Pro Applications

THE KEY TO SUCCESS with HUEMILLER COMBO STAIN & SEALANT

Thank you for considering Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant for your exterior wood project. We want you to get the best results possible, so if you still have questions or need additional information after reading the contents of this document please give us a call 972.384.1280

This document contains multiple sections that address a variety of topics. Proper wood preparation and measuring the moisture content of the wood prior to application are the two most critical steps to getting the best results. *See the WOOD PREP and MOISTURE CONTENT sections of this document. 

WOOD PREP

The first requirement for proper wood preparation is that the wood is clean and bare, free from any previous product. If your wood is:

  • Brand new, rough-cut lumber: no special prep needed
  • Brand new, smooth-milled lumber (such as deck boards or furniture): there is an invisible mill glaze coating on this wood, which will inhibit the penetration of Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant into the wood. This must be addressed before successful application. Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant recommends using a 50% bleach/50%water solution, spray on the surface of the wood, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then use a pressure washer (1000PSI or less), or a garden hose with a jet sprayer attached, and rinse the wood well.
  • Older wood (more than a year old) with no previous product, but grey from age: Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant recommends using a 50% bleach/50% water solution, spray on the surface of the wood, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse the wood well with a garden hose. (*If there is not very much grey, you can decrease the bleach ratio. If there is a lot of grey, you can increase the bleach ratio).
  • Older wood (more than a year old) with residual product (other than Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant): wood must be stripped, neutralized, and then brightened to get down to clean bare wood. This process is outlined on a separate page in this document.
  • Older wood (more than a year old) with Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant previously applied: if you started with Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant on clean bare wood before, maintenance is easy. The only prep needed in this case is a light cleaning. Mix 25% bleach/75% water in a pump-up sprayer, spray on the surface of the wood, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with a garden hose. If there are any spots with mold, mildew, and algae growing, you can use a stainless-steel swimming pool algae brush to gently score that area and rinse those spots away first. The bleach/water solution will kill and marginalize anything else that may be growing. 

MOISTURE CONTENT

Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant is an oil-based semi-transparent stain. Since oil and water do not mix, the most important, requirement for successful Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant application is to ensure the wood is completely dry. This can NOT be definitively determined just by touching the wood or by simply allowing a certain number of hours, because different regions have higher humidity, colder temperatures, variable weather conditions, or the wood may be very porous and holding onto moisture longer than a denser wood. 

  • Once the appropriate Wood Prep protocol outlined above has been followed (whichever one is appropriate for your specific project), then the critical thing that needs to happen is to check the moisture content of the wood. Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant highly recommends using a wood moisture meter to ascertain this measurement. A moisture meter can be purchased online at most paint, lumber, or hardware stores. They range in price from $20-$200 for the contractor-grade tools. The entry-level models will work fine for most applications. This is a wise investment, because you will re-use this tool every time you re-apply Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant. The 12% or less moisture content rule is true for the first application, as well as every future application. (note: high humidity areas may only be able to get down to 14-15%, so that is acceptable in those areas, but the wood may only take one coat….follow the two-coat verification to test). 
  • Spot check several areas of the wood- corners, around knot holes, top, bottom, etc. Once you’ve prepped the wood and your structure is getting 12% or less moisture content readings on the moisture meter, then it is ready to have Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant applied. 
  • *Caution: Applying Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant on wood that is not dried as recommended may lead to the stain not penetrating into the wood, as it should, and it may remain on the surface, making it vulnerable to washing away if it rains, or drying on the surface and flaking/peeling off later. This is precisely what Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant is designed NOT to do. But it only works as intended if these guidelines are followed. 

ONE OR TWO COATS?

Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant is intended to be a two-coat application, and the representation of tones above and on the Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant website is indicative of two coats of Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant. However, because Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant is not a paint or coating the covers the surface of the wood, but rather penetrates down into the wood pores, there are some projects where the wood simply will not take a second coat, including brand new, smooth-milled wood (such as deck boards or raw furniture), as well as some exotic hardwoods. Both of these wood categories are very dense, and it takes several years for dense wood to open up enough to take a second coat. Doing a pre-treatment with a 50/50 bleach-water solution (spray on, let sit for 30 minutes, and rinse well) can serve to open up those wood pores a little. If this is done, the wood must be allowed to dry down to 12% or less before applying Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant. 

Two Coat Verification Test Method:

Not sure if your project will take two coats? Here is how you can tell: After applying the 1st coat and allowing 1 hour to dry, then apply a few drops of Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant in a few test areas. Let those drops sit undisturbed for 30 to 45 minutes, and then wipe your fingers or a paper towel across test areas. If you see nothing at all or just clear oil, the pigment has penetrated in and the wood is ready for a second coat. If you see color/pigment when you, you will have to wait a year or more for subsequent application. 

RECOMMENDED APPLICATION TOOLS

Stained Wood Fance with Moss

Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant can be applied with any tool you are comfortable with:

  • Brush/Roller: any paint brush or standard paint rollers with any nap (3/8” nap is typical)
  • Pump-Up Garden Sprayer: any mid-range or higher quality sprayer
  • Airless Sprayer: any mid-range or higher quality sprayer; 40-60 PSI, 0.18-0.23 range and 211 or 213 spray tip recommended.

CLEAN-UP: tools can be cleaned with mineral spirits when finished.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS DO I NEED TO TAKE?

If using a sprayer, do not use on a windy or breezy day, as overspray may inadvertently travel to nearby structures, vehicles, windows, stonework, or furniture, and it is difficult to remove if not caught early. You may want to wait for a less windy day.

Cover all nearby plants and vegetation with plastic drop cloth before applying Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant to protect against drips and overspray. Be cautious of extreme heat- plastic drop cloths on hot summer days can burn and/or kill vegetation and plants.

Prior to staining, you can generously wet down any nearby concrete or stone or other surfaces. Because oil is lighter than water, this gives you a window of opportunity to address any spills, drips, or overspray, as the water will delay the penetration of Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant into a porous surface. Rinsing areas again after staining washes away the floating oils. Don’t allow water to evaporate or Huemiller Combo Stain & Sealant can stain concrete.

It is always recommended to protect skin and eyes when working with any chemical products.

Stained Wood Fance with Moss

MORE TIPS AND HINTS

  • Mix, shake, and/or remove lids to stir well before each use. Mix multiple containers together to ensure color consistency.
  • Pour 5-gallon buckets with the spout at the 12 o’clock position to avoid sloshing and spills
  • When pouring stain into sprayers of other containers, always pour while standing over grass or a tarp, not over driveways or concrete.
  • Use cardboard or spray shields to help control overspray.
  • Brush areas of fences or decks that are close to a house or garage first. Brushing out a few feet allows for prevention of overspray on brick or siding.
  • Always keep a gallon of paint thinner or mineral spirits close by to clean any spills immediately.
  • When spraying fences, buy a four-foot-wide roll of construction paper and lay sections of it right up to the base of the fence

Questions? We're here to help