Important Note: This is our 2nd Review of Defy Extreme Wood Stain. Our first review of the Defy Extreme Stain was started in 2009 and completed in 2011. See Here for First Review: Defy Extreme Stain Review
*Note: Defy Extreme is replacing the Defy Epoxy after 2014. The main difference between the two is the Extreme contains zinc oxide nano particles. According to the manufacturer, this gives added UV protection and mold prevention.
Defy Extreme Deck Stain Scores (1-10)
Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8
Defy Extreme Stain is a semi-transparent stain that seems closer to a transparent in that it does not mask the wood grain but rather highlights the natural tones. We used the Light Walnut color for our test deck. The Light Walnut is not a brown color but rather a reddish brown color. The customer was happy with the appearance but if you are looking for a brown, then try their newer Butternut.
Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 9
The Defy Extreme offers excellent resistance to UV fading. Testing over the two years showed very little color loss on the vertical railings. The horizontal flooring should very good color retention as well. The Extreme contains zinc oxide nano particles. These particles seem to offer an additional layer of UV filtering.
Wear/Tear and Peeling: 7.5
For a semi-transparent water based decking stain, the Defy Extreme is excellent at diving deep into the wood grain. We have used and seen numerous water-based acrylic stains and the Defy Extreme penetrates the wood grain better than the others. Very close to the penetration abilities of an oil based stain. Some wearing around table chairs and wood knots was noticeable otherwise, the stain was very intact.
Take note that we do not use the Defy Extreme on brand new wood. If you want to use it on your new deck, it is best to wait a few months. The Extreme will penetrate better if you do.
Cost Per Square Foot: 7.5
Defy Extreme costs about $44 per gallon. This is a price increase from our first test but is in line with other stain $ increases. For the two coats applied with a wet on wet application, we covered close to 125 sq. feet per gallon. We used 3 gallons for 350 sq. feet of deck and railings.
Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 10
We had no mold on the deck in the sun or shaded areas. The Defy Extreme Stain is a water-based stain that contains zinc oxide. A research online of “zinc oxide” shows that it is commonly used as an anti-fungal product in paints and other consumer products. This is also in line with water based stains in general as they do not contain “oils” that may feed the growth of mold.
Ease of Application: 8
Easy to apply for a water based stain. Most likely due to its penetration ability. When we apply the Extreme we like to move fast to avoid potential overlapping. We like to apply a light coat to the floor first with a sprayer, wait about 30 minutes then apply a second coat with a pad applicator on a pole. We can do the entire floor on a 350 sq. foot deck in an hour or less.
Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 10
The Extreme Stain does not darken in color at all.
Difficulty of Reapplication: 8
Prepping for this deck (reapplied 2013) consisted of a light cleaning with a deck cleaner and pressure washing. Once the deck was dry, we applied two coats to just the horizontal areas. The verticals did not need another coat as they had little to no color loss.
Overall Score Defy Extreme Stain at 2 Year Period: 8.5
Defy Extreme is an excellent product and outperforms any other water based deck stains that we have used or seen on customers decks. Deep penetrating abilities and better than average color retention. Slightly costlier than other stains and can wear some in heavier traffic areas.
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Defy Stain Facebook Page: Defy Exterior Stains
Cost: $43.99 per Gallon, $219.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent – Water Based
Available Colors: Cedar Tone, Natural Pine, Light Walnut, Clear, Butternut, Driftwood Gray
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
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in all States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Saver Systems
Test Deck Stats:
When Tested: Applied June 2011 and Reviewed Summer 2013
Deck Wood Type: Cedar decking
Deck Square Footage: 350 Square feet
UV Exposure: 50% Full Sun, 50% Shade. South East Exposure.
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used: Light Walnut
*All products tested and results are from our experience as wood restoration contractors. 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.