Arborcoat vs Cabot: Choosing the Right Exterior Wood Stain

Arborcoat vs Cabot

Arborcoat vs Cabot: Choosing the Right Exterior Wood Stain

When it comes to preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of your wooden surfaces, choosing the right exterior wood stain is crucial. Arborcoat and Cabot are two popular brands that offer a range of wood stain products, each with its own set of features and benefits. In this article, we’ll delve into the key differences between Arborcoat and Cabot wood stains to help you make an informed decision for your next staining project.

1. Introduction

When it’s time to rejuvenate your outdoor furniture, decks, fences, or any other wooden structures, choosing the right wood stain can make a significant difference. Two prominent contenders in the wood stain market are Arborcoat and Cabot. Both brands offer a variety of stains, catering to different preferences and needs.

2. Arborcoat: Unveiling the Brand

Arborcoat, a product line by Benjamin Moore, is renowned for its commitment to quality and innovation. This brand offers a wide range of wood stain options, from transparent to semi-transparent and solid stains. Arborcoat is known for its advanced waterborne technology, which allows for easy application and cleanup.

3. Cabot: A Closer Look

Cabot, on the other hand, boasts a rich history dating back to 1877. The brand is synonymous with traditional oil-based stains that penetrate deep into the wood, providing excellent protection and enhancing the wood’s natural allure. Cabot stains are known for their durability and timeless appeal.

4. Types of Wood Stains

4.1 Water-Based Stains

Arborcoat stands out for its water-based stains, which are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and offer a wide range of color choices. These stains are ideal for those who prioritize environmental considerations and prefer a quicker drying time.

4.2 Oil-Based Stains

Cabot specializes in oil-based stains, celebrated for their deep penetration and long-lasting protection. While they may take longer to dry and have a stronger odor, oil-based stains are favored for their durability and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

5. Color and Finish Options

Both Arborcoat and Cabot offer an impressive array of color options, allowing you to achieve the desired aesthetic for your wood surfaces. Arborcoat excels in providing vibrant and contemporary color choices, while Cabot is known for its classic and rich hues.

6. Application Process

Staining your wood surfaces requires careful preparation and application. Here’s a brief overview of the process for both brands:

6.1 Preparing the Wood Surface

Properly clean and sand the wood to ensure a smooth and even surface. This step is crucial for achieving optimal stain absorption.

6.2 Applying the Stain

Arborcoat’s water-based stains are user-friendly and can often be applied with a brush, roller, or sprayer. Cabot’s oil-based stains require meticulous application to ensure even coverage.

6.3 Drying and Curing

Arborcoat stains typically dry faster, allowing you to enjoy your stained wood sooner. Cabot stains may take longer to dry, but their robust protection and longevity are worth the wait.

7. Durability and Protection

Both Arborcoat and Cabot excel in providing protection against elements like UV rays, moisture, and mildew. Arborcoat’s water-based stains offer reliable protection, while Cabot’s oil-based stains penetrate deep into the wood fibers, creating a formidable barrier.

8. Environmental Considerations

For environmentally-conscious consumers, Arborcoat’s water-based stains are an appealing choice due to their lower VOC content. Cabot’s oil-based stains, while durable, have a higher VOC content and may require extra ventilation during application.

9. Price Comparison

When comparing prices, Arborcoat’s water-based stains tend to be more budget-friendly, making them an attractive option for cost-conscious consumers. Cabot’s oil-based stains may have a slightly higher price point, but their longevity justifies the investment.

10. Customer Reviews and Satisfaction

Both Arborcoat and Cabot have garnered positive reviews from customers. Arborcoat is praised for its ease of use and environmental considerations, while Cabot is lauded for its timeless appeal and lasting protection.

11. Tips for Choosing Between Arborcoat and Cabot

  • Consider the type of wood you’re staining and its location.
  • Prioritize your preference for water-based or oil-based stains.
  • Factor in your desired color and finish.
  • Evaluate your budget and long-term expectations.

12. Conclusion

In the realm of exterior wood stains, Arborcoat and Cabot are two formidable contenders, each offering distinct advantages. Arborcoat’s water-based stains appeal to those seeking environmentally-friendly options and quicker drying times, while Cabot’s oil-based stains stand the test of time with their durability and classic appeal. Before making your decision, carefully assess your priorities and project requirements to ensure you choose the wood stain that best suits your needs.


Can I apply Arborcoat over an existing stain?

Yes, Arborcoat can be applied over an existing stain, but proper preparation and cleaning are essential for optimal results.

Do Cabot oil-based stains require a topcoat?

In most cases, Cabot oil-based stains do not require a topcoat. The stain itself provides ample protection.

How often do I need to reapply Arborcoat water-based stain?

The frequency of reapplication depends on factors like sun exposure and foot traffic, but a general guideline is every 2-3 years.

Can I mix Arborcoat water-based stains to create a custom color?

Yes, Arborcoat water-based stains can be mixed to create a custom color. It’s recommended to test the mixture on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Are Cabot stains suitable for marine environments?

Yes, Cabot oil-based stains are often used for marine applications due to their robust protection against moisture and salt.

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