2020 Consumer Reports Deck Stain Ratings 4.8/5 (23)

by Deck Stain Help

Updated February 2020

Consumer Reports Deck Stain Ratings for 2020

We here at Deckstainhelp.com remain committed to being your source for industry insights and trends for the perfect deck stain project execution. See below for information on consumer report insights in 2020. We want to hear from you. Leave us a comment below.


The Consumer Reports is the publication of the Consumer’s Union. Many consumers use the publication when making a buying decision. After all, it publishes the ratings of other consumers who have bought the same products. So it would seem a logical place to gather buying information right? Well maybe not. The Consumer Reports publication has long been accused of biased ratings.

This is especially true in the car industry. You can find countless articles of Consumer Reports being falsely suggestive in some of their ratings. Unfair testing and biased ratings seem to be common. More than a dozen large companies, from car manufacturers to electronic companies have sued Consumer Reports over the years. It almost seems like, for whatever reason, they tend to sway the results of tests and ratings.

The same can be said for deck stains. Most of the Consumer Reports claim Behr as the number one stain followed by Thompsons Water Seal. But ironically most any professional in the deck staining industry will tell you these stains are inferior and they do not use them. Behr has been in many lawsuits with homeowners over the premature failure of their deck stains. In fact, Consumers’ own “user ratings” show that homeowners who have used Behr Stains gave it a 1 Star out of 5!

Both of these deck stain brands are sold at the big box stores, which would suggest these are the most common brands of stain consumers buy. But this doesn’t necessarily mean these stains are the best. We have tested both of these brands and many other stains. Our results for Behr Deck Stain or Thompsons Water Seal are definitely not at the top of our list. We are happy to share those results with our readers. See our deck stain reviews for more information.

See here for a more in-depth article on Consumers Reports Deck Ratings


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David mueller
David mueller

I have a pressure treated stained wood deck and want to put a new coating on it. It is weathered and many boards have cracks. Do the newer deck coatings, such as anvil or rustoleum Rock Solid perform well? I want something tat will fill the imperfections and last many years.

ALAN W DAHL
ALAN W DAHL

I am prepping s 15-by-15 cedar deck in northwest (Calgary, Canada) in 50-70F temp. I start with Power Wash, and SuperDeck stain remover and brighten with Revive. I have not been diluting the stain remover, just putting it on with a stain brush and then after 15 minutes, scrubbing with bristle brush and then hosing and repeating the process. Takes 2 or 3 scrubbings and stain brushes curl up and become useless after single sessiion. The Revive looks yellow and powdery after ‘brightening’ and the deck doesn’t look anywhere as good as our fence which was built at same time, and treated only with power-washing each summer and a coat of SuperDeck stain. Both are 17-yr-old. Any insights?

Mark
Mark

What product do you recommend for a Florida 11 years old deck, pine, that was never stained or painted? The house is 20 feet from the ocean, there is black and green mold here in abundance, and of course, humidity.

Dale
Dale

Any recommendations for the wet pacific northwest.

ed gra
ed gra

DEFY HARDWOOD STAIN ON WHITE CEDAR DECK—-PEELED 50% in two yearsm, despite thorough preparation. Is this site owned by or connected to DEFY?

Andrew S.
Andrew S.

I live in the Midwest and used TWP semi transparent walnut after letting a new cedar deck age properly and following prep to a T two years ago. In the fall I removed deck furniture and the deck saw snow in a steady/even blanketing (as usual) that winter. In the spring the deck looked terrible. The TWP was flaking and chipping everywhere after just one season. I’m shocked at all the positive reviews based on my experiwnce and would NOT RECOMMEND TWP.

I sanded the entire deck and ended up re-doing it with semi transparent walnut color Ready Seal. 1 year later the deck still looks great. I had to touch a few areas from dog scratches but otherwise looks terrific and went on like butter. I highly recommend ready seal and would stay away from TWP based on my personal experiwnce. I am not affiliated with ready seal, nor did I get anything to leave a review. I was just so frustrated with my twp expeeeiwnce and was shocked by how well ready seal worked that I’m sharing my experience. I’ve used Cabot, Olympic, Pittsburgh, Wolmans etc and ready seal outdid them all. Just sharing because maintaining a deck can be one of the most frustrating homeowner experiences. Would be curious if anyone else has used RS and your experience.

ed gra
ed gra

Similarly, I can’t understand why DEFY gets such raves on this site.

deena
deena

need stain recommendation for decks ( used arbor coat last time and have peeling decks) decks face west- ultra sun, live on a lake. want shine to my decks as well. Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!

Kyle
Kyle

What would you suggest for northern Illinois full sun most of the day with pressure treated wood and no mold issues at all.

Shelley
Shelley

What are the best deck stains for my deck? 1. Ohio 2. Full sun after 11AM 3. Pressure Treated Wood. 4. Some mold and mildew. 5. Deck was never stained before and is 20 years old. We have pressure washed it, and need to know whst products to use.

Jeffrey Hamilton
Jeffrey Hamilton

By the way, for the best deck stain in the Minneapolis area, use Cabot Australian Timber Oil. I am re-staining my deck after this product (a very similar Cabot product) held up for nearly 7 years. The only drawback was the wood was a little moldy on areas of much shade.