Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One Review

Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One

Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One

Note: This review is for the Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One. This is their newer water based version. For the Oil Based review see: Olympic Maximum Stain Review

OLYMPIC MAXIMUM Deck, Fence & Siding Semi-Transparent Stain provides a subtle color that allows wood’s natural grain and texture to show through. Core shell hybrid resin technology provides deep stain penetration, waterproofing and UV defense to strengthen, protect and condition wood fibers, ensuring the wood’s natural beauty lasts.

Recommended for use on properly prepared exterior wood, including decks, fences, siding, railings, outdoor furniture, and other wood surfaces.

Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 6

- The Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One is a water based acrylic oil hybrid. What that really means is that it is a waterborne stain. This stain applies like the majority of watered based stains in that it is a film-forming stain the does not penetrate into the wood deeply. The appearance of the Cedar natural tone on the deck was a mild orange color. We applied evenly but the final look was uneven as some of the stain dried into the wood and some did not.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 8

- After 2 years the Olympic Maximum in the water based version did a fairly decent job with only about 30% fading

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 5

- This stain had worn about 50% on the surface and handrails. Not a very good showing here.

Cost Per Square Foot: 6

- We used 10 gallons to cover the 800 square foot deck and railings at a cost of $.43 a foot. Coverage per gallon was closer to 150 sq. feet per gallon

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 9

- Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant is a water based stain that did an excellent job and preventing mold and algae growth. This is typical of most water based stains.

Ease of Application: 6

- Average to apply. We applied 1 thin coat as the manufacturer suggests. Coverage was poor and not even close to the specs. Application with a stain pad did cause some overlapping.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9

- The OLYMPIC® MAXIMUM lightens in color instead of darkening.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 5

- Since the stain had worn unevenly we needed to strip off the rest and start over. This proved slightly difficult but the old stain did remove after a couple of attempts with the stain remover

Overall Score Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One at 2 Year Period: 6.75

- The Olympic Maximum has moved away from oil based to the water based stains and like many other brands, the performance has gone down hill. If you can still find the oil based versions in your local Lowes or Sears, then consider yourself lucky. If not, there are many better stains out there.

Important Note: OLYMPIC® MAXIMUM claims a 6 years warranty for decks. Warranties that claim ridiculous amounts of 5, 6, 7 years for exterior wood are using this for marketing. Do not believe it these false advertisements.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Lowes
Cost: $39.99 per Gallon, $169.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Semi-Transparent Acrylic Water Based
Available Colors: Transparent Natural, Transparent Cedar, Clove Brown, Slate Gray
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1 Coat
Coverage Per Gallon: 150-250 sq. ft
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller – Back brush as needed.
Dry Time: 24 Hours
Cleanup: Soapy Water
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in All 50 States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: PPG

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: Summer 2010 – 2012
Deck Wood Type: Pine Deck
Deck Square Footage: 600
UV Exposure: Full sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
Stain Color Used:
Cedar Naturaltone

*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.

62 Responses to “Olympic Maximum Stain + Sealant in One Review”

  1. Scott says:

    Last October, we built a new 350sq. ft. redwood deck in Southern CA. It's been about 6months now. I've stained it twice so far with Olympic Redwood Tone. It looked great for the first couple of weeks but now, after one brutal (ha ha) San Diego winter, the wood looks terrible. The color is gone and overlaps in the application are more evident than before. Not at all happy with this product. Will likely sand it all off and start over with an oil based sealant.

  2. audrey white says:

    Used the Cedar Naturaltone this past weekend and hate it Hate it HATE IT. Very uneven coverage but what's really awful is the color- think the color of puked up carrot puree. It's super orange, not even close to the pressure treated sample in the store. Very likely we're going to have to strip and start over. I wish I could sue Olympic right now. I did not spent a whole day stripping and brightening my deck to put this orange mess on it.

    • John says:

      I actually loved this color on my pine siding and so does everyone who saw it! Matter of taste I guess. My question though would be at what point did you LOOK at the color you were applying? Every paint or stain I have ever used says to test on inconspicuous area first. Should have stopped after the first few brush strokes. Just sayin….

    • Kimberly McGhee says:

      We bought the Sierra stain, and it is just as bad. The coating is so completely on the even that it is an embarrassment. I just spent $6000 to have this deck belt, and don't even want anyone to see it. I agree, would like to sue Olympus for this one. Don't have the time or money to continue to try to fix it! Disgusted!!!!!!

  3. bill McRae says:

    I purchased Maximum stain and sealant (two in one) last year 7961216.
    this month (after the the snow left threre was massive pealing of the finish).
    what happened? what do I do now?

    • Bill, hard to say what the issue was. It could be poor prep, improper application, or just the stain in general. You need to strip it all off now and start over with a better stain that soaks deep into the wood instead of lying on top of the wood like the Olympic has a tendency to so.

    • Jim says:

      Same thing happened for me, Bill.

    • J. Bowman-Deyarmin says:

      We had the same experience. Our huge massive deck system including pickets and railings are all pealing. It looked great when we applied the product after cleaning the deck as instructed. In places under extended roof overhangs where the deck is not so exposed to the elements, the Olympic Maximum stain and sealant in one is not peeling but the more exposed areas are peeling in a mere 6 months. This was a huge undertaking to stain the deck and now it is all for nothing. We are left with a huge mess. We purchased the product based upon the salesperson's performance claims about the product and the stain can label claims. I think Lowes and Olympic have a greater responsibility to those who used such a faulty product and should not at this point be limited to the cost of the stain. What can we do as consumers to get satisfactory compensation for the issues Olympic's product has caused?

  4. Edster says:

    Can you recommend a stain that will work on Trex–first generation composite decking?

  5. Sandi says:

    Hi we are in the process of building a fence and I got Olympic maximum in the cedar tone. Have used the old version on our deck and love it. My question is can I apply the water based stuff over the old deck. In the past I have been able to recoat without any problem. I love the old version it has been great. I get about 2-3 years on the flat surface. We live in northern Canada.

  6. Jason says:

    When or what year did Olympic reformulate to the new water based version?

  7. Jim says:

    I was very happy with the color, but did not even get 1yr out of it! Stain and Sealant in one?! No. No it is not.

  8. tan says:

    I just finished a table using the Maximum stain and sealant (two in one). Really awful color It was SUPPOSED come out clear but it's super orange like an egg, not even close to the pressure treated sample in the store. we're going to have to strip and start over. I did not build this table just to ruin it with this inferior product. DON'T WAST YOUR MONEY ON THIS ORANGE EGGED PRODUCT.

  9. Lee says:

    Already used it on a porch swing and an Adirondack chair before seeing this site. Really like the color on these items, actually, but can you put on a second coat? I don't see any reference to that on the can.

  10. Guest says:

    I hate to be the one to disagree, but this product is not a true water based product. It is an acrylic oil. Basically what that means is that resin used in the product would have an alkyd core that is encapsulated within an acrylic shell. The two-stage dry provides excellent open time, lap resistance, and stability, that people want from an oil base, but also the exterior color and sheen retention, concenient clean up, and low VOC amount that they get out of a water based product.

    • Actually you are wrong. It is a water based stain. It is acrylic and has soap and water cleanup. That makes it water based. It does not perform anywhere near what a oil base stain will.

  11. john says:

    I'am using this exact product right now in Sierra color and at $38.00 a gallon it better hold up and work!! Not to happy with what I have read here on these post's. I also thought this was oil based and the water based products are just crap everyone is right. This stain is being put on a 800 sq ft deck with cedar-tone boards which are Ac2 treated with a cedar tone color that has weathered one year. I will report back in spring will see how it holds up over the fall and winter months?

  12. Janny says:

    Performance of the older, oil-based product and the newer water-based formula are as different as night and day. I had used only the older, oil-based product on the two decks my late husband and I had built roughly 30 and 25 years ago with excellent results: only needed to stain horizontal surfaces every 2 years, vertical every 4 years. People often remarked they could not believe the decks were that old because they looked new. But last year when I went to Lowe's to buy Olympic stain, I was told the formula was changed. Because the color we'd chosen for our decks is a little unusual- a bluish gray, I was hesitant to switch to another product and bought the new formula. What a disaster! While both decks initially looked fine, the finish almost totally wore off in high traffic areas after a particularly bad winter. There is also some dry rot on the newer deck which I have never had before. So back to Lowe's I went again, but this time only for one gallon to redo the worn areas, and then I wrote to manufacturer and requested a refund. I'll never buy this product again

  13. Brandi Johnson says:

    Can you put a oil based water sealant over this Olympic maximum stain and sealant? I just did my porches and put two coats on. Love the color but want it to last.

  14. MLR says:

    I just finished staining my deck with this product (walnut semi transparent… fantastic color btw!) at 5pm today, and now light rain has decided to sneak it's way toward me starting at 4am (forecast was clear of rain this morning). Dang Washington weather. The stain is still tacky to the touch and I'm concerned all my hard work will have been for nothing. Will the light rain leave water spots or wash away in places? If so, what are my options since the manufacturer doesn't recommend 2 coats?

  15. Morrin says:

    Wish I had read these posts before buying the Olympic Maximum stain and sealant in the Cedar Naturaltone. My husband believed the pitch "natural tone" and even though I thought it was a bit orangey, I let him have this one. Well, half our 30 year old cedar fence is an extremely bright, garish pumpkin orange. Not at all what we expected or wanted. Now he wants to pull it down and replace it with pressure treated pine to avoid stripping, cleaning, brightening (none of which he did beforehand) and re-staining. Is it at all possible to apply another stain over it? I read here they won’t blend, but has anyone actually tried that? We live in South Florida so the fence gets baked by the sun and soaked by the rain but the cedar has held up pretty well overall.

  16. Barry Klein says:

    I put this on my 11'x10' lower redwood deck in April 2012. It has easily been scratched off my my yellow lab's walking on it. It looks an aweful orange and doesn't seem to repel water like earlier coatings. I want it off and want something better. So what do I do to remove it? Sand it, or is there a stripper? No oil coatings allowed in Orange County, CA so what should I use next?

    • Barry, for removal you could strip off as much as possible, sand the rest, and brighten the wood when done. Oil based stains will penetrate deeper into the wood and they are still allowed in LA area as long as they are VOC compliant. Both the TWP 1500 Series and the Armstrong Clark can be used there.

  17. Diane says:

    Hi Barry, looks like I have a one of a kind question. I am updating my house myself so needless to say am running into a lot of problems. I removed the carpet off my stairs, sanded and primed them. I first used Valspar Oil Porch and Flooring paint (on a recommendation at Loews). That stuff was sooooo horrible, each step looked like a pool of molasses and way to glossy. I stripped it off, resanded, primed and now have used Olympic Maximum stain and sealant (they the chocolate color to it) (another Loews recommendation). I've applied 2 coats (thin). Have done every other to keep traffic off. I haven't done anything else to them in about a week because I noticed that they are still tacky under foot. To touch they feel dry. How long does it take to dry?? I want to put a clear coat of something to really seal the steps. The risers are being painted white. I couldn't just do a normal stain and varnish job of these steps because whoever built this house used really crappy wood knowing carpet was going over them. Can I use a polyurethane over this olympic product?

  18. Mike says:

    I have question on some oak furniture I just restained. Sanded off old finish down to bare wood and restained slats from chairs, but after 2 days they are still tacky? Is that because we used 2 coats? and what can we do to fix it?

  19. brenda says:

    this stain has made my deck extremely slippery now that it has snown on it .although it sweeps off with no ice build-up….any ideas for how to make this more safe ….

  20. Val says:

    I live in Virginia. My deck is one year old and we need to put a protectant/stain on it. It is around a pool. Please help. Please advise as I am confused and want to use a quality product.

  21. Andrew says:

    After using the Cape Cod gray I found it to be very uneven and worst of all when the snow melted it has flaked and peeled where the deck looks an if it were stained a few years ago instead of last October. Just a terrible product and would never recommend it. I contacted the parent company and they sent me letter of credit paying for 5 gallons of stain. Are they kidding?

  22. jennie says:

    I had my deck and steps stained last year professionally and they did all the proper prep work. After a lot of snow on the deck this winter. We had a canoe and paddle boat on the deck, and when we put them in the water, the deck underneath was in good shape, but all the horizontals that had nothing on them where horrible. those areas had to be scraped and all the deck repainted which means a blotched job. I am very unhappy with this. I went back to Kent, where I bought this product and the paint manager told me of the many complaints she has had since this product has been changed in their VOC;s. so I will contact the company to see what they will do for me. I am speaking loud and clear to the many homeowners who are building and are building decks on our lake.

  23. Jeff says:

    I just used the Olympic maxim semi transparent. I have been building homes for 25 years and I would have to say this is absolutely the WORST stain I have ever seen or used!!! Not even remotely close to the color chart in the store. Cedar natural tone. Not even close. Try more of a orange/ red appearance. Don't let a drip or run set for more than 3 seconds or you will not be able to cover it. I pretty much wasted 1000$ worth of cedar on this most worthless, destructive product. I can't imagine how they can even sell this and sleep at night. Buyers beware. Do more research and steer clear of this stain. I give it a rating of – 10!!!!!

  24. scott says:

    Has anyone use the new Elite product by Olympic? I'm curious how this compares to their Maximum line. Thanks. Also, any suggestions for solid stain for Trex decking in terms of who to use (I may be stuck with Behr vs Olympic due to availability of product). I'm in Asheville, NC where is seems to rain much more than I think it should….
    Scott

    • We have tried it and were not impressed. It is basically the same as the maximum line. Look for TWP in your area. Solid stains on Trex will mean peeling.

      • scott says:

        Thanks for the reply. I've been looking like mad for TWP but cannot find anyone in my area that has it. If I can find it, is this a product that I would need to add a mildewcide (tropical climate)? Can anything go down on Trex?

        • scott says:

          Also (sorry); is the only difference between the Elite vs Maximum line is the base (oil for Elite and water for the maximum now sold at Lowes)?

        • Penetrating oils are better for trex. SW stores can order in TWP or you can order online for faster service.

          • scott says:

            I was able to find a place that does sell the TWP. Seems like this is a pretty decent product (superior to Cabot and Olympic?). But the store only has TWP 100. Is there a huge difference between the 100 vs 1500? Doesn't look like I would need to aid a mildewcide by what the container says. Thanks, again.

          • TWP contains a EPA registered mildewcide already. Use the 100 Series if you can find it.

  25. scott says:

    I'm struggling and need some assistance. Spending hours looking at consumer reviews is a bit overwhelming. I'm looking at doing a porch (railings only) and deck (Trex flooring and wood railings). With regards to the porch, it's about 7-8 years old and looks atrocious as it was never cared for (as does the deck railings). I appreciate the necessity of prepping accordingly (pressure wash, strip, brighten) prior to staining. However, I see mixed reviews for Cabot and Olympic stains. I'm looking at doing a semi-transparent (or semi-solid) on the porch and curious if anyone has had experience with Olympic's new brand Elite stain (I believe on difference, outside of expense, is that it's oil based). Additionally, I'll probably do a solid on the deck (wear and tear from birds and cats and kids) and want to know if I can use the same stain on the railings and composite Trex flooring. Thanks

  26. john hall says:

    I am staining that is 12 years old, has never had stain on it. please what kind of stain should be put on it. going crazy looking at all the stains out there. guess I just need something that would hold up for a couple of years.

  27. Stacy says:

    My husband and I had a deck added to our home last summer. This April or May we applied the Olympic Maximum Cedar Tone Stain and Sealant in one. We absolutely loved it at first. The color was beautiful and looked great with the house. Now the deck is turning black, has become very slippery, and water no longer beads up on the wood but soaks in completely. The product was supposed to last for 3-4 years and it hasn’t even made it 3-4 months. Help! Not sure what to do to fix the problem. Can we powerwash the deck and reseal it?

    • You need to strip it off and brighten for the prep. No stain lasts more then 2-3 years on a deck surface. You want a stain that penetrates deep, holds color, does not turn black and can be easily maintained. Try the TWP 100 Series.

      BTW, beading water is not important.

  28. sue says:

    We used the Olympic elite stain on steps that are in a coveted area. We did like the color but not the way it felt. We then used a sealer on it. After 24 hours it is still wet and sticky. We had a dehumidifier on and a fan. Still wet. What do we do now. We would not recommended this product to anyone. Sure wish we could get our money back….

    • The issue is most likely related to the sealer you added on top. You are not supposed to do that. You need to most likely strip it all off and start over if it does not dry withing a few more days.

  29. bill says:

    i used it and am extremely happy with it, only problem is it is extremely slippery, anyone have a solution to this?

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