Behr Deck Stain Review

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:
Cedar


*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.

Behr Deck Stain False Claims

113 Responses to “Behr Deck Stain Review”

  1. Northeaster says:

    Is there any updated information on how to remove Behr acrylic stain? Contractors seem to be using HD-80 with pressure washing, but even with that they indicate it takes many attempts. It seems that acrylic may require a different set of chemicals.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. charlie says:

    pressure treated wood is lousy to begin with . then coating it with behr or Thompson deck stain waterproofing adds to the problem. the best thing to do is use trek .board. I know its expensive but its a lot better. you don't have the intense labor year after year sanding stripping recoating etc. and trek boards are much more attractive. no comparison. Its like day and night.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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