The saying “As goes the West, so goes the Nation” is particularly evidenced in the areas of art and fashion. Lately, the notion has been playing out in the case of wood stain usage for outdoor projects. The West is widely acknowledged as the birthplace of the practice of staining pressure treated lumber. For at least 20 years, the majority of decks, fences, and other outdoor structures have been built with pressure treated wood that has been factory stained. The practice has been driven largely by the desire for a better looking end product. In recent years, the preference for color in pressure treated products appears to be bleeding east, with growing consumer demand for more attractive colors for decks and fences.
Eco Chemical™ has long advocated the value of staining pressure treated products, for both aesthetic and practical benefits, and the emergence of interest in color from the East Coast is encouraging. After several years of coming home empty handed, Eco Chemical’s recent attendance at the American Wood Protection Association Annual Meeting (AWPA) in Asheville, North Carolina, was rewarded with solid evidence that the eastward migration of color is underway. “The location of this year’s meeting in North Carolina was strategic in our efforts to make inroads with the pressure treating industry in the Southeast,” explains Eco Chemical’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Jim Brady. “We came away this year with several solid leads that are converting quickly from conversations to projects involving coloration of pressure treated wood in the Southeast and East Coast.” Eco Chemical’s extensive experience and solid relationships with pressure treaters in the West has helped tremendously in telling our story to prospects in the East. “We have tried and tested solutions to meet the needs of any new customer, regardless of wood species, treatment chemistry, or treatment process,” describes Jim.
The impetus behind the growth seems to stem from both consumers and informed retailers in the market. “Homeowners moving to the East bring their taste for color with them across country. Anyone who has lived in the West, or even just visited, realizes how much more appealing stained wood looks than unstained,” explains Jim. Nationwide retail brands, perhaps influenced by their outlets in the West, are also interested in staying on top of the color movement.
Aside from appearance, the practicality of staining pressure treated lumber at the point of manufacture speaks for itself. The primary species of wood in the Southeast is southern yellow pine, which is very sustainable. Eco Chemical stains are all waterborne and coat with high quality iron oxides that protect the wood from UV degradation, increasing longevity and enhancing the wood’s appearance.
While there is typically an additional cost associated with factory staining pressure treated wood, the incorporation of a staining step in the production process can be accomplished with minimum disruption, and at a cost that is easily justified by the value added to the finished product.
The aesthetic appeal and added protection of stain provide solid ground for the continued growth of demand for factory stained, pressure treated products across the country. If you’re interested in adding stain to your manufacturing process, get in touch with us today.