Why is CIL translucent stain drying in white haze?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Burlington
9/23/2015 at 7:49:28 PM

I built a cedar deck a few months ago, let it dry out, cleaned it with Thompson's Deck cleaner and brightener, let dry for a few days and started staining it using What can I say I like trying new things.

I stained first coat with no issues at all and under same weather conditions. I am in Burlington, Ontario area, we have had a week of mid 20s celsius weather, obviously cooler at night. Day before yesterday I started the second coat. The areas that look good were completed by 3.30-4pm, area that dried to a soft white haze was completed by 5.30pm. Obviously these boards did not dry properly and I'm sure there was a little morning due. I'm a bit baffled by this, the bad parts look awful and I'm incredibly disappointed given the time and effort gone in to this.

First inclination is to take a sander to them and start again, obviously earlier in the day. I'm looking for some advice in what to do next, ie. should I leave it dry any longer (2 days of warm sunny weather already), should I put another coat over top; or should I sand the bad boards and start again??? Any helpful advice would be very greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Why is CIL translucent stain drying in white haze?
Why is CIL translucent stain drying in white haze?
Why is CIL translucent stain drying in white haze?
User Icon
Date/Time9/23/2015 at 9:40:21 PM

Hi Chris,

The first thing I would do is read up and double check the information written on the container of stain. See the steps it lists to a proper installation and see if that indicates anything first off. As for the bad news, if it is hazing it is not going to go away, you will have to sand it and re-finish it. Is it possible that it rained that night, or any kind of extra moisture got into the wood after application? You are basically using a clear coat by the looks of it and not an actual stain. Cedar is best stained after a few weeks of being left to the weather to naturally expel the oils in the wood, and then lightly sanding/scuffing the wood to open the pours and then staining. Staining is also best applied by brush and then wiped off using a rag. Multiple coats are required and a light scuffing in between each coat will give the best result. Is it possible it was just painted on and maybe too heavy and became hazy?

personally the added cleaner you used the deck cleaner may have something to do with it as well, I would do anything but power wash it if anything, but let it naturally expel its oils, then power wash if needed then stain it. Do you have any other left over wood? Try a few different combinations of installation methods on those extra pieces and see if you can pin point the cause and then create a method for best results. As they always say, better to try on a smaller sample section before doing a large area so you know how the products react.

I hope that helps you out some, but I cannot undue the fact that it will need to be sanded to be re-done to best result.


User Icon
Chris in Burlington
Date/Time9/23/2015 at 10:55:37 PM

Not sure why my pictures didn't post. Attempting to include them again. It is a stain, a new type of translucent stain finish from CIL - no wiping off. It's supposed to provide a varnish like sheen but for exterior deck application. Click the link in my post to read more. The only thing I can think of is morning due on the boards before they actually dried. Half the deck looks great with the same application, only difference was the time of day. Looks like I will have to sand and re-stain.

User Icon
Bill from Angelbuilds in Sherwood Park
Date/Time9/23/2015 at 11:54:41 PM

Hi Chris, I've always waited 1 year before paint

User Icon
Date/Time9/24/2015 at 7:26:35 PM

Last guy is right...wait till wood fully dried. You need 72 hrs clear weather and warm before stain and 72 after. If using a water based stain use the most expensive Behr. I have had great results. Most of that latex stuff is crap...oh I mourn the loss of oil based products!!! Far superior then all this environmentally safe crap.

User Icon
Date/Time9/28/2015 at 1:34:25 PM


Always wait one year before staining cedar.

I have always done so with clients. And it has always worked out. Two years ago I built a nine hundred square foot deck in my own back yard..........and like a fool, I did not wait.

This coming summer two of my guys and myself will be sanding down the entire deck. So I can re-stain.

Please, everyone, wait a year for cedar prior to staining.

Live with the look you have on the deck now. If it really bothers you in two summers, do as I am doing.

Good luck with it.

User Icon
Date/Time2/16/2016 at 11:49:44 PM

Because the new water based stains are "crap"...stick to oil only!! getting harder to find but still out fix what you got uusally sanding lightly with a 400 grit and restaining should get rid of it but yuo must have 72 hrs. dry before and 72 after or same result...if still no good you will have to strip entire deck and start over with OIL BASE.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.