Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
Deck Stain Help Articles
Deck Stain Reviews Ratings

Deck Stain or Clear Deck Sealer

Should you use a Deck Stain or Clear Deck Sealer?

To enhance the appearance of a wood deck and protect it from the elements the wood need to be treated with a deck stain or sealer. Both deck stains and deck sealers protect against moisture and water damage but there are some differences between the two.

Deck Stains

A wood deck stain locks out moisture, which can cause board warping, cracking, splintering, mold, mildew and wood rot. In addition, deck stains protect against sun damage, which can lead to wood graying and board cracking. Deck stains are normally semi-transparent stains that have color or toner added to them. This tone enhances the wood while allowing the natural wood grain to show through.

The extra pigment in the toner is what gives the wood adequate sun protection. Most commonly, deck stains come in Natural, Cedar, Redwood, and Brownish tones. The final appearance will depend on the type and condition of the wood deck since the stain is usually semi-transparent.

Deck Stains come in different transparencies. Most common and best are the semi-transparents for great penetration and UV protection. They also come in tranparents (light pigment), semi-solid (heavier pigment) and solid color stains.

Clear Deck Sealers

Deck sealers also give the wood protection against moisture. Sealers are clear and do not have any pigment in them. This leaves the wood in its natural state while giving it the ability to repel water. The wood deck can look so natural that it is hard to tell if there is a sealer present at all until it rains and the water noticeable beads up and doesn’t penetrate the wood.

The lack of pigment however leaves the deck vulnerable to sun damage. Deck sealers will not block out the sun’s UV rays which may cause the wood to turn gray over time.

Being aware of the differences of a deck stain or deck sealer will make your buying decision a little easier when it comes to deck maintenance. Evaluate the differences to see which on fits your needs.

3 responses to “Deck Stain or Clear Deck Sealer”

  1. Jerry McNevin says:

    Great article.

  2. Albert says:

    Good article ! Where can I find on this site the best and recommended clear sealers (not stain) ?

Leave a Reply

Deck Stain Help Stats
as of July 2016
  • 25,000+ Questions, Answers, and Consumer Reviews
  • 12,000+ Contributors
  • 170+ Help Articles and Reviews
  • 3400+ Forum Help Posts
  • 2300+ Consumer Star Ratings

Google Search

More info on brands? Use Google.

Find Products?

Manufacturers and Websites:
...See All Product Websites


*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.