Monday, August 22, 2011

Ace Wood Royal Solid Color Latex Deck Stain Review

Is it fair to review or judge a product after using just a couple gallons? No. But when you don't have the opportunity to use a product on a regular basis then the answer is Yes. It would be unfair not to pass any knowledge along to the next user.
Ace Wood Royal Deck Stain
This deck stain is suffering from a serious identity crisis. When ACE Hardware came up with this product they must of been having an off day.  It says stain on the can but it smells, feels, and applies like paint. So if you are after a true solid color deck stain look elsewhere. If you are looking for a solid paint that has excellent wear characteristics they keep reading.


The front of the can has these marketing  points:

  • Completely Opaque
  • 100% Acrylic Latex
  • Oil Enriched for Superior Adhesion (And its a Latex Product WEIRD)
  • Primer and Stain in One (Really nice Bonus)
  • Great on Siding too!
  • Shows Texture, Hides Grain (Dries down nicely)
  • Superior UV and water resistance
  • Resists peeling, fading and scuffing
  • Mildew Resisacne
So to summarize ACE's Solid deck stain it should sound something like this... "ACE's Wood Royal Solid Color Deck Stain (Item # 1972405) is a completely opaque latex stain impregnated with oil that primes and stains in one coat protects from UV, peeling, fading and is mildew and basically can be applied to any external surface."  That sounds pretty good. Wow, what an incredible product. Its a miracle paint... er... ugh... stain.

Some specs on the Back of the Can:
  • Latex Based solid stain with excellent adhesion 
  • Coverage 150-400 Sq Ft Rough vs Smooth
  • Self Priming (Although if used on cedar or other bleeding consider using ACE Stain Halt Latex Primer)
  • Apply with ACE polyester nylon brush, appropriate length nap roller (3/8'' length for most surfaces), pad applicator or Sprayer.
  • Dry Time to touch 1-2 hours in normal humidity at 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Between Coats 6-8 Hours
  • Light Foot Traffic 24-48 hours
  • Heavy Foot Traffic 72 Hours
  • Clean Up with warm soapy water
It was interesting to note that the application method for spraying gives no indication of a starting point. So do you use an airless sprayer, an HVLP gun, a Wagner Sprayer, or a pump sprayer. To figure this out all it took was a phone call to the local ACE hardware store. The "Paint Expert" as they called him had no idea but since it was a deck stain he suggested a pump sprayer. Well that was foolish thinking since the stain is as thick as an oil paint and there was no way it was ever going to come out of a pump sprayer. The store clerk wasn't much help so we emailed the ACE corporate office. Two days later the office sent us an email saying they received our email. Good to know. Three days later another email instructed to call a 1-800 number. Quite a frustrating experience so any further effort in that direction was abandoned.  

This product is not a paint, not really a stain, and not really thick or thin. It lives happily in a paradox. The application method we choose was an airless sprayer with a fine finish tip. One you start applying this product you will start to see that it behaves like an oil when sprayed, yet dries fast like a latex. It also did very well when brushed and rolled and leveled out very nicely. We wish that most exterior house paints went on this well. 

Clean UP. It is very important to use something other than just water to clean up equipment. This product has some sort of oil additive in it that makes it stick to every thing. If you are going to clean your brushes use something like Krud Kutter, Brush Flush, Shout, or Fabric Softener. At the very least use some Dawn Dish Soap or maybe a citrus cleaner to help cut the oil. Don't mix any of these together but use at least one of them. Your brush might look clean with water but will be as stiff as a rock when it dries.

The final verdict... We loved this product. ACE's Solid Latex Deck Stain is easy to apply and lets the texture of the wood show which is always a bonus. We would like to have the opportunity to use this more but the reallity of it is that most decks and siding is stained and not painted. Regardless of what the can says we feel that this is a Paint disguised as stain. It behaves like a paint and will be labeled as one. If  we had a rating system for paint it would get 5 out of 5 Khaki Pants. 

Just in case anyone wanted to call ACE's paint center for more product information their number is below:



  1. I am a consistent reader of these site. This are some wonderful tips and very beneficial for us. Thanks for updating these tips.

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  2. Stuff is horrible only lasted a year and srated peeling and faded severely! Now I guess Ill wait to have it all peel off and switch to another brand. Wasted at least 200.00 (8 gallons X 25.00).

  3. That's unfortunate to here. I put this stuff on a high humidity greenhouse last summer and the finish still looks great. Visited the homeowner just last week to say hello and check on well the buildings on her property that have been painted. I washed the cedar surface with Krud Kutter and power washed the about out of it it. ACE is pretty good about issuing refunds. You should contact the manufacturer.

  4. We put this product on our log home 9 years ago. It has held up great and we are hoping to find it again as we will be restraining our home next week. Thanks Ace for a great stain at a great price!

    1. That's great!

      I'd love to see pictures when you get done.


  6. Ipe decking is rated very highly for being resistant to rot and decay. Ipe wood decking has also been rigorously tested and has a high fire resistance rating without needing any additional

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