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Defy Extreme Wood Stain Review 2014 4.06/5 (11)

Defy Extreme Review

Defy Extreme Review

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

DEFY Extreme Wood Stain is a synthetic-resin, semi-transparent wood stain formulated using state of the art Nano-Technology to create a level of durability that has simply not been available in a wood stain finish in the past. Extreme Wood Stain is the newest member of the DEFY line of wood products and their most innovative high-performance product yet.

*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.

Product Information:

Help or Questions? Google Search Defy Extreme Stain
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
Cleanup: Water
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.

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

112 responses to “Defy Extreme Wood Stain Review 2014”

  1. easttngirl says:

    I am going to stain my deck with Defy Extreme this spring and am leaning toward the light walnut color- do you have any pictures of the deck used for this review? I am awful at picking out colors and Defy doesn't have a great gallery online for helping wishy-washy folks like me. I even had a sample shipped and still can't decide. I didn't see much red in the scrap piece of PTP I stained with sample, but it can be hard to tell from such a small area.
    However, I am a little concerned about how transparent my sample looked on the pine- almost a faded, washed-out look. The wood scrap had never been stained, so maybe it really soaked in and a second coat would add richness- or maybe it was just a poorly mixed sample. Did the test deck's stain color seem a little washed out?

    • eastngirl, wood color will vary greatly due to the age of the wood. The Light Walnut is a reddish brown color. Defy is a wet on wet two coat application and the second coat will make it look richer. If you have any color questions I would strongly suggest contacting the manufacturer directly for guidance.

  2. sue14 says:

    If I were to use Defy for cedar, which of their stains would be semi-transparent and what color would I need to pick to be close to the natural color of the cedar? Thanks.

  3. Kelly says:

    Hi, I am wondering which semi transparent stain acrylic you would recommend. Home Hardware Beauti Tone Wood Shield Acrylic or Beauti Tone 100% Acrylic Deck and Siding, Home Depot Behr product, Benjamin Moore Maxum or Canadian Tire Rex, Premier, Thomson Water Seal or Cil brands.
    I live in northern AB, have a 20 yr old east facing deck, I think it is cedar. I do not know a thing about stains, the reviews on these are more manufacture based so I don't think really honest reviews are posted.

  4. Frozen says:

    Hi, I appreciate this website and the information you share. I am going to buy the Defy Extreme – AFTER I use the RAD stripper, cleaner & brightener to remove the Benjamin Moore stain that is peeling. The deck is knotted cedar, there is some grey and some peeling. I see from other posts that natural pine is the lightest tint, but wondering if I could use the clear on a deck surface, west/northwest exposure, a lot of summer sun (I live in Yellowknife, NWT [above Great Slave Lake], so winters are a bit harsh at -30 for weeks at a time).
    Any advice on tint colour would be appreciated. I could also get back to you on how well the Defy lasts in extreme cold weather and hot summer sun (June 21st has sunlight from 4am until 2am)….thanks in advance!!

  5. Frozen says:

    I also forgot to ask, as I live in northern Canada, if you had to pick between Defy Extreme or Armstrong Clark, which one you pick? I gave some information in a previous post, and my wife likes the more natural colour of the cedar (doesn't like the orange tint of cedar tone). Suggestions, please and thanks?!?

  6. Mike says:

    Hello, I am currently installing Western Red Cedar tongue and groove boards on the interior walls of my screened in porch. These boards will pretty much never see rain water, only the moisture in the air. The will also see very little, if any, direct sunlight at all. I do live in northeast Ohio so, we do have some crazy winters and humid summers so the temperature changes and humidity would be the worst thing the boards will face. What would you suggest to seal the cedar planks? Water based vs oil based? I am looking to retain the natural look of the cedar with a slight sheen if possible. I started to coat the boards with Cabot spar varnish, but then read this stuff will eventually crack and peel. I definitely want something that WILL NOT crack and peel and will be fairly easy to recoat in the future without sanding. Also, do I have to let these boards "season" for a time before sealing? They are kiln dried and seem very dry already. Sorry for all the questions! Thanks in advance!!

    • You do not want a sheen for outside wood. Bad idea. Try a very light pigmented stain for this. Armstrong Clark in the Natural color. You can go ahead and do now since it is kiln dried and vertical walls.

  7. judy says:

    Hi, I just had a new pine deck built in Texas. This Defy Extreme sounds like the thing to use. However, you said to wait a few months. About how many months? Or what should I look for. The deck builder said to wait two or three months to seal it until the green is gone in the boards. What's your advice?

  8. Leslie says:

    Hi. I am now totally confused on the "oil based vs. water based" stain question after all the research I've done online. In another post I made, y'all said the TWP 1500 would do well. But now I'm thinking I need to go with a water based stain (like the Defy Extreme in particular). I live in the Texas gulf coast area – meaning hot and humid. My deck is over 20 years old. I don't think I mentioned in my previous post, but the deck faces north, and some areas are total sun exposed, and some are total shade (where some mold is growing). I have no idea whether to use an oil based stain or a water based stain. My contractor is pushing for the water based because he says it penetrates better. But my research is telling me (mostly) that the oil based penetrates better. Oil or water for my deck? For oil I was going to go with TWP 1500, and for water I was thinking Defy Extreme. But I've now spent about 3 days on this. And my husband is absolutely no help at all. PLEASE HELP ME!!!

    • Water based stains do no penetrate better then oil based. In your scenario you would be fine with the Defy Extreme if you want to use it. Up to you and both are excellent products.

  9. alan says:

    i'm interested in getting the light walnut stain from defy and seen some pics online.

    would you say this is a fair example of the light walnut color from defy extreme?

    in your experience are people happy with this color? I stripped the old solid redwood color off so I don't want red, this looks like a nice brown.

    I realize it will look different on different woods, I have a cedar deck that's all prepped and sanded. it would take me 2 weeks to get samples then order the color and my deck has already been sanded and prepped for 3 weeks. is it okay to be like this for 5 weeks? no rain in the foreseeable future but that can change here in Seattle, I also just really want to finish this project and would take your expert advice on if this is a nice color or not.

  10. John says:

    Have you any infomation on Ready Seal, made in Texas i believe, they say its a professional grade oil based semi-transparent stain and sealer in one. Goof proof no laps runs , Durable no cracking, flaking or peeling. Easy upkeep,clean, dry and Re-apply, no sanding no stripping. Sounds good to me, have a 580 sq. ft. deck that i just striped and cleaned, it faces the West, i live in southern Michigan. Anyone know or used this product? Deck is 5 years old, used Australin timber oil on it the frist time, liked, but didnt hold up well to foot trafic…

  11. John says:

    Hi, do you have any reviews on "Pittsburgh, Sun Proof" semi- or Opaque Stains ? am interested also in "Armstrong Clark" oil stains, but seems there are no dealers in Michigan. have a 580 sq.ft. deck all ready to stain . Your top reviews say "TWP" , Armstrong Clark, or Defy extreme are BETTER when others. thanks for your quick response to my other questions…

    • We have used the Sun Proof int he past on a few occasions with poor results. Very sticky and attracted a lot of dirt. There are dealers in Michigan for the AC according to the manufacturer. I would contact them for help.

  12. Mountaineer says:

    I am installing a tongue and groove porch (covered), sloped at 3/16" using 100+ yr old white oak reclaimed and milled. Is Deck extreme a good choice for protection?

  13. PatM says:

    We are in the process of adding an addition to our cedar sided cottage, which is 22 years old. The original siding is stained with Sherwin Williams Semi-Alkyd, Semi-transparent Wood Preservative Stain, which worked great. Due to re-formulation, we can't get it anymore. After checking the specs of the highly recommended stains listed on this site, we've found that these stains : can only be used on new wood, can only be used on new wood that has been allowed to dry to the point of grey, requires that the old stain be completely stripped before application, and/or is not available within 50 miles of our Wisconsin location. Obviously, we need a stain that will work on both new and previously stained cedar. So frustrating! Can anyone please help?

  14. James Mathews says:

    On a new mahogany porch what brand on stain would you recommend

  15. Mike says:

    I am leaning towards Defy for a new redwood deck on Southern CA on the coats, aged 3 months already. Your site says numerous times that this is a "wet on wet" application. How exactly is that accomplished; do you just walk on the first coat before its dry and apply the second coat – seems kind of messy to me if that's how its done? Please explain more about the "wet on wet" technique and which application tools seem to work best. Thanks.

  16. Patrick says:

    What stain do you recommend for Central Virginia? I was thinking this Defy stain. I like that it isn't oil based.

  17. Patrick says:

    Forgot to add – I'm in a new house with a 14" x 25" wood deck that is about 3.5 months old. Should I wait until Spring to stain or go with it right now?

  18. James says:

    We are replacing the wood on our dock that was neglected by the previous owners. I am looking at using the TWP 100 or Defy Extreme in a Cedar tone. The wood I plan to use is KDAT .06 pressure treated pine. Since the wood has already been dried to optimal moisture levels, is it ok to stain immediately using these stains? Thanks

    • No, you still need to wait a month to have the exposed wood cells weather and you need to prep with a deck cleaner and wood brightener to remove mill glaze. There is more to it then moisture content of the wood.

  19. PhilC says:

    So disappointed. I used Defy Extreme on my new cedar deck posts and rails last October and it has failed miserably. I bought all new cedar rails and posts, stored them in my heated shop for several weeks before sanding all of them to ensure a nice clean surface and open pores, vacuumed all the dust off, and applied two coats of Extreme (per instructions) to every single one of them, again in my heated shop. I installed the posts and rails mid-Oct and now, 6 months later, the exposed surfaces have all gone "white" from exposure over the winter. I live in Eastern Washington close to the Idaho border, and we had a mild winter this year with very little snow. I had hoped to get 2 or more years out of the stain, but it appears I'll have to re-do my rails and posts as soon as temperatures moderate and the spring rains end. What went wrong?

    • Sanding to prep reduces absorption of the stain and new wood should weather outside for a minimum of 3 months and prepped with a deck clear and wood brightener. Also only one coat is supposed to be applied to new wood. Defy Extreme Stain does not turn white. Did you use the clear or one of the stain colors? This review is for one of the stain colors not the clear.

      • PhilC says:

        I used clear because I wanted to retain the natural look of the cedar. I'd appreciate advice because I still want the natural look for my cedar posts and rails when I re-do them.

        • No clear will last more then a season. If you want it to last 2-3 years then must have a tint. The darker or richer the tint, the longer it will last. For example, Defy Extreme Stain in one of the timed colors will last 2-3 times longer then the clear.

          • PhilC says:

            Mine didn't even make it a season. Directions on can state, "New cedar should be cleaned and stained as quickly as possible to avoid damage from the sun and rain." This is exactly what I did, and made sure the wood (clear cedar, not redwood) was, "clean, porous, and dry" (per cleaning instructions on can). This is why I sanded and vacuumed the wood surface prior to application, to ensure pores were open so they would absorb stain. I followed instructions on the can to the letter. A tinted stain will hide the natural appearance of my cedar which is why I opted for the clear stain. Apparently, Defy was not the right choice. :(

          • Once again this review is for the stain colors not the clear. The tinted colors will last 2-3 times longer then the clear. The clear only lasts one season. The tints do not hide the natural appearance of the wood in any way. I understand your frustration but you are responding to the wrong type of Defy and no clear on the market will last more then 1 year. It is impossible. You need a tint for 2-3 years.

  20. Daniel says:

    Lasted about 8 months on a new black walnut deck. looked fine in the fall but I spring 85% of the finish was gone. sorely disappointed.

    • Black Walnut is an American hardwood. Hardwood decks require maintenance every 9-12 months no matter what finish you use. You will not find a stain that will last longer so you will have to reapply every year. This is normal. The Defy Hardwood Stain would have probably performed better as well since it is designed for your wood type.

  21. Jordan says:

    We have a redwood deck that we just sanded down, power washed and cleaned with deck brightener. Thinking about the Defy Extreme, what other prep or wait time should we consider before applying? We live in heavy snow country so constant snow load in the winter and dry in the summer. This is for a commercial application so as heavy duty as possible.

  22. Jerry says:

    I have about 1000 sq ft of decking that needs to be stained. It was stained with an Olympic oil based stain 2.5 years ago by the previous owner. There is very little graying but some mold. Would twp 100 or armstrong or other stain be a good choice for the restaining?

    • Any of the top stains will not but you will need to prep correctly first by stripping and brightening to remove the Olympic first. You cannot apply a different stain on top of it.

  23. Egan says:

    I'm looking at using defy extreme to stain my new cedar bevel siding. I'm thinking I'll stain all the bored front and back prior to siding the house. With the cedar being kiln dried and having a rough finish will the stain absorb well enough without much prep? I imagine I'll be giving it a second coat in a year or so anyway. I just wanted to ask about prep. Thanks – Egan

  24. MicKay says:

    If I power sand a cedar deck what it the grit I should use and do I still have to use a brightener after sanding?

    • Use 60-80 grit. After sanding the deck apply a deck cleaner and lightly pressure wash to wood to help remove and sand dust. Apply the wood brightener as well when you are done with the cleaning. You want the stain to penetrate deep into the wood grain.

      • Paul Koch says:

        Hi! After 12 years of accumulated and peeling layers of stain, my PTP deck planking was so bad that I removed them (unscrewed) and decided to expose/use the underside.
        In preparation, I have scraped the edges, sanded the underside with 60 grit belt sander, followed by 80 grit palm (random orbital) sander, and am drying out any residual moisture by laying them out on my driveway during all sunny days (about one week by now). Some are warping severely… others are staying fairly flat.
        I think the good ones are ready for re-installing and staining.
        My question is this: Must I use cleaner/brightner and make them wet again??? I would prefer to wipe the new surface with something that won't wet the fresh wood but will clean off any residual sanding dust –before applying an oil-base stain like TWP 100. Thanks for your advice. PRK.

  25. Luca says:

    I'm looking to restain a deck that surrounds a pool. Climate is cold winters, hot summers. Currently need to strip failing stain, sand and brighten. What would be best option for around the pool? Looking at driftwood colour in either Armstrong or Defy. Is one better than the other for this application? Has to be easy on bare feet as well.

  26. Dan says:

    Do I need to tape off my Vinyl siding for this stain? Or will it wipe right off? sorry if that is a stupid question.

  27. John says:

    Should I wait to stain a new kiln dried after treatment pine deck? If so, how long? Should I use the restore-a-deck kit before staining?

  28. Joe says:

    I am planning to paint/stain an old deck, which I have cleaned and brightened. The deck is in reasonably good shape, considering it's age. Any recommendations for product?

  29. Linda says:

    This stuff does not work. Don't waste your money. Put it on in the fall with all prep done, by spring it was peeling off.

  30. ajmay says:

    I am in Canada and want to stain my Cedar deck with a Defy product. I would have thought the Deck Stain for Hardwood would be best since it is designed for Cedar but your review of Extreme Wood Stain (done on Cedar) rates higher. I'm not sure which way to go – should I use Defy Extreme Wood Stain or Defy Deck Stain for Hardwoods?

  31. acguy25 says:

    I have a wood deck in Marathon, FL that gets constant sun exposure. There is Thompsons sealer on the deck now. (not working very well.) I want to upgrade the product I use this time. Would this be the best product for that type of job? Any other steps to make sure the new product goes down and the Thompsons does not hinder the application? Thanks

  32. William says:

    Our house is about 9 years old — we acquired it 5 years ago. We do not have a deck, but the screen porch with interior wood ceiling and the porches around the house which have tall wood posts and wood ceilings were previously preserved with spar urethane every other year. The interior of the screen porch looks like it has a semi-transparent redwood-colored stain that has lasted 5 years, but is now molding. This year the posts outside are molding badly and the last coat of urethane is peeling away — it’s peelings are foggy/clear.

    Do we need to strip or sand the spar urethane or stain inside the screen porch or will it be enough to power-wash using cleaner and brightener? Would you recommend Defy Extreme for the wood on the porches. We love the natural wood look, but the Sherwin Williams expert recommends that we should clean, prime, and paint all the wood. How long do you think the Defy would last in an interior screen porch space and on vertical surfaces like the posts? Thanks.

  33. You cannot stain over a urethane so you will need to remove 100% of it. Cleaners and strippers do not work on urethanes so you portably need to sand it all off. You need a stain for longevity. You can use the Defy Extreme but much better in the semi-transparent tinted colors over the clear. SW\’s advice is poor unless you prefer to have everything painted as opposed to natural looking wood.

  34. BobRad says:

    I'm unhappy with the durability of Penofin Hardwood on my Merbau deck. I'd like to switch to Defy if that would work over the Penofin. I plan to clean and brighten the deck first, of course. What color comes closest to the Merbau's normal color? I'd prefer clear if its available. Please assure me that this stuff will not peel off in time…

    • You cannot apply Defy over the Penofin so you will need to remove it first. You also will need a hardwood stain for the wood you have. Clear with no tint means you will not have UV protection.

  35. Kevin Shea says:

    I have a fairly large multi-level cedar 6 year old deck Approx 40 X 35. I Prepped the deck with all the DEFY cleaners and brighteners and power washed as prescribed. The 4 year old finish was gone and deck was sun bleached grey. I applied two coats of DEFY Hardwood stain in May 2014 and have to do it again as 50% of the horizontal finish has peeled or worn off. The original stain I used was Cabot's Australian oil based. I am more than a little hesitant about using DEFY again as I was not pleased with the results. Do you have a recommendation for a different product to use that will have better results.
    Thank You

    • Kevin, it is normal to have to react every 2-3 years with Defy or any quality stain. If you want to switch you will need to strip off the remaining stain first and brighten then deck. If you switch, you still will need to redo the floors every 2 years so not sure if it will be worth it.

  36. Mark says:

    I have a new screened porch floor that is tongue-in-groove Perennial Wood (aceylated southern yellow pine). I would like to stain it so that I can still see the grain and make it look good with (not necessarily exactly match) the living room floor which is red oak with a natural stain on it. For semi-transparent, the Perennial Wood website recommends all-acrylic latex stain. I'm thinking they're saying not a oil-base. What would you recommend? Would Defy Extreme be a good option? Thanks.

  37. Jahosaphet says:

    I built a PT deck last November. I'm thinking May/June with Defy. Will the all in one cleaner/brighteners work? Do I really need a pressure washer when the deck is so new? If I reapply ever 2-3 years, do I have to strip and clean every time?

    I was thinking; The whole (12'x14'') deck cost $800 with footings, anchor brkts., 6×6 posts, 38' of guardrail and less than 2 days to build. At $150-$200 in stain every 2 years I could just rebuild the deck in under 10 years. Probably less time than would be spent on staining and cleaning too. Maybe leave the frame and upgrade to composite.

    • Light pressure washing should be used with the cleaners. It will make the prep easier and faster. No heavy washing. You do not have to strip overtime you reapply. Just clean.

  38. Bonnie says:

    Georgia,sun in afternoon,mildew,pressure treated pine. Previously used Cabot semi transparent. Blotchy and dull.

  39. Lisa says:

    I have just a very small project. A bench. I bought it at a small antique store. A flat bench, 2 x 5 ft. Just plain and rustic. I am not sure of the wood but it is heavy for me as a woman. The grain resembles oak. It stays in the sun and rain so I sanded it with 60, then again with 120 sandpaper to remove the last of the old finish. I am so overwhelmed with all the stain choices. I should have to reapply to the top only for a couple of years as the legs and supports look good. Is sanding enough for this project. I don't want to invest in cleaners and brighteners for such a small project. Of your recommendations, I have found the "Flood CWF Oil Wood Stain for abt $35. Should I spend that much. I do want the wood to have some transparent color instead of letting it turn gray. Can you give your recommendations. Thx. I am on a budget.

  40. Jeremy says:

    Hi there!

    We are having a cedar pergola and fence installed in Ohio on the north side of our house. We get cold winters and hot and humid summers. I want something to preserve the look of cedar, but wanted to protect from fading to gray. I was leaning towards the Defy in natural or natural pine. However, I saw that another post from Ohio had a recommendation of Kimberly Clark. I am also looking for recommendation, but was also wondering what the benefits of each product are? Thank you!

  41. Pete says:

    We recently bought a log cabin in the Sierras with a redwood deck. The cabin is at 5600' elevation so gets snow as well as rain. I believe the deck was treated at some time in the past, not sure when, with a Perma-Chink product called Lifeline Deck Sealer, which I believe is a water-based product. I have been planning to sand the deck, mainly to smooth out the board surfaces, which have been degraded by the weather (though boards are still intact). My question regards sanding vs stripping. I see very little discussion of sanding on this site. Does sanding with an orbital sander do everything that would be done by a stripper, or do I still need to use a stripper after sanding? If sanding replaces stripping, should I still clean the boards with a cleaner before sanding and use a brightener afterwards? I am considering DEFY Extreme for stain. Opinion?

    • We are not fans of stripping and only sand if it is a last resort or absolutely needed. It typically is a ton or work to sand off a deck stain. It also can decrease the new stain\’s ability to penetrate into the wood grain. Orbital sanders can also show swirl marks on wood when staining. Another issue is spot sanding. If you do not sand the wood evenly, your stain will dry splotchy. Smoother areas will be lighter in color over areas where the sanding came out rougher. We understand though in many cases you do not have a choice but to sand. This would be for removal of solid stains, paints, etc. You may want to strip off what you can, sand difficult areas, then rewash/brighten the wood to ensure an even porosity of the wood. Defy Extreme is s very good stain.

  42. Alice says:

    Live in Piedmont section of North Carolina, near water, humid in summer, snow and ice once or twice a year, and a lot of Oak Trees. We have a pressure treated pine covered side deck that gets little to no sun, mold and mildew noticed. Been there about 1 1/2 years. We will be building a connected back open deck with the same materials. It will get noon and afternoon full sun. We know we will have to wait 9 months before staining the addition, but are ready to stain the one that is already built. We want to stain them with the same stain brand, type and color since they will be connected. Due to the differences in conditions, we are worried about using one type of stain on both. What would work for us?

  43. Tim says:

    Would Defy Extreme be a good choice on a new pressure treated pine deck? After waiting the necessary time for the wood to dry out of course.

  44. randy says:

    also, some told me by watering the new deck down twice a day and letting it dry it would help the decking dry out quicker by helping to pull out oils inside the wood. true or false?

  45. Peter Marshall says:

    Oil based Sikkens SRD Cedartone was used on three decks, two west facing and one east facing in Lake Tahoe, California, 6500' elevation. Initial appearance was excellent (just as in Sikkens' rating) but showing lots of wear on the bigger west facing deck that gets 4-8 hours of sun. Mildew has developed on the east facing deck that gets 4-6 hours of sun and then, lots of shade. New construction. Decks stained in Nov 15.

    Would you suggest Defy Extreme because it's water based and less prone to mildew or TWP 1500? Would TWP go on better because it is oil base going on Sikkens oil base? Of course, I would strip and brighten decks first. How difficult is it to strip the oil based Sikkens stain? Could Sikkens' poor performance be due to application of too new a deck? If so, would you advise re-staining with Sikkens?

    • You cannot apply anything over the Sikkens. It will need to be stripped and removed first. Brighten after. After removal you can use either a water based or oil based stain. If you have mold issues, the Defy Extreme would give the best protection from this. New decks never last as long the first time stained. About half the life as when stained the second time.

  46. Dan Termer says:

    We are building a new home in the Sierras at 5000ft elevation and siding the entire house in cedar. We are considering whether to use the Defy Original Synthetic or the Defy Extreme. The only difference I see on the data sheets is "nano particles" in the Extreme that are not in the Original. Is that the only difference and what would you recommend? This is new cedar so I assume we would have to clean the wood first, correct? 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.