06-30-2013 04:09 PM
The debate is lively about what to use..
In concept - stain should soak into the wood and help protect it from the elements. The wood on our decks are made from dead wood that once pulled moisture through itself for nourishment. The wood still maintains something of this trait by "wicking" moisture through it's veins and poors. When it was alive the wood naturally pulled water though and kept the wood hydrated. Now the water (or moisture) just gets trapped inside.
A quality stain will protect the wood fibers from absorbing the moisture. Both latex and oil provide that protection, but latex uses the water in it's formulation to act as a transporter of the oil like qualities found in the stain. Once the oil is inside the the water evaporates and the wood is protected.
Now here's where the debate gets divided; Oil stain also evaporates (but not as much) and there just simply more of it that stays inside the wood.
07-01-2013 02:25 AM
"Latex" has become a generic term for water based paints. Some of the early water based paints of the 1950's actually had latex resins in them. They fell by the wayside, but the term "latex" stuck when referring to water based paints. Most of today's premium water based paints and stains are based on acrylic resins.
Whether you use oil or water based, make sure your wood is thoroughly dry. The process of pressure treating forces large amounts of water deep into the grain under heat and pressure along with the chemicals that act as preservatives. Several weeks of exposure to the summer sun, warmth and wind should adequately dry out even very wet wood.
As a generalization, oil stains will require more frequent refreshing with a new coat. Their biggest advantge is that they do not form a surface film, so they will never peel and require a stripper to remove them.
Latex ( acrylic) stains tend to form more of a surface film, but also tend to last longer before needing a refresher coat of stain. However, when then do fail, stripping or sanding to bare wood becomes neccessary.
It is kind of a trade off of more upfront maintenance or a larger job at a later time.