WeatherSeal™ Premium Oil-Based Exterior Wood Stain and Sealant FAQ
HOW MANY COLORS OF WEATHERSEAL ARE AVAILABLE?
WeatherSeal is currently available in 16 different semi-transparent colors. There are 8 colors in the WeatherSeal Classics collection and 8 colors in the WeatherSeal Impressions collection.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WEATHERSEAL CLASSICS LINE AND WEATHERSEAL IMPRESSIONS
WeatherSeal Classics is a collection of tried and true colors that have stood the test of time. WeatherSeal Classics features warm Earth tones, subtle natural shades of honey and amber, and deep, rich browns designed to complement all types of wood. WeatherSeal Classics allow wood’s natural beauty to shine through, beautifying while it protects.
WeatherSeal Impressions are fashion-forward wood stain colors that pop. Bright and unabashed hues selected for their personality, uniqueness and ability to complement the WeatherSeal Classics colors. WeatherSeal Impressions are perfect for adding a burst of color to window and door trim, furniture and outbuildings. WeatherSeal Impressions are also special-order colors that Continental makes to order. It may take us a bit longer to get them to you, but the wait will be worth it.
MY FAVORITE COLOR OF WEATHERSEAL IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. WHAT CAN I DO IF I NEED TO RESTAIN/TOUCH-UP?
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed, it’s change. That goes for wood stains, too. If Continental recently discontinued one of your favorite WeatherSeal colors don’t worry. Our current line of WeatherSeal Classics colors still has plenty of great shades to choose from, most of which will work perfectly with colors that may already be on your home.
CAN I USE WEATHERSEAL INSIDE?
WeatherSeal stain may be used inside if you have a very well-ventilated, open space. Because WeatherSeal is an oil-based product it smells like an oil-based product. If you’ve ever made models, you might remember the smell of those model paints. Well, WeatherSeal smells a bit like this. WeatherSeal contains some ingredients classified as VOC’s or Volatile Organic Compounds. This means that even at room temperature they very easily turn into vapor and become airborne eventually meandering their way into your lungs. If you choose to use WeatherSeal indoors, always use breathing and eye protection and make sure you’ve got the windows open and an exhaust fan blowing.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN OIL-BASED AND A WATER-BASED STAIN?
Oil and water-based stains provide different levels of protection and coverage depending on factors such as type of wood, previous wood treatment, weather exposure, etc.
HOW MUCH COVERAGE CAN I GET OUT OF A GALLON?
There are so many variables that can influence paint and stain coverage rates – wood type and moisture content, application method, coat thickness and application temperature just to name a few – that it’s tough to give an exact number. We tell our customers that they can expect to average somewhere around 300ft 2/gallon for a three-coat application on new wood with a moisture content of 15% or less. The first coat on new, dry wood will typically average around 200ft2/gallon while the third coat will be closer to 350ft2/gallon.
HOW LONG WILL A WEATHERSEAL APPLICATION ON MY LOG HOME LAST BEFORE I NEED TO RE-STAIN IT?
With regular seasonal maintenance that includes washing twice a year with a mild wood cleaner and pest and insect inspections, a three-coat WeatherSeal stain application should last an average of 4 years before a re-stain is necessary. This is only an average. Some homes may only get 3 years and some may get 5 years. It may also be necessary to spot touch-up on a yearly basis as necessary.
CAN I USE WEATHERSEAL OVER WOOD THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN STAINED?
The short answer is yes. Most commercially available wood stains are either oil-based or water-based and if they are completely dry and there is no solid top coat on the surface, you can use WeatherSeal overtop of existing finishes. It’s always best to wash the wood first and test WeatherSeal in a small, inconspicuous area before applying to the entire surface.
DO I NEED TO DO ANY SURFACE PREPARATION PRIOR TO USING WEATHERSEAL?
All new wood construction should be allowed to “season” for a period of at least 6 months before applying any surface finish. It’s best to allow a full year on a new log home construction prior to staining. Before applying WeatherSeal make sure that the surface is clean, dry and free of surface contaminants. If you want to make sure the surface is nice and clean use Continental WoodScrub(link to WoodScrub product page) wood surface cleaner.
IS WEATHERSEAL COMPATIBLE WITH AND PERIMASEAL?
Absolutely. WeatherSeal can be used in conjunction with all of Continental’s caulk and sealant products. We do recommend that if you plan to chink a log home with that you do this before the stain is applied.
WHY IS WEATHERSEAL SO THICK?
WeatherSeal was developed back in the early 1980s specifically for use on log homes with chinking. The extra-thick, “no-drip” formula is designed so that it won’t run over the beautiful chinking that you’ve taken so much time to put on your home. It also won’t run or drip down your arms or paintbrush when you’re working overhead, and this means less mess and, more importantly, less wasted wood stain.
CAN I USE A SPRAYER TO APPLY WEATHERSEAL?
Spray away! You can spray-apply WeatherSeal with a spraying system (a commercial-grade airless sprayer with a 0.015 – 0.017 tip is recommended) but it must first be diluted with mineral spirits to thin it out. We recommend starting with 4oz of mineral spirits per gallon of WeatherSeal and slowing adding more as needed. Don’t add too much, though, because once it’s in there you won’t be able to get it back out! We also recommend that you back-brush any spray-applied application to prevent a splotchy, uneven appearance and minimize lap marks.
WHAT’S THE BEST APPLICATION METHOD FOR WEATHERSEAL?
WeatherSeal is best applied with a high-quality, synthetic bristle brush and good, old fashioned elbow grease. Brushing will spread out WeatherSeal more evenly, impart better penetration into the wood surface and insure a tighter bond to the wood surface. Be forewarned, because WeatherSeal contains water, the bristles in a natural bristle brush will become waterlogged and lose their ability to properly hold and spread WeatherSeal evenly.
WILL WEATHERSEAL FADE OVER TIME?
Maybe. Colors may fade for a few reasons, chief among them ultraviolet light exposure and general weathering and erosion. WeatherSeal does contain UV stabilized pigments that will resist fading for many years, but eventually, Mother Nature will have her way. While fading can’t be stopped entirely, you can limit it with regular cleaning and maintenance as well as yearly touch-ups in spots more prone to direct sun and weather exposure.
ARE THERE ANY ADDITIVES IN WEATHERSEAL THAT WILL DISCOURAGE PEST AND INSECT INFESTATION?
WeatherSeal does not contain any specific additives that will keep bugs and pests away from the wood. There are several aftermarket products available that make claims about keeping insects at bay, but we stay away from making false promises. WeatherSeal does contain borates for their preservative effects, and some have noted that bugs don’t like borates.
HOW LONG HAS WEATHERSEAL BEEN ON THE MARKET?
WeatherSeal was first introduced into the log homes market in 1983.
WHERE IS WEATHERSEAL MADE?
WeatherSeal is manufactured in Euclid, Ohio at the Continental Products plant.
CAN I USE WEATHERSEAL ON MY DECK?
WeatherSeal exterior stain may be used on just about anything that’s made from wood, including decks. While WeatherSeal doesn’t have the enhanced abrasion resistance you might find in a product that’s specifically designed for use on surfaces that may experience foot traffic or other regular wear, it will perform well under typical conditions. It may be necessary to touch up spots every year or so, depending upon wear patterns.
CAN I USE WEATHERSEAL ON MY FENCE?
Yes, WeatherSeal is perfect for use on wood fences.
CAN WEATHERSEAL BE USED ON PRESSURE-TREATED WOOD?
Yes, WeatherSeal may be used on pressure-treated wood if it is dry to the touch and has been allowed to “season” for at least three months prior to staining. Ideally, with pressure-treated wood a two-season application approach will yield the best results. This means waiting three months after construction, applying a single coat and then waiting until the following season to apply two more coats. It is not recommended that more than one coat be applied on new-construction with pressure-treated wood.
WHAT TYPES OF WOOD CAN WEATHERSEAL BE USED ON?
With the exception of wood surfaces that may come into contact with food (cutting boards, butcher block countertops) WeatherSeal can be used on just about any type of wood surface. Just keep in mind that stain absorption and coverage rates, final color and overall stain durability will all be influenced by the type of wood used.
DO I NEED TO APPLY A CLEAR COAT ON TOP OF WEATHERSEAL?
We never recommend that any solid clear coats of any kind be applied over wood stains, especially on log homes. Solid coatings prevent the wood’s natural expansion and contraction as it ages and are prone to cracking, chipping and peeling, all which look pretty bad and allow for water to get in and start molding things up. Another downside to solid coatings is that they must be removed before you can re-stain and this is both time-consuming and expensive. WeatherSeal is a stain and sealant in one, so there’s no need for any type of top-coat.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS OF WEATHERSEAL?
WeatherSeal’s formulation is a trade secret, so we can’t exactly tell you that. Suffice it to say that WeatherSeal’s unique oil and water hybrid technology contains a proprietary blend of natural oils, resins and wood conditioners hand-selected by wood finishers, chemists and other really geeky lab-type people with oodles of experience to beautify and protect wood by penetrating deep into the fibers.
HOW DO I CLEAN UP WEATHERSEAL?
WeatherSeal can be cleaned up with mineral spirits or similar solvent.
WHAT IS THE SHELF-LIFE OF A CAN OF WEATHERSEAL?
If stored in the original, unopened container in a temperature-controlled environment, WeatherSeal has a shelf-life of three years from the date of manufacture. Opened containers should be used within one year. WeatherSeal that is older than 5 years should be disposed of properly.
IS WEATHERSEAL FREEZE/THAW STABLE?
It’s really best to make sure that WeatherSeal doesn’t freeze, but if you suspect that it has been frozen, allow it to come up to room temperature slowly before remixing and testing on a small patch of wood. When in doubt, toss it out. Properly, of course.
I JUST OPENED MY CAN OF WEATHERSEAL AND NOTICED THAT THERE’S A SOLID “SKIN” OVERTOP OF THE STAIN. IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT?
Nope, this is totally normal, and chances are very good that your WeatherSeal is just fine. Sometimes, when the lid of the WeatherSeal can or pail isn’t completely sealed, some air can get in from the outside world. This air reacts with the WeatherSeal chemistry and begins to “cure” the product, resulting in a thin, solid layer that covers the exposed top of the stain. This skin acts as sort of an air barrier, preventing further product exposure, so once it forms its best to leave it in place until you plan to use the WeatherSeal. Speaking of which, make sure you remove this solid layer by carefully trimming around the edge with a putty knife or screw driver and lifting it off the surface. Whatever you do, DON’T MIX IN THE SOLID FILM. Sorry for yelling, but seriously, if you mix it in it will not dissolve and you will ruin your stain. Things will get even worse if you then try to run it through a sprayer. Ugh.
WHAT TYPE OF BRUSH SHOULD I USE WITH WEATHERSEAL?
Always use a synthetic-bristle brush whenever you’re applying WeatherSeal. If you use a natural-bristle brush the water in the WeatherSeal formula will cause the bristles to swell and distort leading to loss of stain-holding ability and a less-than-desirable uneven, splotchy surface finish.
WHAT’S THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO STAIN WITH WEATHERSEAL?
The best time of year will vary based upon where you happen to be located. Some homeowners will choose to do their staining in the spring and some in early fall. The choice is yours, it’s just best to make sure that you’ve got at least a 24-hour window where you aren’t expecting any precipitation so that your WeatherSeal has plenty of time to dry.
WHAT ARE THE IDEAL WEATHER CONDITIONS FOR STAINING?
WeatherSeal tends to like the same environmental conditions that you do. Goldilocks conditions – just right. Be aware that colder, damper weather will increase the drying time of the stain while warmer, drier conditions will have the opposite effect. Ideally, WeatherSeal likes to be applied when the ambient and surface temperatures have had a chance to reach about 75ºF and when the relative humidity is around 40-60%.
WATER ISN’T BEADING ON MY LOG HOME/FENCE/DECK DOES THIS MEAN THAT WEATHERSEAL ISN’T WORKING?
Don’t worry, your WeatherSeal is working just fine. It may look cool, but just because you don’t see water beading up on the surface doesn’t mean that your stain has stopped working. Depending upon the porosity and density of the wood and how many coats of stain you’ve applied, water beading may only be a temporary condition that slowly fades over time. WeatherSeal will continue to do its job long after any beading water has gone.
DO I NEED TO BACK-BRUSH AFTER SPRAYING WEATHERSEAL?
If you want your WeatherSeal finish to look its best you do. Back-brushing after spraying WeatherSeal is highly recommended. Sure, you don’t have to do it, but if you don’t you’re probably going to be left with unsightly spray patterns and lap marks that’ll give the surface a blotchy, uneven appearance. Take the time to back-brush your WeatherSeal, your hard work will be rewarded.
HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT AFTER WASHING THE WOOD SURFACE BEFORE STAINING?
It’s always recommended that you wait at least 24 hours after washing the surface of wood that you plan to stain to make sure it’s had plenty of time to dry out. Applying WeatherSeal over damp or wet wood can result in an uneven, blotchy appearance, blistering, and a shorter performance lifetime. Trust us, you don’t want any of those things.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR WEATHERSEAL TO DRY?
We know that there’s no such thing as an ideal situation, but if there was and the temperature was about 70ºF and the relative humidity was about 50% and the wood you wanted to stain was less than 15% moisture, a single coat of WeatherSeal would dry to the touch in about 12 hours. In this same ideal situation, a three-coat application of WeatherSeal will hard-cure in about 3 weeks.
HOW MANY COATS OF WEATHERSEAL SHOULD I APPLY? HOW LONG SHOULD I ALLOW IT TO DRY BETWEEN COATS?
Once again, we fall back on our friend “it depends”. The number of coats you will need will be based upon the type of wood, how wet that wood is, how thickly you apply the coats etc. For most initial applications on log homes or other vertical surfaces we recommend three coats for maximum protection and stain longevity. Two coats may suffice if the surface has been previously stained is clean and is in good condition free from mold, mildew, rot, etc.
I JUST BUILT MY DECK OUT OF PRESSURE-TREATED WOOD. CAN I STAIN IT RIGHT AWAY OR SHOULD I WAIT?
WeatherSeal can be used on pressure-treated wood, but best results are obtained if the pressure-treated wood is allowed to “season” naturally for at least 6 months.
DOES WEATHERSEAL COME IN MORE THAN ONE SHEEN?
WeatherSeal is prized for its natural, rustic appearance and as such does not have any shine-producing components in the formula. The final finish is best described as a matte or lusterless finish.