Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
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Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
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Behr Deck Stain Review1.63/5(5)

Behr Deck Stain Review

Behr Deck Stain Review

BEHR’s Premium semi-transparent wood stain offers a 100% acrylic formula that penetrate into wood to deliver complete protection from the elements on decks, fences and siding. The silicone-fortified formula protects from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Behr’s Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain is available in 83 custom colors allowing the natural wood grain to show through.

Behr Wood Deck Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 2

- Behr’s Premium Deck Stain is a 100% acrylic stain which means it is a water based product. We found that the stain does not penetrate into the wood as promised in it’s description. Product had the look of a semi-solid stain not a semi-transparent stain. 80-90% of the wood grain was masked by the heavy pigment. A good way to describe the finished appearance is to compare Behr Deck Stain to a watered down paint. The Cedar color we choose was much darker/redder then other brands.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8

- Behr Deck Stain performed well in the areas where the stain was still on the surface of the deck after the 2 years of testing.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 1

- The worst that we have ever tested! The Behr Deck Stain had peeled on 80% of the decking surface. This stain seemed to offer little to no protection on the flooring after the 2 years. The railings did hold up much better.

Cost Per Square Foot: 4

- Behr Premium Deck Stain costs $39 per gallon. The manufacturer stated 250-350 square feet per gallon when actual coverage was less then 150 feet per gallon. We used 20 gallons for the 1200 square foot deck translating to a per square foot price of $.67 a foot.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 9

- As expected with a water based stain, Behr had no mold or mildew on top or growing in the stain. Small amounts of algae were present along the perimeter of the home.

Ease of Application: 1

- Nothing positive to say here. We tried applying by manufacturer directions with horrible results. Behr suggest applying with a pump sprayer and back brushing with a pad applicator. Problem is the stain does not apply evenly or at all with a sprayer. We switched to a pad applicator but still had horrendous results with ease of application. It was next to impossible to achieve an even finished appearance with the Behr Stain.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 8

- Behr Deck Stain retained close to 90% of it’s original color after 2 years. No noticeable darkening and the railings looked like they had not changed at all in appearance.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 4

- The Behr Deck Stain would be difficult to fix. Since the stain failed so badly we would suggest a professional cleaning with a stain stripper and possibly sanding of the entire surface.

Overall Score Defy Extreme Stain at 2 Year Period: 4.625

- Behr Premium Deck Stain gets our lowest score to date of all deck stains tested. The initial appearance, application and peeling makes Behr Decking Stain a poor choice for any exterior wood restoration project.

Buyer Beware!

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Home Depot
Cost: $36.99 per Gallon, $166.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Premium Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: 83 mixed colors
Application Temperature: 40-90 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats
Coverage Per Gallon: 125-150 sq. ft in field tests
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 24-48 Hours
Cleanup: Soap and Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Behr

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: May 2008
Deck Wood Type: Pressure Treated Pine
Deck Square Footage: 1200 Square Feet
UV Exposure: Partial Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used:

*All products tested and results are from our hands on experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that results may differ widely due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

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133 Responses to “Behr Deck Stain Review”

  1. Cyrus says:

    Behr is a piece of crap and so is Sherwin Williams's Deckscape. I have been looking at this site for just 10 minutes and I am ecstatic someone is finally saying it like it is. I am amazed how over and over pure crap products and often harmful stuff is sold to us thru advertising. You can find a lot of software for example that do not do jack and are touted as amazing stuff. I think it is time we reveal a lot of these useless products and stop the brainwash that they have done to us for years. Sorry for the digression, but for years they have been touting microsoft windows, McAfee, pc-cillin and Norton anti-virus as amazing products, but if you had never any ads on them and just tried them, you would puke and swear never to use them again. I bought PCcillin based on rave reviews on PC magazine and it wiped my hard drive's master boot record. As much as I love you, It is time to wake up America!

  2. Judy J says:

    We used Behr Cape Cod Grey for 1000 ft of new decking and what a mess! Made all that decking look as old and worn as the 30 year old decking it had replaced. We are now spending a fortune to remove it and restain-hope this result is better than the last.

  3. Brian L says:

    Behr has ruined my $10,000 deck. I spent countless hours building this masterpiece on the back of my house. Had a pro stain with Behr premium. Now, 3 MONTHS later, it is already peeling in areas.

    I used kiln dried top grade pressure treated pine. These boards had no moisture in them. Painter said the product was impossible to work with, but he got it on with 2 very light coats. I will never ever again use a Behr product.

  4. Robert G says:

    I live in Tacoma, WA. In October 2009 I applied two coats of the Behr premium semi-transparent to both sides of my new cedar fence. The fence gets full sun on the days without clouds, and is rained on frequently with occasional light snow. On the south-facing sides the color began to fade after 1 year and was already peeling after 2 years.

    Now after 4 years there are many areas of completely bare wood and I'm going to redo the whole thing with Amteco TWP 100 (color 101). The whole job is vertical boards, so a stripper that needs to stay in place to work won't work for me (or so I assume). The stain is in really poor shape almost everywhere (cracked, peeling, lifting) so I'm wondering if simply some careful and thorough pressure washing will get it off. Anybody had good experience with this method? I've read all the previous reviews saying just how difficult it is to get this stuff off, but I'm just wondering what success others have had trying to physically blast this stuff off of their wood.

  5. Northeaster says:

    HD80 + scrubbing with a stiff brush seems to be working on my Behr acrylic semi-transparent (cedar style) treated deck, but yes, requires two treatments and scrubbing is pretty laborious. I'm thinking of buying the $99 pressure washer from the big box store and using that with HD80. The railings are still 90% covered, but the tops are bare. In the past, I find its hard to pressure wash the railings without damaging them. I just want to get this deck in shape sufficiently to look ok and survive this winter, and do the railings later.

    Is there a decent stain that will match the Behr close enough that I can do the railings next year?

    Is the big box depot pressure washer ok to use or do I need something else?

  6. Northeaster says:

    I went with the $300 gas powered pressure washer. The washer is fine and I"m about 1/8 through the horizontals (I will not be able to strip the verticals). Fall is coming so oil based stains may not dry in time. I'm thinking of recoating with a stain that can dry in cold weather and somehow look good next to the Behr cedar stained (aka orange) rails. Its very important for this deck to look good for the next year. After that I'll likely replace the boards. But this year I need it too look good.

  7. wade says:

    We have been re-staining our cedar deck at 4 year intervals for over 20 years, with never a problem other than normal wear on the deck surface. We used Behrs Premium weatherproof stain last year on our home and cottage decks (both cedar) as well as our uncle's home deck (cedar). All THREE decks are now peeling at a shocking rate ….. I have actually never observed this amount of peeling on ANY deck surface I have encountered. This product is defective and will cost MANY hours of labor and materials to repair. Unbelievably bad product! And Home Depot still sells the stuff and pleads ignorance to the problems being reported. Also unbelievable and unacceptable!

  8. Bill says:

    I have a 4,000' sq ft boat dock in northern Virginia close to Washington DC and in full sunlight with no shade. The dock is about 18 years old (in great condition) and it's been power washed and stained every 4-5 years. First time I had a contractor use the Thompsons Seal, next time a contractor recommended the BEHR semi-transparent with a light brown tint and 4 years ago a contractor used Sikens. I want to do it right this time and was planning to use the BEHR again because the more expensive Sikens really didn't last any longer than the BEHR and the Thompsons lasted only a short time. What deck seal would you suggest? The dock is about 1/2 the way power washed and will be complete today. Temperature is going to be 58 today but then dip down in the 40s for a few days but 56 on Friday, 60 on Saturday and 62 by Sunday, so Sat & Sunday is when I want to apply the correct stain. What deck stain do you suggest? Is a good solid power wash sufficient prep? How best to apply the stain that you recommend – brush, roll, spray, how many coats and at what minimum temperature?

    • Bill, for the prep you need to make sure that all of the old stain has been removed. I would look at the TWP 1500 or the Armstrong Clark in a semi-solid color for the maximum UV protection. Both are best applied with stain pad applicators and should be okay to stain to with temps at 45 degrees or warmer.

  9. Jim says:

    I had an $18,000 multilevel pressure-treated deck custom designed and built around the side and back of my home.
    An absolutely beautiful thing, nicest deck I had ever seen. After a year to "cure", I applied 10 Gal of Behr
    semi-transparent cedar stain. 8 months later it looked horrid, 50% peeling and blotchy. Figured I had done something wrong
    so yup I did it again, pressure washing and sanding and stripping the old and yup, another 10G of Behr.
    Next spring, same story. Where it adhered (mostly vertical) it was OK but the horizontal surfaces looked bad.
    So I figured to even remotely improve the appearance I was now relegated to a solid so yup didn't I go and put another 10G of Premium Solid Cedar stain on. This was the biggest mistake ever. The colour was a hideous orange. OMFG I can't believe what I've done to my masterpiece. Next spring I could wash away half the stain with a hose, the rest wouldn't lift off with a pressure washer. Absolutely gutted at this point. I redid the verticals with a CIL solid cedar that was at least an acceptable colour. I've waited 3 years for the old crap to finish lifting off but I just can't look at the mess any more.
    I am so disgusted that I have spent the past 8 weekends tearing up the deck boards and replacing them, many of which had rotted after only 10 years. An incredible nasty job but at over half done and $1K of new lumber I can see my original deck re-appearing.
    I swear I will put NOTHING on this new surface, marketing BS aside a small 10×12 deck that was on the house when I built it 18 years ago with nothing ever done to it is down in a corner of the yard in perfect shape.
    I don't think there is *any* product that will last more than a year on horizontal surfaces in Nova Scotia but Behr is the absolute worst. It will ruin your deck.

  10. Irene Hewlett says:

    Used DeckOver last spring, looked beautiful. After a bad winter,the deck stain is dissolving in random spots all over the deck. Just sent email to Behr. Guess it only lasts for one season, sorry I spent all that money. I will get outdoor carpets to cover up . I'am a female who thought I was doing the right thing.

  11. Michael Szamocki says:

    I used the Behr Deckover solid stain on my deck hoping to get a finish that would last 4-5 years. I applied the stain in late summer, early fall and when the snow melted in the spring, I got chipping and pealing everywhere. I am totally disgusted with the outcome of all my hard work because of an inferior product. Will not recommend this to anyone!!!

    • Joann Schaefer says:

      Wish I had read all these negative comments before I spent so much money and time on Behr Deckover. Because I didn't save the cans that cost $158 each and I don't have my receipt, they can only give me more, which I certainly don't want. It's horrible stuff. The peeling after only one year is awful. I followed the directions completely and spent many days of hard work on it, only to have a terrible mess! DON'T USE IT!

  12. C. Lumley says:

    Have an 18 x 18 deck that I had professionally power-washed and then I spent 2 days staining the deck 2 years ago making sure it was completely dry before I added a second coat. After all the snow melted this year, my deck is a total mess. Peeling and cracking terribly and they say it will last 5 years!!! Don't believe a word they say. Will NEVER use Behr DeckOver solid stain again and/or recommend anyone to use this product. Don't waste your money.

  13. Elly says:

    Bought this product around a year ago… unfortunately have not gotten around to staining my deck yet (although based on the reviews I'm glad I didn't!). Wondering now if Home Depot will accept a return for the product… will probably brush me off as its been so long and tell me to deal with Behr directly. Customer Service is certainly lacking from many stores! I am amazed how many faulty products despite all the bad reviews continue to be sold in stores – the stores don't care… they just want to make money. We once saw our Home Depot store selling a hugely defective window we had special ordered… instead of returning it to the manufacturer they instead put it in their clearance section to sell!

  14. Chris G says:

    Absolutely terrible product. Gave up after 3 minutes of attempted use and checked the review site to see other's experiences. Most were spot on. Quickly got out to Lowes for Olympic Semi-Transparent Cedartone and the deck looks absolultely marvelous.

  15. Scott says:

    Absolutely terrible product. Peels after first winter in Midwest and this was after complete sand and prep like normal. Semi transparent i used before that was only supposed to last maybe 4 years worked like it should. Should have stuck with that other kind. Went with this because of consumer reports and the 10 year oil based warranty.. There isn't anyway i can strip this 1000 sq foot deck now of this poop. Worst product of all time

  16. BLP says:

    I reside in Ontario and stained a large deck with Behr Deck Over last summer…it looked lovely at that time..after the first very cold and snowy winter..I was disappointed to see large areas off peeling….like so many of the responses…I.had picked the product because of the claims of lasting longer than most other deck stains and on older decks. Now I am faced with a mess and not sure how to approach it….Sooo disappointed in this product and tired.. just thinking of the work it will involve to fix….

  17. GWP says:

    I agree with every negative review and I thought it was me I prepped exactly like they said it lasted 2 months tops and peeled and has looked horrible ever since – do not use this product.

  18. Irene says:

    I agree on the poor results statements, I am one of the unfortunate people who purchased the same Behr stain, that is mentioned above, for my brand new fence and it is peeling. Every year I try to repair it to protect the wood it is nothing but a loss.

  19. Brian O. says:

    This product is terrible. We decided on it after reading the CS report and hearing several positive reviews on it from the Home Depot rep and a friend who used it. We did everything exactly as recommended to prep our deck for this stain. We stained the deck and loved it…for about 2 months. Then the cracking and peeling started. In year 2, we sanded away some of the peeling areas and started over. Same thing. This is year 3. We're hosting an event at our house and the reason I found this site is because I'm looking online for a better way to come up with a short-term fix. Once our event is over, I'm bringing out the heavy guns on Behr's customer service department. Their product has taken a beautiful deck and turned it into an eyesore. It's borderline embarrassing. Ironically, the friend who initially recommended this product to us is also experiencing the same problems with his deck. I'm still not sure what the RIGHT answer is in terms of finding a good deck stain, but I'm 100% confident in saying this product is the WRONG one!

    • Dirk says:

      you are right on. I had all new wood put on my deck. we let it dry out for 2 years then applied the behr stain. This stuff should not even be on the shelves. Paid good money as we all know then in 1 year 80% of the deck is peeling. Now what???? I also have a big event coming up(sons wedding) . This really sucks. No more box store stuff for me.

  20. Denise says:

    Behr stain is horrible …as is their customer surface. Three weeks after applying stain to very expensive tounge and groove stall walls it is still tacky. I was told I could either "paint it" or strip it….at my cost. No explanation as to why it will not dry.

  21. Mike Higgins says:

    Sure wish I'd seen this before trusting CR. First application lasted a year. Although it peals up where in the sun, It's tough to remove cleanly. Just rest your hands on year old stain and it comes off in big strips on your palms. Second application showed it's weakest point. You MUST get every scrap sanded off before reapplying. Creates big dark spots on any place with a trace of the previous application. Now in the process of sanding everything completely down and switching to another product.

    • Kim says:

      I sent e-mails to Behr about their product being garbage. I was told I'd receive 6 gallons to retreat (Gee thanks, just what I wanted more of this crap). That was over a month ago & I haven't seen any replacement. I also wrote another review on their website last week & it hasn't been posted. I guess me telling them of my thoughts about contacting the Better Business Bureau wasn't something they wanted to post in their product review. I also said that I was going to go to Home Depot where I bought it & recommend that they quit selling it.

  22. wiseone50 says:

    I agree with your opinions about this product. It's like watered down paint.

  23. Chris1267 says:

    What a relief to know that I'm not crazy when it comes to this truly TERRIBLE product. I've spent a good eight weekends working to salvage a deck that was stained with this garbage almost eight years ago — and that looked awful just a few weeks after it was done.

    I'll say this — it hangs on to the uprights. Everywhere else, it peels, flakes, cracks, and generally makes the deck look like it belongs on an abandoned house. Some say it doesn't penetrate, but I'd have to disagree — at least in certain cases. I don't know why, but in some places the stuff has soaked down 1/8 inch or more, while just an inch or two away it's peeling off like broken egg shells. Somebody who knows more about stains/paints might be able to tell you why, but it seems that the pigment sits on top, a layer of weird gray/white base layer develops under that, and you have to get through both layers to reach the bare wood. Oh, and the pigment — supposed to be redwood, I would guess — has faded out to a weird pinkish red.

    Overall, just a huge nightmare. I power-washed the deck and then used Restore-A-Deck stripper, and after 15 min. it hadn't made a dent, so sprayed on another round and waited 20 min. more. That softened it up enough that I could scrub it with a metal brush and get most of the worst of it off, but I still had hours of sanding before I could neutralize it and stain it with something else.

    Consumer Reports ought to be ashamed — and they ought to know better. Look on their site and out of 40+ user reviews for this crap, the average is LESS than 1.5 stars. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

  24. Michael D says:

    Is there any chance that Consumer Reports reviewed a different version of this stain than this website did? I think CR reviewed a hybrid alkyd/acrylic version that is no longer sold. That would explain the huge discrepancy in the ratings.

    Bear with me here. I know that we're tailing about a semi-transparent stain here. But take a look at this information about a similar product "Behr Premium Transparent Weather Proofing Wood Finish". The Home Depot website describes it as a hybrid "Alkyd/Acrylic" stain.

    But on the Behr website, the product is described as "100% Acrylic" and it has had "All-in-One" added to the name. Otherwise the can looks exactly the same. There is no "Alkyd/Acrylic" product at all listed on the Behr website. And I couldn't find the Alkyd/Acrilic product at my local Home Depot store either.

    It looks like Behr has quietly transitioned their Transparent product from a hybrid product to a 100% Acrylic product. Could the same thing have happened to their Semi-Transparent product?

    • Possibly but I believe Behr has just changed the name and description. Their stain has been water based and acrylic (water soluble) since they were sued in the 90\’s for their oil based version. That class action cost them many millions. Hybrid alkyd/acrylics are still water based and 100% acrylic (water soluble) based. It is just a play on words. As for the discrepancy in ratings, look at the actual user comments in Consumer reports. They are inline with our comments from actual users.

  25. Susan says:

    We used the Behr semi-transparent deck stain and it looked beautiful after we finished but it doesn't hold up to foot traffic at all. It looks terrible after about 4 months. We scrubbed and prepped the bare wood with all the recommended products prior to applying this. It was very hard to apply, taking hours upon hours to apply. Wouldn't recommend this product at all.

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.