Back in 2015, I heavily researched which product to use on our backyard deck, which is made of pressure-treated pine. I selected One Time wood stain, a penetrating outdoor deck stain which is supposed to last for seven years. Unlike traditional stains, One Time’s color and finish penetrates the wood via a UV activation process from the sun. My entire deck refinishing process (stripping, power-washing, orbital sanding, and staining) is detailed in this 2015 post.
I always envisioned this to be a long-term review, so each year I have taken photos and done an annual update post. As it is now 2019, it’s time for another! The above picture was taken in 2015 after staining the deck with One Time.
Then came 2016:
In 2016, I shared a one-year update showing how the stain had weathered over the first year: (Very little.)
2017 rolled around…
In 2017, my two-year-update showing minimal fading and wear on the stain. The knots in the wood showed the most significant change, with the stain fading more in the knotty areas.
Then came 2018:
My 2018 three-year update noted that the deck was still retaining much of its color, but the color had lightened up more. Some of the heavily-grained areas of the wood had faded as well.
Now, it’s 2019!
The deck’s surface has continued to fade a little more over the previous year. I took this set of photos in April 2019. When springtime began to roll around, I looked at the the deck and decided I wanted to re-stain it this year. While I do believe the stain’s would still show some color for a few more years (One Time advertises a seven-year life) I also wanted our deck to look fresh again and continue to protect the now 15-year-old deck wood.
Here’s another image showing the date these photos were taken (April 7th) with the current condition of the deck. A few days after these photos were taken, I decided to prep the deck for staining again.
Re-staining with One Time is really easy — you do not have to strip or sand the deck at all if you are recoating existing One Time with a new coat of One Time. Their product documentation states that you simply need to wash the deck with liquid deck wash (I used Sunnyside brand from Menards) and then let it dry for a minimum of 48 hours.
Once the deck was clean and dry, I began re-staining it. Just as before, I used a 4″ wide brush and simply brushed the stain on. As you can see, the wood of our deck was pretty thirsty, and it soaked the new stain right up.
The change in color over the past four years is definitely noticeable with the old and new stain side-by-side. I used the same color as I used back in 2015 — One Time Chestnut.
The stain soaked right in, and re-staining went very quick. It only took two hours to re-stain our entire deck (by hand, with a brush.)
Here’s a completed view of the deck. For comparison’s sake, I did not re-stain the deck rail on the left, nor did I re-stain the kids’ climber. The climber’s color is still a nice, rich brown, and I’m not going to re-stain it this year as it still looks great. This stain goes on darker than it ultimately cures, so what you see in this photo is not the final color it cured to.
Here’s a separate post where I detailed staining my kids’ climber with the same One Time deck stain back in 2015.
Here’s another view of the kids’ climber taken this spring. I believe the reason that the climber has kept more of its color is that it had never been stained prior to doing so in 2015. This climber was previously owned by friends of ours, who kept it natural and never stained it before giving it to us. We believe it’s over 20 years old, so the wood was also extremely dry and thirsty when I stained it four years ago.
About a week after staining, we got our first rain, and I was happy to see the water beading up on the deck stain once again. Once the stain had cured and dried, we moved our deck furniture outdoors and began enjoying sitting and eating outside.
Then, about three weeks later, on April 28th, Chicagoland woke up to another kind of weather…
Who could have guessed we’d have snow at the end of April?! In retrospect, I probably would not have re-stained the deck three weeks before a snowstorm was due, but nobody knew this was coming. Such is life in the Midwest!
Despite not making it to the 7-year mark, I am still pleased with how well One Time performed. Because this stain is designed not to chip or peel (ever!) the re-coating process was a snap and required no sanding or stripping. Having gone through the labor-intensive stripping and sanding process twice before on our now 15-year-old deck, I am in no hurry to repeat it. With One Time, you can deck wash, let it dry, and re-stain again.
Here’s the “new after” photo once my 2019 stain re-coat had fully cured. I will continue to update the posts once a year to see how the kids’ climber is doing and if it makes it all the way to the seven-year mark while still looking great.
One Time is not the easiest product to find in stores — you can order it online or find it at a specialty retailer. Some Ace Hardware locations carry it or can order it. Expect to pay around $100 per gallon — it is not inexpensive.
If this post is your first introduction to the series, I’m located in the suburbs of Chicago, and the deck faces the west. It receives hot Midwest sunshine in the summer and is covered with snow in the winter (and sometimes, during freak spring snowstorms too!) You’re also welcome to go back and read the other posts in this series, which include more detailed photos for each year:
- My quest to find a great deck stain (2015)
- A shepherd’s hook ruined my deck! (2015)
- My kids’ wood climber makeover (2015)
- My deck stain report: One year later (2016)
- My deck stain report: Two years later (2017)
- My deck stain report: Three years later (2018)
- My deck stain report: Four years later (2019)
Good luck to everyone tackling their decks and outdoor wood surfaces this year!
Really excellent how your reviews showed how this product held up over time. While the price is higher, the premium does seem justified in that the color retention likely avoids 1-2 re-stainings as compared to other products.
Coupon Maven says
Thank you! I too am pleased with it. With the winters we get, I was not anticipating getting seven years out of it, although with the great condition of the kids’ climber, I think had we used this stain initially on the deck, it might have lasted longer. And, to be fair, there was still stain and color remaining in the wood — it just wasn’t the rich brown that it was for the first couple of years.
The price is also worth it to me in the labor saved. Because this stain doesn’t flake off or chip, it was so easy to prep and restain this year. And, I still had stain left from the first time around, which I used to re-coat this year.
If you used a high end stain like Armstrong Clark or TWP the stain would have lasted just as long or longer at half the price. They are oil based stains that also dry and cure quickly, and condition the wood. The color just fades , and it’s easy to re-coat with just a cleaning first. When the pigment fades there is less or little protection of the wood. I will be using AC on my deck. I did a lot of research, called contractors who used these products, etc.. I’m not in the stain business.
I originally learned about them on this stain site. It’s actually a sealer store that test various stains, through service side. https://www.deckstainhelp.com/category/deck-product-reviews/. They also reviewed One time stain. You can search for the review on their site.
I appreciate your honest review of this stain. I agree with you that there is real value in having something that fades out versus chips off or flakes away. Unfortunately so many outdoor stains are more like latex paints these days that sit on the surface and then crack and peel the first time the wood goes through temperature extremes.
Last year based on your review we stained our deck with this brand in the honey color. We are really happy so far, it looks great this spring. We were stripping and re finishing our deck every 2 years which as you know is a pain.
Now the real question, how is your deck TV doing this year outside?
Coupon Maven says
Ha! TV is fine, as you can see. Someone else is also a fan of watching TV on the deck too!
We did bring the TV and plastic tote in the garage for the winter. It went back out just a few days before the April snowfall came. The TV is just fine in there, and we use it multiple times a week while we’re sitting outside. We love it, and I especially love that it cost next to nothing to set up.
For anyone else wondering – yep, it’s an old tube TV under a clear tote to protect it from the weather: https://jillcataldo.com/super-cheap-outdoor-television-setup/