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Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain Review3.58/5(4)

Ready Seal Stain Review

Ready Seal Stain Review

Ready Seal® Stain and Sealer for Wood is a Professional Grade wood stain. Ready Seal® Wood Stains may be used on fences, decks, arbors, gazebos, log cabins and any other outdoor wood project. Developed for contractors, Ready Seal is now available to homeowners. Ready Seal will not run or drip and will always apply evenly. It is a unique blend of paraffin oil, quality resins, finely ground trans-oxide pigments and algaecide.

Ready Seal® Stain Scores (1-10)

Appearance After Initial Stain Application: 8

- The Ready Seal® had a nice even application on the wood. The Gold color enhanced the older pine decking similar to as if wet with water. We did notice that the stain color faded significantly after a few days.

Preventing UV Graying at 2 Year Mark: 1

- There was no color left after two years. Very poor at preventing UV graying.

Wear/Tear and Peeling: 9

- Ready Seal® penetrates extremely deep into the wood. It does not peel.

Ready Seal Gold

Ready Seal Gold

Cost Per Square Foot: 5

- Coverage for the Ready Seal® is not very good. We got only about 75 square feet per gallon and needed to apply 2 coats. The Ready Seal® is less then many stains per gallon but you need much more stain then normal. The stains absorbs so well into the wood that you get very poor coverage. We needed 10 gallons to properly cover our 600 foot test deck with two coats of stain.

Preventing Mold/Mildew/Algae: 7

- Containing primarily paraffin oil which does not promote mild growth, Ready Seal® shows promise. 30% of the decking floor was covered in a green algae though.

Ease of Application: 10

- We agree with the manufacturer’s claims here. Ready Seal® is goof proof in that it will dry evenly and will not run or drip. When we looked at the deck 24 hours later, the finish was perfectly even. 3 days later though it had faded significantly.

Color Shifting (darkening) after 2 Years: 9

- No darkening was noticeable. Ready Seal® fades in color instead. Better for reapplication.

Difficulty of Reapplication: 8

- Easy to reapply. Just clean/brighten the wood to prep. No need to use a stain stripper.

Overall Score Ready Seal® Stain at 2 Year Period: 7.125

- Ready Seal® contains paraffin oil which is a non-drying oil. This means that it does not cure or seal the surface of the wood but dives deep into the wood cellular structure. The positives to Paraffinic stains are:

  • Extreme ease of application
  • Deep penetration into the wood
  • Even coverage

Negative is the poor UV protection and proper sealing of the surface. If you want a stain that is easy to apply then Ready Seal® might be a good choice for you. Just remember you will need to redo every 12-18 months if you want to retain the color.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Ready Seal® Stain
Cost: $27.99 per Gallon, $132.99 per 5 Gallon Pail
Stain Type: Paraffin Oil Based Transparent
Available Colors: Gold, Natural Cedar, Light Brown, Medium Brown, Dark Brown, Medium Red, Dark Red
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coats Required: 1-2 Coats
Coverage Per Gallon: 75-100 sq. ft per gallon as tested
Application Tools: Sprayer, Pad, Brush, Roller
Dry Time: 48-72 Hours
Cleanup: Mineral Spirits
VOC Compliant: 250 Compliant in All 50 States
More Info: Product Data
Manufacturer: Ready Seal® Stain

Test Deck Stats:

When Tested: April 2009
Deck Wood Type: 8 year old Pressure Treated Pine
Deck Square Footage: 600
UV Exposure: Full Sun
How Many Years Tested: 2 Years
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.

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26 Responses to “Ready Seal Wood and Deck Stain Review”

  1. Jim says:

    Ready Seal's Gold, Cedar and "light" red and brown are not the best for UV resistance. Stay with the Medium or Dark and you won't have much of an issue with fading.

    • True. The more pigment a stain has at start the longer it can take to fade. This goes for any brand of deck stain. In general we used light colors (Golds, Cedars, Honeys, etc.) for all the stains we tested. Unfortunately Ready Seal faded faster then any other brand. We believe it to be the nature of the stain as it is not a curing stain but rather a non-drying stain that will lose color much quicker.

      • Joe Wood, you are correct that more solids can have a longer UV resistance. We try to use similar \”tones\” for our reviews and we have a new AC review coming out with using their semi-transparent cedar that will be updated soon. As contractors we do disagree with you though on Ready Seal being a \”great stain\” We personally do not like it and it has poor UV resistance for our tests. It does not cure or seal at all as it mostly paraffin oil that never dries with some pigment added. This seems to be shared by many of the contractors we talk to but there is definitely a large contractor following with this product. Contractors either love or hate it. I am sure it works fine for your business and I am not knocking your knowledge of it, we just differ greatly on it\’s performance.

  2. Michael says:

    The Ready Seal Gold **specifically** states that it has no UV protection.

    It is no surprise at all that the UV resistance was low. Only the Gold and Clear have no anti-UV properties. The 3 browns and the Cedar do have anti-UV compounds.

    Ready Seal is one of the highest rated stains. You might want to try another shade of stain in fairness to your customers.

    • Michael, we use golden or cedar tones for all the stains we test to be \”fair\” across the board. We cannot test a darker color for one brand and then compare it to a lighter color in another brand. Of course darker colors will typically last longer from UV but this goes for all brands. Ready Seal failed miserably in the lighter color when it came to UV protection compared to other brands that we tested with similar colors.

      I do disagree with you about Ready Seal being a high rated stain. There is nothing on the Internet that suggests this. Many contractors do like it since it is easy to apply but there are many more contractors who will not touch it since it just does not last.

  3. Skip Tezyk says:

    I used the natural cedar on my deck in North Georgia. I applied it and four weeks later I went away. It is now almost 10 weeks since I applied it to a six year old pressure-treated pine and the color has not changed one iota. I applied it using a pump-up sprayer and it went on beautifully.

  4. Jean says:

    Well I can attest that Ready Seal in Medium Red does not hold its color for very long in Utah sun. I've been very disappointed with the product for this reason. It's frustrating when you go through the whole process and within a couple of week it's all faded again. I'd like to give TWP a try instead. Can I clean and brighten, then apply TWP over a deck that has been previously stained with Ready Seal?

  5. markinaustin says:

    I plan to use red pigment to deepen the color of the Ready Seal dark red. I have tried this on test pieces of pressure treated and I have achieved the color my wife wants – a truly reddish stain. I found the pigment at a woodworking store. A very small quantity of pigment will recolor 5 gal.

    I have 500 sq. ft. of relatively new pressurized pine – it will have been under TX sun for two months when I clean it and then stain it.

    I will let you know how this works out over the next year and I will have photos available.

    The pigment is called "Mixol"..

  6. Mike says:

    I have a cedar fence in TX that I coated with Ready Seal, 3 years ago when it was new and it needs to be recoated. Should I stick with Ready Seal since it lasted 3 years or do you recommend TWC or AC as an alternative since they are more highly rated for UV protection? Also, how does the prep differ based on the product I choose? THX

  7. Lucille Ettore says:

    I just started putting Ready Seal on my 21 year old cedar deck. Second time (first in 2008 a contractor did it) It should get a "20" for ease of application! I am a 65 year old grandmom and I love this stuff enough to order it from Texas and get it in New Jersey. I did not want to switch to TWP because I LOVE the natural cedar color.

  8. Dorothy Guderian says:

    Where can I purchase TWC stain in Austin, TX?

    • Diane says:

      You can order it on-line at Home depot. I live close to Austin, in Lago Visa TX area. UPS delivered it. It was cheaper than their website. No charge for delivery for me.

  9. Charles says:

    Preventing UV graying at two year mark, a score of 1? I built a cedar fence in 2008, stained it with Ready Seal, Redwood, using a pump up sprayer and a thin nap roller, and I attest to you that it still looks beautiful, over five and a half years later. I have noticed, with the product, that it really should be applied pretty heavy, so that the wood can thoroughly soak it in, otherwise it will in fact appear too light in color, whichever color being used.

    • Charles, big difference between a vertical fence and a horizontal floor. Looks completely washed out after a year on a deck floor.

      • Charles says:

        Okay, DeckStainHelp, first of all, the issue here involves; {Preventing UV graying at two year mark, a score of 1} Nowhere, does this issue involve whether or not the product has washed out after one year, regardless of any surface it has been applied to (hopefully properly applied). The fence that I built for my friends, is only my first experience with Ready Seal. My second experience (in 2010), was when my mother asked me to pressure wash her deck and apply Ready Seal, 'Natural Cedar'. I did not use a roller on her deck, I only used a pump up sprayer, and I used 15 gallons to cover 2,000 square feet of everything (deck, banisters and handrails). Now, I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY GRAYING WHATSOEVER, and it has been well over two years on both. The next issue here, 'Looks completely washed out after a year on a deck floor'. All I can say to that one, is, in my experience, the person who used Ready Seal on a wooden deck, or a wooden floor, should not use the product sparingly, however, should use a generous amount, if they actually care about what they are doing. I had to re-apply the product on a deck, because it rained shortly after the product was initially applied; that was completely understandable. If you want to give a stain/seal a poor rating, it should not be Ready Seal. I don't know how Ready Seal invented their product, but I can tell you, I am happy with the quality of the product, and I have no reason to doubt its integrity, whatsoever.

        • Charles, no reason to get defensive as I am sure it worked well for you. Our experience was very poor and we have tried it more than once with same results. As contractors we would never use this product on a customers deck because of it. There is a large amount of contractors who love this product for it\’s ease of use but there is just as many who will not use it since it fades so quickly.

          We appreciate you sharing your experience.

          • Charles Porter III says:

            Ready Seal in itself is a high grade oil that has been tinted. It must be stirred thoroughly before use, and for best results, it must be applied generously on the first coat for best results. Other brands out there look fabulous the first year, but tend to peel, and reveal graying; and need to be fully stripped off in order to properly reapply. Ready Seal does not require much work in order to reapply.

  10. Charles says:

    I used ready seal 3 years ago on a new deck after 6 months of aging, I used the dark walnut, it has held up very well, I have found that it needs to be applied heavily on the. First coating, then reapplied after 48 hrs. It is easily applied , I think some people apply like a paint. It all about your application, have been very satisfied, am about to reapply again.

    • Diane says:

      How did you apply your ready seal? Did you spray or paint with a brush? If sprayed, did you use hand pump type sprayer or electric sprayer?

    • Charles Porter III says:

      Another detail, is to thoroughly stir the product before use. The color pigmment tends to settle at the bottom of the can, so it really should be stirred with a stir stick once every hour, to maintain a uniform color while using the product.

  11. Tim says:

    Used readyseal on cedar pool deck. Horrible for this application. Figured since it penetrated it would have some durability. Currently looking for an oil penetrating stain for cedar that will not peel and last longer than the swimming season in NY.

  12. Jonathan says:

    READY SEAL is actually a really good product but you have to know some things about it, choose the correct color and use ample amounts where the sun is going to hit.
    Basically, we've found (after using it on hundreds of decks) that the darker the color, the more UV protection. This may not be much of a surprise! However, using "Redwood" color on pressure treated pine or other similarly dense woods, we can easily get 2 full years of UV protection and still have a beautiful looking wood color.

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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.