AKJ Architects LLC

Consider Water-Based Stains for Your Deck

A few weeks ago, I was re-introduced to water-based wood stain, and the product caught my attention. For years, I’ve been specifying the tried-and-true Cabot’s semi-solid linseed oil-based stains, and I love this product. However, given the improvements that have been made with micro-polymer water-based products, I’m very interested in trying this product this summer – It’ll be educational and non-toxic. OK – Why do I believe this product might be a game changer for home-owners?

A few weeks ago, I was re-introduced to water-based wood stain, and the product caught my attention.  For years, I’ve been specifying the tried-and-true Cabot’s semi-solid linseed oil-based stains, and I love this product. However, given the improvements that have been made with micro-polymer water-based products, I’m very interested in trying this product this summer – It’ll be educational and non-toxic. OK – Why do I believe this product might be a game changer for home-owners?

“Seal-Once,” is an Eco-Friendly, water-based wood stain.

This is fantastic. Seal Once is different from other exterior semi-transparent stains because: (1) It’s a durable product; (2) It doesn’t have the toxic fumes associated with oil based or Alkyd products – so it’s safe for humans, pets, and the environment; (3) It’s easy to clean  up; and (4) It has a nice color palette to choose from. 


“Seal Once” can be used on exterior wood siding, shingles, decking, railings, and fences. And because it’s a sealer, it’s a penetrating product that allows the wood to breath and doesn’t sit on top of the wood like paint. It won’t peel. It may fade – but maintaining this finish is so much easier than paint.

Also, this product can be used inside, where the VOCs from off-gassing is greatly reduced. Whether the wood is being pre-finished off site or on site, this is a real benefit for any project that’s looking to be sustainable. 

I don’t know if custom colors can be requested. For example, can they match a Cabot Stain Color? I’ll have to ask before I specify a semi-transparent stair for any upcoming projects. This summer, it’s time to experiment.

Thinking about a project that includes exterior staining? Feel free to give AKJA a call or send us an email.

Arlene Kisiel-Jermann

Arlene brings over twenty-five years of design experience to her company. As a professional who strives to provide exceptional customer service, creative design skills, and an eye for detail, AKJA has the experience and training to lead your residential project from concept through completion.

Arlene received her Master in Architecture Degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her Master in Science in Interior Design from the University of Massachusetts and her Bachelor degree from Skidmore College with a major in Art & minor in Spanish. Arlene's combination of creative degrees in Architecture, Interior Design and Fine Art give her a holistic approach to residential design and enable her to quickly comprehend and efficiently collaborate with other professionals. At MIT, she coupled her studies with graduate courses at the MIT Center for Real Estate where she studied business. Since a young age, Arlene has had numerous academic opportunities to travel throughout America, Europe and Asia and learn about art and culture throughout the world.

Since 1987, Arlene has been privileged and trusted to work on residential and commercial projects with multi-million dollar budgets. She has managed all phases of residential design, architecture, and construction for well-established Seattle architecture firms such as Sullivan Conard Architects, NBBJ, and General Contractor Toth Construction, a Seattle based custom residential builder. Arlene launched her own firm in 2007 to design new and renovated homes, cabins and condominiums ranging in size from 500sf to 10,000sf. She brings passion, creativity, a commitment to succeed, and a powerful blend of skills, education and experience to every residential architecture project.

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