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Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain Review 4.25/5 (2)

Defy Extreme Wood Stain

Defy Extreme Wood Stain

Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain is the premier “crystal clear” decking finish on the market. The Defy Extreme Clear utilizes nano particles of zinc oxide into their formula. This is the same product that is used in sunscreen. These zinc oxide particles filter the UV radiation from the sun, prolonging the oxidation (graying) of the wood cells.

We tested the Defy Extreme on a wooden fence. Decking surfaces may have slightly different results.

*Note: Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain is an “untinted” version of the Defy Extreme Stain. Clear wood deck stains traditionally will not last as long as a stain that has a tint when it comes to preventing UV graying.

Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 9

– Defy Extreme Clear Stain did not change the appearance of the wood at all after drying. The Defy extreme Clear goes on the wood milky white but then dries clear without enhancing the wood or filming on top of the wood.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 6

– After 2 years the wood fence had retained close to 60% of the initial color. There was some graying of the wood that had southern exposure. Consider using the Defy Extreme Stain in one of the three tints if you would like better UV protection.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9

– The Defy Clear had no wearing on the vertical fence. There was a small amount of peeling on the horizontal cross bars. On further inspection, it seemed as if the sprinkler system had worn off some of the finish.

Defy Extreme Clear

Defy Extreme Clear at 12 Months

Cost Per Square Foot: 7

– Defy Extreme Clear costs about $40 per gallon. We used 10 gallons of the finish to apply 2 coats to our 800 foot test deck. The cost was a little high but take in consideration that the wood fence was extremely absorbent. The first coat soaked into the wood within a few minutes of application.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 10

– No mold or mildew was growing on or in the Defy Extreme Clear

Ease of Application: 8

– We applied the Defy Clear with an airless sprayer. The product is very “thin’ in consistency. Similar to as if applying water. The first coat of finish soaked into the wood immediately. The second coat took a little longer and we did not to back wipe a few drips. There were no noticeable overlap marks.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9

– The Defy Extreme does not darken in color but rather fades and turned slightly gray in color at the two-year mark.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 7

– A thorough cleaning of the wood would be needed to remove the graying. This should be followed with a wood brightener to lighten even more. There would be no need to strip as the Defy Clear faded evenly without any heavy peeling.

Overall Score Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain at 2 Year Period: 8.125

– Defy Extreme Clear is a great choice if you want to use a finish that will retain the natural color of the wood. We did find though that the Defy Extreme Stain in one of the tints will prevent UV graying 2-3 times longer than the Defy Extreme Clear. If you are looking for a true clear wood deck stain and you do not mind refinishing every 12-24 months, then Defy Extreme Clear is the correct product to use.

Product Information:

Help or Questions? Google Search Defy Extreme Clear Stain
Cost: $39.99 per Gallon, $199.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Crystal Clear – Water Based
Available Colors: Clear
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 2 Coats. “Wet on Wet”
Coverage Per Gallon: 100-150 sq. ft
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 2-4 Hours
Cleanup: Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Saver Systems

Test Fence Stats:

Location of Fence: Toledo, Ohio
When Tested: October 2009
Fence Wood Type: Rough Sawn Pine Fence
Fence Square Footage: 800 Square feet
UV Exposure: 90% Full Sun, 10% Shade. South facing.
How Many Years Tested: 2 Seasons
Stain Color Used: 

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

Please Rate This Product. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

18 responses to “Defy Extreme Clear Wood Stain Review”

  1. Derek says:

    Unfortunately I have not had te same experience. I initially applied the stain with no problem however when I recoated two years later the entire finish peeled off. I have had to sand the entire deck down to bare wood. I will never use the product again.

  2. Brian says:

    I recently applied this to my deck in St. Louis Mo. The appearance is truly clear and I'm interested to see how well this holds up on the decking surface. The manuafacturer recommends using defy brightener before applying a maintenance coat 1-2 years later, depending on if the wood is repelling or absorbing water. I have two questions:
    1. Do you think a stain stripper and/or cleaner is needed prior to using the brightener, and then maintenance coat of stain? Thanks.
    2. If I'm not pleased with the results of the Defy Extreme Clear and decide to switch to Defy Extreme Cedar tone, what would the preparation process be?

    Thanks, Brian

    • Brian,

      1. You should be able to clean and brighten then reapply
      2. If changing to a tinted version of the Extreme you may need to strip off the clear. Tints in our testing last much longer from UV fading.

  3. Greg says:

    I thought this review would be rather helpful…now I see that various products were applied to different structures (i.e., deck vs. fence vs. dock). This unfortunately is a completely unfair comparison. I can't hold any validity to this review…sorry.

    • Greg, it is not possible to review the exact same structure, exposure, location, etc. for every brand of stain. You will always get variations of performance based on this. That is why we wrote the article What is the Best deck Stain. It explains that stains will perform differently based on location, exposure to elements, etc.

      We are currently retesting the Defy Extreme on a horizontal deck and will be posting results in the fall.

    • Seth Canin says:

      Greg .. just go home and figure out yourself!

  4. Ron Ladd says:

    I recently applied defy extreme clear coat to my new cedar deck. It does a great job repeling water after the rain and the deck is no longer fading from the sun. The problem that I am having is after I rinse off the deck with my garden hose to give it a routine cleaning when it dries it leaves dirty spots all over the deck and the deck looks dirty. I have even used a mild detergent on it and I still get the same results . I am considering stripping off the clear coat and using another product. My deck is brand new but always looks dirty.

  5. David says:

    Can you tint this with either Natural or some other light one for more pigmentation? I am building removable heavy wooden frame windowsills for a patio out of Doug fir and KD fir and want mostly the color of the wood, light beiges and pinks…every stain I have tried so far that says "honey" something actually comes out looking like "cheetos orange". TWP Honeytone (which actually seems the best, seems coated and protected), Aust Timber oil, new and old versions), and the Behr "natural". don't want orange wood, help.

  6. Kerrie says:

    We have 2100 sq ft of covered pressure treated southern pine decking plus 2 sets of uncovered stair treads– none of which have ever been painted or stained. They were installed 9 years ago at our home in Bradenton, Florida. We did not stain them in the past because we were unaware of any product which would not alter the color of the wood including the natural stain products.

    The covered decks still look great but the uncovered stair treads are starting to show their years. We like the greying color of the wood and think that the color looks beautiful with the "Alaskan White", (a very light yellow) paint color of our Low Country RiverHouse-style home. The porch ceilings are clad in bead board and exposed beams that we have painted "Salvia" (previously offered at Sherwin WIlliams). It is a striking blue-green color. The flat underside of the exposed beams are painted to match the house and ties the two elements together. The appearance of the home is akin to the home of the Gulfside Village of Seaside located along the Florida Panhandle. The frame homes are painted a variety of colors but in publications of the village homes, the decks are often depicted as remaining rustic and appear as being untreated/unstained, pressure treated pine. We love this look but are concerned that the southern facing stairs in the front of our home and the northern facing stairs in the back of our home (both of which experience the torrential rainfall and high heat and humidity of our harsh SW Florida summers into mid October each year) will experience unsightly damage if left untreated any longer.

    We like the Defy Extreme Clear Stain product description as it promises not to change the wood color and also like the claim of algae control — Algae is an ongoing problem on our northern stairs occurring after every extended period of frequent rain. We wondered if we might apply the product to the exposed treads only with little difference in appearance between the decks and treads when the application is completed and has dried.

    Unfortunately, this product is not located locally so returning any remaining gallons might be difficult or costly. Hence we hope for advice that might help us in planning–especially if the vendor is online.

    One painter suggested using Superdeck Elastomeric Deck and Dock Coating for all of the PT deck and stair tread wood as it would fill in the tread cracks — but will cover the natural appearance we love. It is located locally at Benjamin Moore. In addition, we have not found any good reviews on the Elastomeric product online–maybe because it is too new. I might also add that although the treads have weathered and do have some cracks, we would not characterize their condition as extreme damage as the Elastomeric product description proposes to correct.

    Our questions: Do you believe that the Defy Extreme Clear Stain product will adequately protect our stair treads from the described weather in their present condition? Do you believe that we might be able to cover just the treads with the Defy product with good effect–that is, no discernable change in color to the treads? Would it be advantageous instead to go ahead and paint the entire deck and treads? How long should we expect the Defy product to last on the PT treads if continued greying of the tread wood is not a concern? How long should it last on the PT decking if we are not concerned with any continued UV greying of that wood?

    If the Defy Extreme Clear Stain product is not advisable, do you know of another product that might be acceptable in the circumstances we have described?

    (As a compromise, we have considered covering the treads with the Elastomeric Product in a color that matches the painted house and painted stair assembly and leaving the deck untreated. Any thoughts would be appreciated.)

    We must make our decision soon as the rainy season begins in a few weeks. However, in the first week of May, we just received 4 inches of rain in the last 2 days with 3.7 on the first day.

    Thanks so much for your help!

  7. Kerrie says:

    Thanks so much for your quick response. I assume from your answer that you don't think we will have a problem with covering the treads only with the Defy product if we choose that option. Thanks again!

  8. Patrick says:

    Recently my condo neighbor put down behr premium redwood stain on our 2 story deck/stairs which is what is used to get into and out of the condo I live in. After finding out he used the cheapest stain possible, I am now looking for ways to further protect my/our deck and stairs from constant wear and tear of people going up and down the deck/stairs. Do you think there would be a problem with using the Defy Extreme Clear as an overcoat on the redwood stain? Or can you suggest any other sealant that could be used in that way? We don't have the money to strip/clean/prep/re-do the work that was already done. :(

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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.