In the last two days I have had numerous calls on the finishing for decks, spring projects in the planning stage. This topic, wood finishing, is a long detailed and certainly a technical topic. I know of two sites that will give excellent guidance on the subject and they are the Western Red Cedar Association and also the Forest Products Laboratory www.fpl.fs.fed.us and www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/ch15.pdf .
A lot of information there, more than the average person will need, however some key considerations are the type of wood being painted, (stained or given a water repellent), and whether it is fresh or perhaps an older wood that needs to be cleaned up.
- the moisture content of the wood, and general humidity conditions
- clear, semi-transparent, or solid stains
- UV protection required
- oil or water based effectiveness
- cleaning needed prior to finishing
These sites are not only good for the decking, but also if you are considering siding in shingles or bevel siding etc. The hardwoods can be quite different since they are so much denser, especially the Ipe and Cumaru decking