Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
Deck Stain Reviews Ratings
Deck Stain Reviews Ratings

Deck Stains

We have been getting great feedback here at from all of the consumers who have been looking for better stain alternatives for their deck restoration. Our most popular article, “What is the Best Deck Stain” has quickly become the number one article on the web for asking questions and getting answers on restoring your exterior wood and deck.

In this article we are going to cover what actually is a “Deck Stain”. We will compare the many different types of decking stain options available and what are the positives and negatives of each.

Deck Stains

Deck stains are used to protect and preserve your exterior wood. They offer UV protection, water repellency, mold and mildew resistance, etc. Deck coatings come in many different types of opacity and bases. Many deck stain brands can be restricted in certain states, cities and counties due the VOC laws.

Deck staining can be a “chore” for residential homeowners and unfortunately walking into you local store may produce some of the worst options available. Not all deck stains are created equal and there is not a perfect stain type or brand that will out perform all the others.

Water-Based Deck Stains

Water based deck stain have come on rapidly in the last 4 years. The main reason for the vast amount of water based stains on the market today is related to changes in VOC laws across the country. Many states have adopted or soon will adopt lower VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) regulations. This has prompted stain manufacturers to increase production of water soluble decking stains. In our opinion, water-based deck stain are “thin” paints with varying amount of acrylic and pigment.

Pros: Water cleanup, less chance of mold or mildew growth. Environmentally friendly.

Cons: Do not penetrate like an oil-base can. Slightly harder to apply as they dry quicker. Can be prone to peeling and wearing. *Defy Stains are the only exception that we have tested. They penetrate the best of all water based stains, nearly as well as an oil.

Oil based Deck Stains

Oil based decking stains have been around for 20-30 years and have been traditionally what all stain manufacturers produce. Oil based stains are typically made up of natural and synthetic oils. Many contain oils such as: Linseed Oil, Paraffin Oil, Tung Oil, Rosewood Oil, Etc.

Pros: Excellent penetration into wood. An oil molecule is smaller in size than a water molecule. Better a deck stain can penetrate, the better the performance. Easier to apply. More natural looking

Cons: Stronger odors, longer drying and curing time. Some oils can promote the growth of mildew. Some oil-based stains will darken in color over time.

Solid Decking Stains (Opaque)

Solid deck stains look like paints. They cover the wood so you will not see the wood grain anymore. Once you apply a solid decking stain there is little chance you will ever be able to go back to a transparent stain. Solid stains come in both oil and water based versions.

Pros: Excellent UV protection.

Cons: Films on top of the wood and do not penetrate well. Prone to peeling. Looks like a paint. HarderĀ  to apply. Cannot be removed with a deck stain stripper effectively.

Semi-Solid Stains

The Semi-Solid Deck Stain will only show a small amount of wood grain as they contain a high amount of pigment. They are offered by a limited amount of manufacturers. Semi-solids can be both water-based and oil-based.

Pros: Very good UV protection

Cons: Only a small amount of wood grain will show. Oil-based semi-solid versions will penetrate and perform much better the water-based versions.

Semi-Transparent Stains

Semi-transparent stains contain pigment that highlights the natural grain while sealing the surface. The semi-transparent wood and decking stain is our favorite. Both water and oil-based are available.

Pros: Average to better than average UV protection. Shows natural grain. Very good penetration. In most scenarios can be cleaned and re-coated easily. Can be removed with a deck stain stripper.

Cons: Most water-based versions perform poorly compared to the oils. Many states with the Low VOC laws have a limited amount of quality oil based stains available. May need to buy online if in a Low VOC area.

Transparent Wood stains

Transparent deck coatings look the most natural as they contain minimal pigment. Average life of a transparent decking stain is about 1 year. Mostly oil-based only are available.

Pros: Very easy to apply and reapply as needed. Natural looking.

Cons: Below average UV protection. Typically need to be re-coated annually.

Clear Wood Deck Finishes

Clear Deck Finishes offer little to no UV protection and will gray quickly. Typically used as sealers.

Pros: Does not change the appearance. Extremely easy to apply.

Cons: Grays and oxidizes in months.

Non Drying Oil vs Drying Oil- Based Stains

Drying oils are “curing” oils. This means that they actually dry on top of or just below the surface. They will help “seal” the wood as well. Non-drying oils are the opposite. They never actually dry but rather dive deep into the wood to help condition the cells of the wood. Paraffin oil (not wax) is the most common.

Are Deck Finishes, Stains, Sealers, or Both?

This question can be confusing to homeowners. In general all deck stains are sealers as well as they will help prevent water absorption. Deck sealers typically are not stains as they do not have any pigment. Some though may have a very light tint.

Low VOC Stains and States:

Currently there are 17 States that restrict Decking Stains and Coatings. These states require a lower amount of Volatile Organic Compounds to be released into the air. This mainly affects oil-based coatings. By lowering the amount of “solvents” that can evaporate into the ozone you need to increase the amount of “solids”. This can cause issues with oil-based stains as they may have drying and curing problems. There are still a few good oil-based stains available in Low VOC States but not as readily available at your local stores. You may need to go on the Internet to find them and have them shipped. A couple of examples would be TWP 1500 Series and Armstrong Clark Wood Stains.

Current Low VOC States:

California, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Northern VA, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana. Suggestions:

With all of these different types of products we prefer the semi-transparent products as they allow the wood grain to show. They offer better than average UV protection and can be easier to reapply in the future. Penetration is better for oil-based versions over the water-based versions. The one exception is the water based Defy Stains.

*All decking stains will eventually fail that is why you want a deck stain that is easy to work with down the road.

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320 Responses to “Deck Stains”

  1. Tiffany says:

    I had my deck refinished 2 years ago. they sanded it down and applied a coat of…
    BEHR Premium Semi-Transparent Deck, Fence & Siding Wood Stain

    I would like to now stain my wood fence (this has never been stained, only used Thompsons clear sealer) and I'd love to put a new coat of stain/ sealer on the deck. What would you suggest?
    I have completely power washed the fence and deck. I'm just wondering if anything will stick to the deck now.
    I'd love your suggestions here :)

    • Tiffany, if you want to change brand on the deck than you must remove the Behr first. If you do not want to sand and strip to remove than best to stick with same brand even though it will peel. For the fence you should use a penetrating oil based stain like TWP. Same if you decide to remove the behr off the deck.

  2. Gail says:

    I used an oil based deck stain on my deck about 14 years ago, and hired someone to recoat the deck this year He was going to ask if a latex product could be used after the oil based stain I used, but said the people at the store didn't know whether or not it was possible.He power washed and brightened the deck, but bought a clear latex coating. I'm afraid it will not adhere to the wooden deck as well as oil, and don't want him to use it until we find out if it will work well to protect the deck. Can you tell me if the latex will work after I used the oil based stain? I really need your help. I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income and can't afford to make a big mistake. Thank you for your help! Gail in Michigan

  3. PGPW says:

    Just curious can you apply the same manufactured oil stain and color (like TWP) that was previously used a few years ago after just cleaning it or do you need to remove the old stain completely? Also in order to add a 2nd coat to the horizontals like the floor and top rails using TWP how long do you have between coats to apply. I don't want the 2nd coat to just sit on the surface or it will obviously peel. Thanks!

    • We strip when we reapply as we fund it easier and the stain will absorb better but that does not mean you have to strip. TWP is applied wet on wet but we only do that to the horizontals. Verticals are just one coat. Apply the one coat to the floor, wait about 20 minutes and apply the second coat making sure to not step in your second coat.

  4. Greg says:


    Thanks for your help!

    We have live in south central PA on a wooded lot. Our deck is 4 years old and made of cedar. It gets atleast 8-10 hours of direct and hot sun in the summer. I tried using the water based stuff that you can get at lowes and it needs to be done annually as it looks AWEFUL. I'm pretty sure I need to go oil based, but before I go to the expense, I'm wondering if you would kindly offer your opinion on the kind of stain I should go with. I've been told by neighbors that Sikkens has a great oil based product, but I just want to hear what you have to say as well.

    Many thanks for your time and opinion!

    • Oil based is the way to go and our two that we use are the TWP Stains and the Armstrong Clark. We are not huge fans of the Sikkens SRD as it is an average stain when it comes to reapply. Darkens some and attracts mold. Over priced as well. Still much better than a water based stain from Lowes or HD. No matter what you will need to remove the water based stain first bay stripping and sanding to get it all off first. Use the brightener when done.

  5. Tom Vaillencourt says:

    I have a six year old deck that has never been treated. It is pressure treated pine, and sees alot of shade and moisture. Very prone to alge buildup. It was very blackish green and slimey after two years.
    I have washed off all the alge with a power washer, (no chemicals or detergants). Ive also sanded it to remove the fibers lifted by the washer. It looks great, but is there anything else I should do before i seal and stain it, and what type of stains will be best for an environment like mine. (Wet area, lots of shade, lots of alge buildup) I live in Connecticut, and my deck is fairly low traffic, but I want to seal it to protect it from excessive moisture, and hold down the alge. I also want it to last a few years, and not require extensive work to refresh it when needed. (i.e. I do not want to have to powerwash old stain off before reaplying a new coat every year or three) is there any realistic hope here? And what should i do after sanding before i seal/stain?

  6. stainer says:

    Have a question regarding the 1500 series semi-transparent stain. Power washed and sanded old stain from cedar deck. Used Gemini 2-step cleaner and brightener. Applied stain and pretty happy with how it went on and looks. A couple of small glossy, wet looking areas that did not get wiped, but overall happy. Would like to apply 2nd coat to higher traffic, horizontal surfaces. I was not able to reapply a second coat 15 minutes after the first as it says on the can. Is it too late? Is there a benefit to putting another coat a couple of days later?

  7. Denise says:

    we have a new deck. Not yet put any stain on it at all. it is showing all signs of traffic, and spill stains. I am going to pressure wash it…. then use some stain of some sort, to hopefully stop this foot traffic from being shown up so badly. What do you recommend to use, that would seal it good, and not show so much foot traffic?

  8. tara runfola says:

    I have an old deck stained a dark reddish brown. I'm assuming its a solid oil based stain, and want to get the verticals to white and the horizontals to grey. Is this even possible? I stripped, and power washed the floor. Still lots of brown showing. started sanding today, then will use a deck cleaner. will a solid white stain can cover the residual brown or do I need to paint the verticals? Do you ever recommend a paint for decks?

    • Solid white will cover the verticals. For the floor it would be best to get off all the old stain and use a semi-trans penetrating oil based stain for this. It will make future maintenance much easier.

  9. ben says:

    BTW, Oil penetrating bettter than water has nothing to do with molecular size; oil molecules are MUCH larger than water molecules. Water is more cohesive, plus lignin in wood is somewhat water repellent.

    • Mike says:

      Oil is better than water period. No matter what the molecular size. Water based stains have zero positive affect on wood other than covering the previous mistakes and blemishes. Good luck removing that garbage too because it makes an absolute mess and the wood itself rots underneath.

      • Phil says:

        Mike, as a former house painter (retired now, from several different trades), I can tell you that I was once-upon-a-time a strict advocate of oil-based only. However, as latex/acrylic products improved since then, the decision to go with one or the other became a bit more complicated.

        Of primary importance is this fact: mineral spirits based (“oil”) paints are not compatible to water, and water-based paints are not compatible with oil. This means that if the wood to be treated is only slightly damp—even in a few areas—oil based paints and stains will eventually blister, as the paint dries and hardens while the moisture is STILL LOCKED INSIDE! This is occurrence that I have seen time and again in New England, where rainfall is frequent and the humidity is high.

        On the other hand, latex paints grip even better with moist wood—especially on hot, dry days. My present home in Colorado was painted with latex paint (Behr brand) 15 years ago—and with absolutely zero blistering or peeling! In fact, I painted the house over a period of mostly hot and dry days—where the claim that “latex dries too fast, so doesn’t have the chance to really sink in,” actually applies. But the same effect CAN happen with oil-based, as well.

        But here is the simple solution (with Latex): first, buy a QUALITY paint (Behr, California, or Alaska paint, if in Alaska); second, either wet the damn wood down in hot weather, and/or THIN the first coat down (as much as 50%) in order to give it a chance to seep deep into the grain before drying. NOW you are ready for the top coat…and I will even thin this final coat a little (10 or 15%, based upon heat and dryness of the day).

        I use no so-called “primer.” Primer is no better than the paint itself if it doesn’t have a chance to actually sink in and get a GRIP!

        Please note that I am speaking of latex paint only when advising these methods. With oil-based paints, I also recommend a little thinning on the first coat—but I would NEVER use an oil-based paint or stain in conditions where there is ANY doubt as to the dryness of the wood! This is all common sense.

  10. Rob A says:

    What do you think of the new Olympic Elite Woodland Oils for cedar siding? They say they offer a lifetime warranty on mildew but what about wear/fading?

    • Anyone that offers a lifetime warranty is full of BS. That alone makes me want to not use it. Olympic used to make a decent oil based stain. Not sure on their new elite. They were bought out by PPG and PPG has never proven the ability to make a quality deck stain. Decent paints though.

  11. Tom says:

    We have a two month old pressure treated pine deck in NC mountains in full sun uncovered. What do you suggest to use to keep the deck looking good and prolonging its life. So many types and brands of products. I am confused!

  12. Rick Noyes says:

    Thanks for all of your great information, why do you seem to recommend AC, if deck is weather longer than 6 months? If I use Timberoil now (deck is KDAT wester red cedar, 2 months old), is there a drawback to continuing with timberoil? It just seems like to recommend Timberoil highly, yet have stated to use AC for people whose deck is a little older?

    • TimberOil (not the Cabot brand) works well on wood that is 1-3 months while the AC works better if 3-6 months. In general the UV protection is better for AC over the TO and it cures the wood as well.

  13. alice says:

    just got done painting the deck with cobalt soild oil strain, it looks like its going to be very slippery , what can i paint on top of this,we live in the northern states, ,so we get ice and snow what should we do,help..

  14. MWCO says:

    I have a pressure treated pine covered deck. We used Cabot Australian timber oil (natural color) a couple years ago on it. It is time to re-coat it. Man at Lowes told me Cabot was purchased by Olympic and their Elite Woodland Oil is the same. We are planning to treat with natural color again. Can I just clean the deck then apply the oil or do I need to sand?

    • You need to strip and brighten for prep. We like the Restore A Deck stripper. Cabot was not purchased by Olympic (PPG).

    • Ken says:

      I heard the same story from my local Lowes that Olympic bought Cabot and now made their paint under the Olympic Elite line and they just renamed the colors. But when I had them make up a batch of the replacement paint for Cabot Semi-solid Fence paint (New Cedar color) they used Rustic Cedar as the replacement color. They were nothing alike. Rustic Cedar is more like Rust (reddish from the purple tint) and "New Cedar" is tan with no red tones. They don't color match oils and even though their mixed stains are unrefundable I got my money back, because I didn't choose the color to match, Olympic did. The semi-solid also seemed very thin more like a semi-transparent. I pressed them on whether Olympic really bought Cabot and they began to backtrack and say they just didn't sell enough Cabot to keep them so they had Olympic make up a substitute color in the same family but not identical. I called Olympic and they said the same thing, but couldn't tell me what would be a better matching color. To give Olympic credit they did tell me to check with ACE/Truevalue hardware for Cabot paint. Shame on Lowes for misrepresentation.

      • Valspar bought Cabot about 9 years ago. PPG (Pittsburgh Paints) bought Olympic a few years ago. Lowe\’e employees should not be lying to customers.

        • erin says:

          I work at Valspar. Lowe's wanted us to not sell Cabot to independent retailers (i.e. Ace, Do It Best, etc.). We did not want to cease sales to this channel. We then ceased our Cabot relationship with Lowe's and they decided to bring in a very expensive Olympic replacement. If you want Cabot you will need to go to for a list of dealers in your area.

  15. Gerry says:

    I have a pressure treated pine deck that is in a full sun location in southern New Hampshire. It has never been cleaned or treated. I'm planning to use seal once cleaner and tinted seal once water based stain. The deck is a year old and want to make sure this is a good product choice. I've heard it has excellent UV protection,water repellent and is mildew preventive.
    Your comments are appreciated.

  16. Josiah Rise says:

    I've been renovating for over forty years and I am extremely disappointed that the environmental extremists have taken over the staining industry. After trying pretty much everything on the market, I've concluded that the absolute best stain that was ever manufactured was Olympic oil-based solid color. Then along came the environmentalists with their myopic mentalities and ridiculous laws and Olympic had to come up with a new formula to satisfy them. Unfortunately, the original formula was the only one that truly worked. It lasted for up to ten years without peeling, blistering or cracking. Sure, it faded over time, but when it did, it faded evenly and still looked good as it did. As is all-too-often the case, when they come up with an excellent product (it was made from natural linseed oil), along come the bone-headed environmentalists to quash it with some pseudo scientific research to make our lives more difficult. Now, instead of a product that would last the tests of time, we are stuck with products that need to be replaced every year. If that isn't backward environmental reasoning, I don't know what is! Now I have five times the amount of work in order to maintain what used to be a pleasure to do before the formula changes. The whole situation disgusts me!

  17. paintguyohio says:

    Fyi, It is a violation of federal law to transport a non-voc product into prohibited areas. Telling people to buy a product online and have it shipped into non-attainment areas is also a violation of federal law. Any company that does so is subject to large fines up to $50,000.00 additive per,$50,000.00 first violation,$100,000.00 second violation,$150,000.00 third violation. You really need to remove this from your website because you are liable for the same fines if the wrong person reads this. I have been in the paint business for 30 years working for a large manufacturer and was at one time responsible for compliance with these laws. I like what you are doing on this site, and I wouldn't like to see you get shut down or fined.

    • We do not tell anyone to buy a non VOC compliant stain for their state. If you read the article, it says that they would need a low VOC oil based stain. TWP 1500 and Armstrong Clark are allowed in all 50 states just like the article suggests.

      • Basic Consumer says:

        Actually, I came across this quote at the top of this page "Most water-based versions perform poorly compared to the oils. Many states with the Low VOC laws have a limited amount of quality oil based stains available. May need to buy online if in a Low VOC area." While I don't wish to take anyone's side on this, it does appear that you're encouraging anyone who lives in a low VOC area and wants to use the oil based stain, to purchase it online…

        • We are saying they may need to buy a Low VOC oil based stain if they cannot find it locally in stores. You can have an oil based stain and still be allowed in Low VOC states.

  18. Eva M says:

    We just applied Olympic Rescue-It to our decks – now that we are done, we have to constantly clean our decks due to white & grey spots, dirty looking stains all the time, we clean and these spots/dirt marks keep coming back – most annoying after spending all this time painting, and all this money on this "wonder" product. Why does this keep happening, and how can we prevent it from keep happening? Thanks.

  19. Amy says:

    Does an oil/alkyde based stain (semi transparent, I think) need 2 coats? If so, how long do I wait between coats? This is a cedar sided house, being restrained after 10 years.

  20. Scott says:

    Just put in a new cedar deck, want to preserve the grain but don't want peeling or graying or mildew. Is there something out there in todays technology that can let me see and keep the grain showing? Please help.

  21. Angela says:

    After reading your website comments, I have decided to strip, sand & brighten my old deck. UGH! What semi solid stain is best for a PA wrap around second floor elevated deck that was treated 4/6 years ago with Behr solid stain. TWP, Armstrong Clark or other?

  22. Russ says:

    My inherited (Purchased home) deck appears to be cedar. I've used both Defy and Restore multiple times in my painful, tedious and I might add unsuccessful attempt to remove the Cabot deck and fence finisher (SPF48). Seems like there are multiple coats since there was no visible wood grain and it's coming up in various shades before I reach the wood. I've pretty much decided that sanding is the only viable option left. I want to use Tung Oil (Milk Paint) as the new finish. What do you think? I'm in western NC, should I wait until warm weather to complete this project?

    • Sanding is the only effective way to remove the Cabot SPF. Straight Tung Oil will offer not UV protection from graying or mold issues that you will get. That is why you need a deck stain that has pigment and mildewcides of oil based.

  23. Bill K says:

    I turned or replaced most of the boards on my treated pine deck at a lakehouse, cleaned and washed and waited for a couple of months, and recleaned/brightened a week ago. I'll be staining w Defy this weekend. My only question is whether because I'm using a water based stain from the start– am I locked into water based stains from here on out??
    Thanks– this site is outstanding.

    • You will have to stay with Defy for all future coatings unless you strip it off and start over. This is normal that whenever switching brands, you will have to remove old coatings first. Does not matter if it is water or oil based. Defy can be stripped off if ever needed.

  24. Joe says:

    1. Central Kansas
    2. Our deck goes almost all around the house from east to north to west. Some has a roof over it and some does not. The west side that is exposed to the hot sun does not have a roof over part of it. It is a lot of deck surface with deck rail and skirting that is wood also.
    3. Pressure treated pine.
    4. Yes to mildew blackness especially on the north side but there is some on a lot of it
    5. Our deck has been built in stages, the oldest is 22 years old and has been treated twice in that time frame, the rest of it is 10-12 years old and has only been treated once. The last time it was treated is approximately 9 years ago. We have some splintering and peeling of the wood on the west side that is exposed to the hot sun. We have also had to replace a few boards that rotted in a very heavy traffic area. First treatment was with Thompson's since that was so long ago, the second treatment had a little pigment in it and was possibly Olympic.

    Could you give a recommendation to the cleaner we should use and then the best sealer for aged wood?

  25. Phil says:

    We just bought a new place with a very old (15-20 year) old deck that was last stained with a solid brown stain 4-6 years ago. Most of the stain on the flat areas is worn through. Most of the stain on the railings looks ok though.
    We are located in Sarnia Ontario, right across from Port Huron MI.
    In Ontario we now have very little good oil stain available.
    Do I need to determine whether the original stain is oil or latex? I've done enough deck work to know I need to pressure wash and sand the flat areas.
    Following that, can you recommend a product that would brush or roll on? Thanks!

    • You have to reapply a solid stain unless you want to sand all of the old stain off the railings. That is not easy. If you decide to re-stain with another solid then prep first my cleaning off all dirt, mold, and loose stain. Re-stain with another solid. Doubt you will find a oil based solid stain in Canada so you will need to use a water based stain and we are unsure what brands you can find there.

  26. Barry says:

    I have a south facing pressure treated staircase and live in Calgary, Alberta. The stairs are approx 10 yrs old and looking to find the best oil based semi transparent stain available? Also, can you use a cleaner & brightener on 10 yr old pressure treated wood the same way as you would on another wood like cedar?

  27. Ed W says:

    Have a 15-20 year old deck. New railings and 50% of the flat boards were replaced last spring existing stain is redwood semi-transparent. How best do I match up the old stained with the new unstained wood. Even if I strip the old and use redwood stain color between the 2 boards are going to be different shades. Reluctent to use solid stain because of peeling but want the new rails and new flat boards to match existing old wood. An suggestions.

  28. Keri says:

    We just had a new deck built and the contractor told to wait a month before waterproofing it. We wanted to do a semi-transparent stain (which we used on our patio just fine) and he told us that we should only use clear. The patio looks OK only because its not directly in the sun like the deck will be. Using a pigment will bake the wood and make it rot faster and within 5 years, the deck will be rotten. That seems to conflict with everything I've been reading. I really don't like the look of the light wood and want to darken it a bit. Is that true?

  29. Ron Turner says:

    Article was very informative. However, you only mentioned Defy stains as being the best of the water-based stains you tested. No brands are mentioned about the oil-based stains tested. I'm in the market for stains and would prefer a semi-transparent oil-based stain. What would you recommend based on your testing? I live in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Thank you.

  30. James Lindgren says:

    Our deck is probably about 8 years old . There seems to have been an application of Behr Premium Semi-transparent wood stain which I see was purchased 8/22/2012 which has now failed. There are large areas where there is no remnant of stain, areas of mildew and the wood underneath is gray and splintered in places. We want to do what will be best and require least maintenance. The deck has an east exposure with no cover. We live in southwestern Ohio. What do you suggest.

    • You have to remove the rest of the Behr first. Try the Restore A deck stripper and pressure washing to remove as much as possible. Sand off any stubborn areas that cannot be stripped. Brighten the wood wood when completed. Stain with TWP 1500 or Defy Extreme.

  31. Deb Eizenga says:

    We are in the process of building a preassure treated pine screened in porch and wood deck. Am wondering what deck stain to use on both floors. Am thinking semi transparent for both – oil or latex? I'm in NW Illinois and very confused at all I've read. Whatever is suggested I don't want to deal with any peeling. Help! Also some say wait 4 weeks to dry others say 4 months?????

  32. jerseyjohn says:

    Has anyone heard of Deck Replenishment Plus products? From Deck Mag. " Everett Abrams, owner of Deck Restoration Plus in Shamong, N.J., calls water-based finishes the "enigma of the industry." He explains that while water-based finishes are durable, they also are harder to strip back when it's time to recoat. And if the surface isn't consistent when a new coat is applied, he notes, the finish can look blotchy. Abrams says strippers that effectively remove water-based finishes are becoming more widely available, but when faced with a deck that's been finished with a water-based product, he's still likely to sand before recoating. As a Realtor on Long Beach Island, NJ – and and oceanfront homeowner myself, i am always interested in the best products for decks. I have a mahogany deck facing the ocean and was not happy with the Messmer's products. Any input from anyone on DRP products? Thanks, John

  33. Deano says:

    I was hooked on using the Defy after their advertising. Deck was properly pre treated with defy products, dried and ready to go. The defy went on easy, but didn't last more than a year in Western NY with partial sun coverage. I don't recommend it, nor do I recommend the Behr products either after using them also. Will try the expensive stuff which is 300$ per 5 gallon container. Neighbor used it two years ago and is still holding up. Just can't remember the name now

  34. Bill says:

    What stain and sealer performs best on hard wood. I have a mahogany deck.

  35. Yvonne says:

    I am stripping the awful paint on my wood siding in the mountains of Southern California. I intent to use a stain instead, but obviously we are in a low VOC area. I tested the oil based semitransparent oil stain from Cabot and do like the look of it. Will 2 coats be ok, or should I look for a different stain. It seems lots of reviews against the timber oil stain products, but this one is linseed based.

  36. destiny says:

    Can you put sikkens solid stain ruboll over other paint or stain

    • Maybe but I would check with Sikkens to see what they suggest for the prep. Problem is you will not be able to fix any old stain peeling with a new coat of a different brand.

  37. Jamy Reed says:

    I just had both of my decks stained with a solid stain from Sherman Williams and I absolutely love it,My question is when should i add the water sealer toit, I have heard i have to wait a year and i have also heard a couole of months which is it??Thanks

  38. Bob says:

    My boat dock has been stained twice with Behr solid color stain and my two house decks and stairs and rails painted twice with Lowes solid color stain. All need restraining. I have power washed everything and ready to stain. Must I stay with the previous brands? The Lowes product is inferior to the Behr product time wise and peeling.

  39. Fred says:

    I have a cedar deck that has been treated with Cabot oil based solid stain. It is ready to be recoated. Do I need to recoated with oil based solid stain and should I stay with Cabot ?

  40. Joe says:

    Pressure treated pine deck located in North Alabama. Deck gets total sunlight, very humid area. It was completed in February. I've read all your product reviews but I can't seem to decide what will work best for me. I know I want to stick with semi solid but I want it to last as long as possible without having to redo it. What product would you recommend for my climate conditions?

  41. Mike says:

    We have a new pressure treated wooden deck and would like to go for a white color on the rails and posts. Any semi solid or solid brand recs for Indiana? I would be OK with semi transparent, but there do not seem to be white colored semi transparent stains.

  42. Kenneth Kauffman says:

    Best article on deck stains I've found online

  43. Marty says:

    For Cedarwood dock on freshwater MN lake, would you recommend Defy Marine stain/seal, or Defy Extreme stain/seal? To remove previous Defy Extreme stain from dock, would you use Defy Restore product, or mechanical sanding? How many gallons of stain for 400sq.ft dock (do you recommend 1 coat or 2?). Thanks!

  44. Elizabeth says:

    Our deck is partially shaded and partially exposed to sun and heat. The shaded area is prone to mildew and the sunny area is dry and hot. What staun would you recommend for our "westher combination" deck?

  45. Jenny says:

    Very good article. I want to make sure I'm doing the right things. We recently had to do a lot of yard work to rid our main backyard of large bamboo roots and put in a barrier to protect from the neighbors yard/bamboo that we are downhill from. Due to this, our funds available to use to build a new deck are low. Our previous deck had been on the house even prior to us moving here 21 years ago… so there was no hope for it. We are in East Tennessee and the deck gets a lot of direct sunlight. We bought 'Premium Eco-Life Treated Decking' boards from Lowe's. My questions are: 1) Do we need to wait any length of time before staining/sealing our deck? 2) Do we need to clean them prior to staining? And according to the answer to my first question, if we do need to clean them, do we clean them just prior to the staining (if we have to wait to stain) or clean now and stain when appropriate? Also, which product(s) do we use to clean? 3) From reading here, I think a Semi-Transparent oil-based stain would be best. Is that right, and what would be a really good, but cost-efficient product? 4) Do we do two coats of stain or just one? Thank you for any advice. I am totally new to this but really want to get it right the first time.

  46. Brian says:

    I have a 5 year old pressure treated pine dock on fresh water in northern Georgia. I stained it every year for the first three years with Sikkens SRD high solids oil semi transparent stain in a cedar color tinted at the store. The stain would fade out and mildew badly every year. Two years ago I stained it with a Flood acrylic alkyd semi transparent stain that I bought at Home Depot. The Flood product held its color well, and resisted mildew well, but the older Sikkens stain started to peel taking the Flood product with it. The Flood product also hid most of the grain more like a semi solid stain. This year I stripped off all of the stain with a stain stripper from Jomax, brightened the wood, spot sanded it, and applied one coat of Superdeck (duck back product) oil semi transparent stain that I bought at Sherwin Williams. The cedar color is a package color (not store tinted) with iron oxide pigments. I'm hoping this will hold its color better. The stain went on really easily and seems to have penetrated well. Now I'm concerned from reading your reviews that the product may not last. The prep was a lot of work. My question is how do you feel about the duckback product? And I notice you recommend Defy, TWP, and Armstrong Clark products often. What is it about these products that you like so much? Sikkens and Penofin are big products on the lake I live on. Love the site. Wish I had found it before I started the project this year. Thanks

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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.