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Behr Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain Review 20131.7/5(5)

Behr Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing Wood Stain

Behr Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing Wood Stain

Important Note:  This is our 2nd Review of Behr Exterior Weatherproofing Wood and Deck Stains. First review was completed in 2010.

See Here for 2010: Behr Deck Stain Review

BEHR’s best semi-transparent product, this advanced 100% acrylic formula penetrates deep into wood to deliver complete protection from the elements for up to 6 years on decks and 8 years on fences and siding. The silicone-fortified formula delivers excellent protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. BEHR PREMIUM® Semi-Transparent Wood Stain is available in 60 custom colors that add beauty while allowing the natural wood grain to show through. The alkyd/acrylic formula combines the benefits of an oil-based finish and the convenient cleanup of a water-based product.

Behr Premium Weatherproofing Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 2

- The application of the Behr Premium Weatherproofing Stain was a repeat from our first test.  We found that the Behr does not penetrate into the wood like the product claims it should. It dries on top of the surface like a paint. It had the look of a semi-solid with much of the wood grain masked by the pigment. The Cedar color on the deck made it look like a pumpkin.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8

- The one positive about the Behr is that it has excellent UV protection in the areas where the stain had not failed. Unfortunately this was only half of the deck floor and most of the railings.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 1

- The cedar porch was “Behr” of stain on more then half of the flooring. The stain had peeled or worn in large uneven patches. Vertical rails did not have any issues.

Cost Per Square Foot: 4

- Behr Premium Weatherproofing Stain costs $39 per gallon. We used 5 gallons for the 300 square feet for the 2 coats applied.

$.55 per foot.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 7

- Behr Premium Weatherproofing Stain had  some mold growing on the flooring near the home and on top of the rail cap.

Ease of Application: 2

- Applying the Behr Premium Stain is like painting your deck except it does not apply evenly. We have stained 1000′s of decks and have never found a stain to be more difficult to apply then Behr. It dries extremely fast and will show overlaps if not careful. We used a paint brush and hand applied the stain to the entire deck as that seemed to give the best results.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 8

- Behr Premium Weatherproofing Stain does not darken in color much or at all.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 2

- This is how we fixed the Behr Premium Wood Stain. We applied a heavy dose of the Behr Stain Remover and tired to pressure wash off the remaining stain. It did not work. We then used the RAD Stain Stripper at a very high concentration and repeated. This removed about 85% of the stain. We were left sanding off the rest then cleaning and brightening the wood to even out the porosity of the wood. Prepping took 12 hours and needless to say, the customer switched brands.

Overall Score Defy Extreme Stain at 2 Year Period: 4.625

- Rated #1 By Consumers. Not sure why and feedback from most of our users agree. Consumers own website has a user rating of 1 out of 5 stars. Thirteen out of the 14 reviews from actual users gave it a 1 star.

This stain should be removed from sale to the public.

Buyer Beware!

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Home Depot
Cost: $36.99 per Gallon, $169.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Premium Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: 60 custom 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: 1-2 Hours
Cleanup: Soap and Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Behr

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: Spring 2010-Spring 2012
Deck Wood Type: Cedar Porch
Deck Square Footage: 300 Square Feet
UV Exposure: Full 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.

Disgruntled Behr Customer

Consumer Star Ratings - Please Rate Your Experience With This Product

-Please only Rate if Used Product! (5 Star=Excellent - 1 Star=Poor)

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50 Responses to “Behr Premium Semi-Transparent Wood Stain Review 2013”

  1. Mac says:

    Will never purchase/use Behr Deck Stain again! The review from the above product review is an accurate description of our experience after using this product. This stain goes on more like paint, did not cover evenly, and the stain began peeling on flat surfaces (deck floor, railing top/bottom) soon after application. The upright rails were not affected and held the stain. Small consolation as now we have more work ahead removing the stain from the uprights before redoing the whole deck with a product that lives up to its claims!!

  2. Chris Kelley says:

    Do not buy this product , complety ruined our new deck because of the peeling !! If I could sue behr I would !!

  3. Joe says:

    My experience with this product was at least as bad as described above. Complete failure in one year or less.

  4. Kerry says:

    I had the same experience with this product – it started peeling off our deck almost immediately and by the end of summer I had to sand the entire deck (except the rails), and purchase new stain to re-finish our deck. It was horrible! After all the work of building a large deck and staining it, to have to re-do the whole thing months later was a terrible experience. Never again!

  5. Helen Bischak says:

    I used the Behr Premium Weatherproofing Wood Finish on our deck and it started to peel and flake off the deck boards as well as the rails. We are very upset and were told by a Behr salesman that we could get our money back for the product. What about all are labor cost? Very unhappy our new deck looks horrible!!!!!!!!

  6. Mike Hutchinson says:

    I used this stain as well. what a joke. it started peeling in patches after the first month. after the winter it was just a complete disaster with patches peeling all over the place. it was such a waste of time and money and one year later i have to do all the work all over again plus try to remove whats left of the old. terrible, terrible product.

  7. rev says:

    I spent several hours today sanding my cedar deck clean of this product. It peeled quite badly after less then one year of light use (I might use my deck twice a week when I'm having a cigar). I just hope my back pain doesn't come back after today. I'm extremely disappointed. Yes, they offered to reimburse me for a new can of the same product (along with conditioner, etc…), but I can't see myself using this product again. I'm looking for alternatives as we speak.

  8. Upset says:

    Does anyone know if this issue is potentially going to a class action? I have been in negotiations with Behr on these types of problems with my deck and they have offered me a settlement if I sign a release. Seeing all of these exact same issues with others makes me think that I should wait and see where this goes legally…

    • Upset, years ago they lost a class action on their semi-transparent oil based stain. They switched it to water and it is worse. I have not heard of a new suit. They really have no clue how to make exterior wood and deck stains.

  9. Gareth Beale says:

    I used Behr waterproofing on my decks for a number of years and it worked out pretty well. However starting 2 years ago the product starts peeling as described by others here. Did they change the formula or something?

  10. Kathleen M says:

    We had problems also. Dust stuck to it and it peeled. What a mess. Of course, when I called them, they claimed I did not apply it correctly or the temperature and humidity were not right. Do not buy this product.

  11. Jim M. says:

    I used Behr 3 years ago and after the second year it started to badly peel and now I am finding rotted wood. I have used Behr in the past with good success but the formulation appeared to change the last time I used it. At that time it went on like "paint" rather than a sealer. This product should be removed from the market. I has cost me a lot of money in unneccessary repairs.

  12. Jim says:

    I applied this Behr product to a deck that had been stained 4 years ago with another Behr product. Deck was cleaned and allowed to dry per instructions. Deck was sprayed with an airless HVLP sprayer six days ago. As of this afternoon it is still tacky. Simply will not dry. Anyone else have this problem or know how to remedy this situation?

  13. Lauren says:

    Besides the peeling, etc. we find this product has made our deck dangerously slippery when wet. Has anybody else experienced this?

    • Lauren, any deck stain that \”films\” on top of the wood can have issues with being slippery. Behr advertises itself as a penetrating stain but really is not. It dries on top creating a barrier between the wood and ice/snow/rain. Best to use a deep penetrating stain that soaks into the wood so this is not an issue. For you to fix you would need to remove the Behr 100% and start over.

      • Mac says:

        Given the huge numbr of angry behr customers, is there a preferred remedy to remove the latex behr "stain"?

        I am in the middle of sanding the bejeezus out of my deck flooring with a band sander to remove the behr, and want to nail the coffin shut with a stripper after sanding. Is the RAD stripper the most compatible for this (It seems nothing is truly designed for the latex stuff)? Also, for the restaining of the deck, what is the best compatible stain over top the latex?… I am not sanding the verticals.. they are actually in good shape. I was thinking defy extreme, per the site review here.

        Pro guidance on how to best do a full and proper Behr to Bare and restain appreciated!

        • The Behr is a pain to strip off. Powdered stripper like the RAD Stripper and the HD80 are more effective since you can mix them stronger. Once removed make sure to brighten. You can use the Defy on the stripped areas but you cannot apply the Defy or any brand on top of the Behr verticals.

          • Mac says:

            First off – this is an excellent site. really really appreciate the 'telling it like it is' and the professional experience you all bring. About the Behr:

            Nothing at all ever on the Behr verticals? water based on top of water based – what's the issue? I should clarify that I do plan to sand the verts lightly (just not 1,000% to full fresh wood like I am on the decking surface and also plan to hit the decking plus Verts with RAD or HD890 + appropriate brightener. will that be sufficient to prep?

            Thing is just that the verts are a bit intricate (previous HO was a builder), plus are actually in really good shape. Sanding them might take a couple of weeks (at least). Also – what is an appropriate amount of time for the deck to be bare wood exposed to weather before I stain? I am OK with "re-brightening" the wood if I need to. I just don't want to get surface into a state where it wont accept stain well.

            I have also done the 'water test' on all the verts and NOTHING beads up on the surface – just sits there and seems to soak in. so – I assume another water based stain on the (now after light sand and a strip) ~70-80% bare verts will also soak in. Perhaps this is hubris?

          • You should never put a different stain brand on top of an old stain. It just will not penetrate or adhere. Even worse when it is Behr. Behr is a filming forming acrylic stain that does not absorb into the wood. Adding a different brand of stain on top will cause issues:

            It will not penetrate, It may not adhere, and it will be prone to the failure of the Behr.

            Do not sand it off. Best to strip it a few times and pressure wash. You will probably get off 95% this way if patient. We never sand rails, what a PITA!

          • Mac says:

            Thanks for the advice. Will strip the whole thing bare. how strong would you reccomend the RAD mix to go… Or is it better to stay normal strength and give it a couple passes? I am also planning to run a big orbital with a pad on the horizontals as well after the strip. Like the day it was born.

            How about the bare wood though… Any concerns leaving it to the weather until I am able to find a day to stain? It is pressure pine.

          • Mix at 10-12 oz of powder per gallon. Strip a few times to get off as much as you can. Brighten after the sanding. You can wait a couple of weeks to stain.

  14. Dr. Stan Lang says:

    Applied to 3 decks of new wood at new house. Based my decision to use Behr on Consumer Reports. Three weeks later ithe semi transparent stain was a non transparent pumpkin color. Three weeks passed and it was still tacky. All footprints showed on it. We used Behr stain remover in conjunction with a 3400psi power washer. It crackled up like paint and thankfully came off pretty well. This product is a total waste of money and needs to be taken off the market!!!

  15. sue says:

    I was going to use this stain on my 6 yr old cedar deck (stained previously with another brand's product) based on CR's recommendation until I read the comments here. I am wondering now which product to buy if one cannot trust CR … Who wants to go through this work to learn the hard way? Any suggestions based on good experiences? Too many brands and "flavors", next to the impossible to pick.

  16. Kim says:

    My deck was just completed a month ago and the color actually looks good. My issue is that dirt "sticks" to this stain and doesn't wash off. So my brand new deck is already filthy and nothing seems to clean it off. Any thoughts/experience around this? based on these reviews I'm guessing I'll have to re-stain it after winter.

  17. Tammie says:

    Recommended by our contractor, we used Behr Simi transparent weather proofing stain in cedar (#146). I came home from work and was shocked to see our deck looking like it had been white-washed. The color was horrible. Looked like mocha coffee had been poured on my deck. So for the second coat we changed the color to Behr transparent weather proofing all-in-one wood finish (#501) Cedar Naturaltone. That helped the color a little. However, it has now been six days and we cannot walk on the deck because it is sticky. I'm just sick after reading these reviews. Wish I hadn't taken the word of my contractor and looked at some reviews myself before starting this project. Will call Behr to see what they have to say.

  18. Russell SIMMONS says:

    what do you do when the stain will not cure. It still sticky and the out side temp 80f. Will in ever get to the point of not being sticky Is there a way to get it off my new deck out. I have the feiling that I am up shit creek

  19. SKnothappy says:

    I was recommended Behr Premium Weatherproofing Stain for our deck, was told it's simply the best. Wish I would have read the reviews first. After two weeks, it's still too sticky to walk on and will leave footprints if I do. The dog has already left footprints and the deck is covered now with dust which I'm certain will not come off because of the stickiness. Will the stain EVER cure and be completely dry? I want my outdoor space back! I paid hundreds of dollars on stain for a large deck and overhang. I live in a very dry climate with almost zero humidity and cool summer temperatures. I can't afford to redo the entire deck!

  20. wiseone50 says:

    Yeah, I used this product on my front porch deck about 4 or 5 years ago that faces north and gets NO direct sunlight. A darker red color that covers about 75% of the natural wood grain and is about 7'x16' . It looked pretty good after it was applied and it mostly still looks good now, except on the steps where there is no overhang and we do have to salt and shovel. The thing that ticks me off is that they call it a penetrating stain but it really is more like a paint as it's not very translucent and it does peel off easily like a paint. A true stain should penetrate the wood and not be scraped off easily or flake! I felt lied to. A real stain would not peel like that. Also, this stuff is a very dangerous slip hazard and should be applied with sand if you will be walking on it in the winter. I would be shocked if no one has broken some bones on this stuff. A light dusting of snow on this PAINT and you can skate on it with regular shoes! Anyways, I guess I have no choice but to lightly sand the peeled areas, and hope a 2nd coat (with sand) will cover the worn areas without looking too weird.

  21. wiseone50 says:

    Continued from last post- Even tho this is a small deck, it would be a nighmare to strip. The other areas still look good but if I coat over them again, I won't see any of the original woodgrain.

  22. Steve says:

    Ok I used this an just like many of you I have a sticky deck that shows every overlap. The stuff sucks. I think we need a lawyer.

  23. hlstavn says:

    I tried Behr semitransparent redwood stain on a porch. It goes on unevenly with darker blotches of color in some areas. It did not penetrate the wood at all. It is like a paint. It wore off quickly in traffic areas. It night be good for something but I cannot imagine what. Maybe a really old unsalvageable fence. It is not for a deck and not any fence with usable wood. It does not act or look like a stain. And interestingly enough despite the recommendations of CU the comments there are not good. I ended up using on a fence TWP 1500 which is great and also Preserva-Wood which is also excellent.

  24. Keith O says:

    I just finished cleaning and applying 2 coats of BEHR Redwood Transparent stain. As everyone stated, it is more like a paint and is very sticky for a couple of weeks. Dust/footprints show, scratches easily and after 3 weeks since the application, we have rain today. The deck is absorbing the water. I did my front porch at the same time but with Thompson's waterproof redwood color and even though the color is miles different than BEHR's, at least Thompson's is beading water like a freshly waxed car. I will have to wait out the BEHR paint… I mean "stain" …and strip/clean the decks in a few years. It is just too much work with the railings to do this again so soon on 3 decks.

  25. Cheryl quigley says:

    Ugh. I am about to apply the second coat on my deck in Michigan after a week of lovely dry 70 dgr days, but it's still tacky. The part I did 2nd coat is even stickier. So, has there been any success by waiting a whole season before applying a 2nd coat. Thinking I will wait til spring now.

  26. cdpage says:

    In Canada we do not have very many options for stains. something in the the good stuff Canada will not permit.
    I'd like to see a review on Transparent rather then the Semi-transparent. I'm sure they are different.

    That said, I ended up getting the Behr transparent natural.
    I chose this for 2 reasons.

    1. I took in a sample of wood and tested it out on a piece of cedar i had. They took a cloth and wiped it on the board, waited a few and did again to give it a look of two coats. this looked pretty good in store.

    2. Warranty. They stand behind the warranty. My father used their stain and in 2 years it started to peel, he wrote them a letter and showed pictures, and they offered to pay for all the materials it would cost to have it cleaned and painted again.

    My Observations so far with:
    Natural #500 – Transparent – applied to new Cedar – Wester Red – Fence – Toronto
    cloth versus a brush or pad… puts on less stain. it looks better when it goes on really thin, and drys faster.
    goes on a little thick so spreading it out is slow, but give you time not to over stain the first spot you put the brush down
    not quite as transparent as i'd like… almost [but not quite] looks like a semi-transparent
    tacky to touch more than 24 hours

    kinda wish I went with the red cedar tone 501 colour. this one seems a bit too yellow. but the neighbours wanted natural…

  27. cdpage says:


    the youtube link is dead.

  28. Diane says:

    I painted my cedar fence with BEHR semi-transparent wood stain 5 years ago. I wished I had read the reviews before doing, but live and learn…Is there a better quality stain/paint I could apply over the existing BEHR? I don't want to strip and/or sand off the existing one. Am I forced to apply BEHR wood stain on top of BEHR wood stain or is there at least a better quality or longer lasting alternative?
    Thanks, Diane

    • Diane, you cannot put anything on top of the Behr and have it work properly. Most will not even adhere. Either start over by removing or clean, reapply the Behr, and hopefully you will not have too many issues.

  29. Sean says:

    One of the worst products I have ever worked with! I wonder why Home Depot sells this junk to millions of people and ruins their decks. They must being in a long term contract or getting a massive kickback on all sales.

  30. Deborah Martin says:

    I've painted for 30 years and this is the worst product I've used. I lost a few clients after using this on jobs. Used it on my new back deck and is was peeling in a few months and looks like it's been there for 20 years. Don't buy this.

  31. Barb Taylor says:

    It has pealed every year now half of my cedar boards are rotten want a new deck but cannot afford one trying to fix my self but am 72 and having hard time

  32. Tryingtoget deckwise says:

    Interesting review of Behr in that Consumer Reports rated this #1 just under TWP in the latest 2014 deck stain report. What explains the disagreement? Reformulation?

  33. Linda fagan says:

    I used Bhar nwf waterproofing stain! It's been on3 wks and dtl tacky ' I clef beer and they told
    Ego mop with warm soapy water then rinse! Doesn't work ! Now what??

  34. Rita Davis says:

    I have stained my deck using Behr in the cedar color. It has been two weeks and the deck is still sticky. I do not know what to do about it.
    Very disappointed in the product after spending the money and time.

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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.