbers.

How do I apply Deck Defense?

Applying Deck Defense is very easy, and many methods or “tools” can be used. On surfaces such as decking or fencing, a low-pressure pump-up sprayer is the most economical. Deck Defense can also be applied with paint pads designed for deck application, or applied with a quality brush. Rollers can also be used, but due to the low viscosity of the product, there will be some excess “splatter” when rolling. An airless sprayer can be used, and we recommend the use of a 511 or 513 tip due to the low viscosity. Apply the product in a “flooding” method to completely cover the surface to allow good penetration.

Deck Defense should be back brushed when applied by a sprayer, or when using a pad, to make sure the product is spread evenly. Work in the same direction using broad strokes to alleviate "pooling" of product and promote even coverage for the best appearance. Do not allow “pooling” on surfaces. On vertical surfaces, work from the bottom up and back brush as you go. Do not apply in the hot sun as this can cause “flash drying” and interfere with the penetration of the product. Application temperatures are 40-90 degrees F, and that is surface temperature, not air temperature. DO NOT APPLY DECK DEFENSE OVER FILM-FORMING FINISHES (Vista, Endure or “painted” surfaces) AS IT NEEDS TO PENETRATE THE SUBSTRATE FOR THE BEST PERFORMANCE.

How many coats are required?

Deck Defense is designed as a one-coat stain, although due to the deep penetrating properties of the product, it may appear lighter than expected. This is especially true on older surfaces that have been exposed for long periods of time. Also, as this is a semi-transparent product that allows the natural grain and texture of the surface to show through, colors may appear blotchy or uneven, and the user may want to apply another coat. If a second coat is to be applied it should be done in a “wet on wet” application, meaning the first coat needs to be wet when the second is to be applied. If a second coat is desired after the initial application has dried, allow one week for the first application to cure completely.

What is the dry time for Deck Defense?

Dry times will vary with application, airflow, temperature and humidity. Under ideal conditions - 60 degrees F, and 50% humidity - Deck Defense will dry to the touch in about 20-30 minutes. Dry does not mean “cured”. Wait 4-6 hours before walking on surface and 24 hours before replacing heavy furniture.

What are the coverage rates for Deck Defense?

Coverage rates will vary considerably, based on type of substrate and methods of application. That’s why most folks buy a bit extra when they repaint, as they don’t want to go back and buy another gallon to finish. On rough sawn wood, like fences that really soak up product, it may be as low as 100-175 sq.ft. per gallon. Older deck surfaces will also tend to soak up lots of product, so figure around 175-250 sq.ft. per gallon. On new wood, expect around 250-300 sq.ft. per gallon. A second coat application will require less product.

Is Deck Defense freeze-thaw stable?

Yes, this product is freeze-thaw stable. It’s not the freezing that could cause issues; it is the number of cycles a product is exposed to that causes damages.

What are the maintenance guidelines?

Good maintenance for decks, as well as other wood surfaces, will prolong the need for re-staining or removal. Deck Defense will not flake or peel when properly applied, so a general cleaning should be done every year with Log Wash. Maintenance requirements will vary with exposure and environmental conditions, and heavy traffic. Expect to see wear in high traffic areas such as steps and traffic patterns first. This does not mean protection is gone, but indicates for appearance purposes that it’s time for a light re-coat.

How do I clean up when I am finished?

If done right after application, tools and equipment are easily cleaned with soap and water. Warm water works best.

Due to the penetrating and adhesion properties of Deck Defense; keep overspray areas wet during application and rinsed promptly when finished. Removal after three hours will be difficult, but after three days it will be almost impossible without the use of strippers or solvents. Dispose of containers in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines (Do not reuse containers).

All of our stains and sealants are water-based, and while they are still wet, most clean up quite easily with just soap and water. That’s usually the best method to use for cleaning our wet, uncured products off of windows, gutters, downspouts, and other smooth surfaces, but there are occasions when other clean-up techniques should be used to remove some of our textured sealants from wood surfaces.

One key for keeping your log home in tip-top condition is to take an hour or so a couple of times a year to inspect the exterior of your home for any signs of potential problems. Remember that a bit of maintenance and small, inexpensive repairs now can prevent expensive repairs later.

For the best performance and long lasting beauty, Lifeline™ finishes should only be applied to bare wood surfaces or an existing Lifeline finish that is still in good condition. To remove an existing finish, there are basically three options: pressure washing along with a chemical finish remover, media blasting, or sanding.


“Which of your products should I use to seal my log home?” is a question often put to us by customers. Why do so many people refer to “sealing” a log home rather than staining or finishing (note we're talking about sealers, not sealants)? Nobody talks about sealing siding or trim on a stick built home. They are either stained or painted, yet sealing is the term used by many log home owners. As it relates to log homes the term “sealing” dates back to the early 1900s. Prior to then, most log homes were constructed using heartwood from old growth timber and left bare.

As hot weather approaches, we begin receiving calls about resin bleeding out of logs, and what can be done to stop it. Some people call it sap, or pitch, or resin, but it’s all the same, and short of replacing the log or logs that are bleeding, there is nothing anyone can do to stop it from occurring.

Let us assume that you have a brand new log home, or a home that has had an old finish recently removed. The bare wood is nice and bright, and the color is exactly what you always envisioned for your log home. What's wrong with applying one or two coats of some type of clear sealer to hold the color of the wood and protect your logs from rain, snow, and ultraviolet (UV) light damage?

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